Departing the endeavours of another league defeat at the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium against Barnsley outfit Worsbrough Bridge, Humber see their league campaign continue this coming Saturday against an improved Dronfield Town, who find themselves looking to bolster their victorious performance against Retford after a pretty dismal November. Having walked away from a five-one defeat in the Club’s previous fixture, Humber have their intentions set on salvaging their season in a return to the HE Barnes Stadium in a 3.00pm kick-off. 

As has been the way for a sizable period of the season, Humber begin the day toward the foot of the table after what can only be considered as an inconsistent stricken first half of the season; furthermore, an ever growing presence looms over Humber to collect the required points to ensure their safety, despite sporadic performances that have signified the calibre of football the club can play. Dave Haley’s thoroughness and methods are seeping into the life force of the Humber squad, perhaps signifying efforts to come in improving on the ten points on the board.

Opposition View

Club History

Quoting official sources on Dronfield Town, FC Humber extend an opportunity to all, in viewing a brief history of the team they face in the next round of League fixtures:

A Dronfield Town existed in the mid 1890’s but folded in around 1914. Although the club was revived in the 1920’s, it dissolved shortly afterwards. Another incarnation of the club in the 1950’s also folded soon after being re-established. The club was re-established again in 1973 as a Sunday League team, playing in the Sheffield Sunday League. It continued until folding in 1996.

The modern club was originally formed as Dronfield Sports Junior Football Club, before becoming Dronfield Town when we moved to the Pioneer Club ground in 1998. An adult team was established under the name Dronfield Cavaliers, but became Dronfield Town in 2001. We joined the Hope Valley Amateur League in 2001 and were B Division runners-up in 2001-2002, earning promotion to the A Division. 

A second successive promotion was secured in 2002-2003 and the Premier Division title was won at the first attempt in 2003-2004. In 2005 we moved up to Division One of the Midlands Region Alliance, which we also won at the first attempt, earning promotion to the Premier Division. The club went on to win the Premier Division in 2007-2008 and in 2009 moved up to the Premier Division of the Central Midlands League.

Dronfield Town’s first season in the Premier Division saw them finish runners-up, earning promotion to the Supreme Division. In 2011 league restructuring saw us placed in the North Division, We won the League Cup in 2011-2012 and were North Division Champions in 2012-2013, resulting in promotion to Division One of the Northern Counties East League. 

Season Review

Nestled in the heart of the Northern Counties East Division One, Dronfield Town find themselves sat in fifteenth heading into the next round of league fixtures. After picking three defeats and a draw from their opening four fixtures of the campaign, the 2021-22 league campaign appeared pretty dire for the Sheffield outfit; three further defeats against Parkgate, Worsbrough Bridge and Glasshoughton Welfare respectively saw out the month of August with the club rooted to the foot of the table. 

September however, proved a little more productive for Dronfield at the onset; victory in the league against Ollerton Town at the HE Barnes Stadium. Three successive defeats at the hands of Selby Town, North Ferriby and Hallam FC halted their initial progress early in September. October began disappointingly after losing six-nil at home to Armthorpe, yet all was forgotten as a draw on the road to Clipstone and three victories on the bounce saw the Sheffield side rejuvenated come the end of October November offered a solitary victory and two defeats for the Sheffield outfit, however, victory against Retford has set up a tasty affair. 

Head-to-Head

Tale of The Tape

When it comes to previous meetings between FC Humber United and Sheffield outfit, Dronfield Town, the two sides have only met in competitive action on seven occasions. Through an albeit short tenure as a football club, the now FC Humber United have met Dronfield on seven previous occasions and as the record stands, FC Humber have recorded four victories whilst the Barnsley outfit have won three prior meetings between the two. There has yet to be a draw between the two. 

From the seven previous fixtures FC Humber and Dronfield have met in competitive action, there have been twenty-nine goals between the two; fourteen from FC Humber and fifteen from Dronfield Town. The last time these two met was on the opening day of the current season, meeting on the 31st July this year; the tie ended in a somewhat entertaining 7-1 victory for FC Humber. A performance of similar calibre wouldn’t be sniffed at heading into the next round of fixtures, with NCEL1 safety the key.

Prior Engagement

The opening game of the 2021-22 NCEL1 season and Sheffield outfit, Dronfield Town visited the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium and what happened next proved something special. Harry Watson fired the hosting Humber into an early lead, providing an early indicator of things to come; that lead soon became two and three-nil as the game passed the half hour mark, through superb efforts from Liam Mulligan and Jamie Baxter. Humber continued to dominate the fixture with some entertaining football and their lead was extended further through Jamie Phillips and Brandon Burke. 

Despite a continued dominance from Humber, Sheffield side Dronfield Town did get themselves a goal as the game past the hour mark; Christian Savage slotting home what would go on to prove a consolidation for the visitors. Humber responded to the Dronfield threat and fired home two further goals in the sixty-second and seventieth minutes; both goals coming from Cam Hall. From then on it was all about game management from the hosts, and that was exactly what came as Humber saw out a rather entertaining seven-one home victory. 

Pre-Match Thoughts

Prior to Saturday’s journey to the HE Barnes Stadium, Gaffer Dave Haley commented on the week at hand as we head into another test against Dronfield Town: 

“There are going to be no easy games for us in this league and on Saturday we face a Dronfield side that have won five out of their last seven fixtures. It would be great if we could get the same result as our last meeting but I’d just settle for a one-nil win this time around. 

Saturday will be another tough one but with our inspirational skipper back in the squad, Craig Allen, to strengthen our defensive unit and the return of our striker, Louis Blackwell, and winger, Eddie Wileman, who has been out sick for two weeks, we will have one of the best attacking forces in this league. With this frontline we will score goals, but the other side of the coin is we need to stop conceding goals. As a team, our defensive shape still needs to be better and our back line needs to be more intelligent, in terms of when, and how, to press and when to drop off and stay in a compact line. If we can improve these aspects of our game, then I feel confident that we will get our first points on the board since my arrival.

We have some interesting fixtures coming up in December but we need to take one game at a time and work our hardest to get something out of each game, Saturday’s game is our number one focus.”

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

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December 9, 2021