In a bid to restore a little honor to their league campaign, FC Humber United returned to league action after a disappointing defeat to Glasshoughton Welfare in the Northern Counties East League Division One; A league fixture that saw FC Humber reside to a 4-0 defeat in what was perhaps a fixture that should have see the club pick up points. Having sighted their return to league action, FC Humber visited Ollerton Town at Walesby Lane Sports Ground.

Mark Maspero set his FC Humber side up in familiar fashion to that of previous meetings in the league. Key figures such as Aiden Smith, Cam Hall and Eddie Wileman ensued in occupying key areas in the hosts starting XI; Noticeable changes saw Louis Blackwell and Jamie Phillips return to the side after a spell away from the side. James Warwick-Atkins was awarded a league debut ahead of the away trip to Nottinghamshire.

In yet another reoccurrence, the opening minutes of the game were somewhat nightmarish for the visitors, Ollerton took the early initiative and opened the scoring in the third minute through Sam Foulds. Much to the dismay of the home support, there was almost an instant response from FC Humber as Cam Hall headed over in the fifth minute. 

The game then opened up, with chances appearing for the two sides until the fixture reached the fifteenth minute and the game turned on its head; Louis Blackwell found himself through on goal, danced round Levi Owen in the Ollerton goal and slotted the ball home from a tight angle, to bring the visitors level. The former Selby Town man was not done there, a minute later Louis extended FC Humber’s lead; the ball worked into the area, finding the feet of the striker who instinctively broke from his marker, turned and fired the ball home into the bottom corner. 

An end-to-end affair ensued thereafter, Ollerton had a few opportunities to draw the game level to no avail. FC Humber should have had a third as the game passed the half hour mark; A well worked counter attack from the visitors saw the ball land at the feet of Szymon Czubik who curled an effort narrowly over the bar. 

As the game entered the closing minute’s of the first half, the game could well have been a different story at the break, if it weren’t for the quick reactions of Levi Owen in the Ollerton goal; A George Slack attempted clearance cannoned of fellow team mate, Harry Bamforth and looped toward goal only for Levi Owen to claw away the defensive mishap and deny the visitors a 3-1 lead at the break. 

HT: Ollerton Town 1-2 FCHU

Enter the second half and the hosts began brightest; Gav King hit the bar from a thunderous header in the fourth-eighth minute after a fizzing ball in from Sam Greeves. Ollerton eventually saw their efforts pay off in the fiftieth minute after a solid Sam Greeves corner found George Slack at the back post, beating Aiden Smith to bring the game level at two a piece. 

With the game still relatively open, chances resumed in an end-to-end game for the neutral. FC Humber’s lead was restored just past the hour mark. Louis Blackwell secured his hat-trick in similar fashion to his second goal; The ball was well worked into the area, finding the feet of the experienced striker whose instinct kicked in once more, breaking from his marker enabling him to turn and fire into the bottom corner. 

The hosts thought they’d salvaged a point in the eightieth minute; Gav King had the ball in the back of the net after a looping header over Aiden Smith, yet the effort was scrubbed after an offside decision in the build up. FC Humber went in search off a fourth goal minutes later however, Levi Owen was equal to the two quick-fire efforts from the visitors. 

FC Humber perhaps thought they’d has the game won as the fixture entered the dying minutes yet it was not to be; A long throw from George Slack in the ninetieth minute found a flick on from Brandon Shaw, this lead to a decent header from Sam Foulds that found Gav King at the line whom was able to slot home and leave the points split on the night. 

As It Happened

Rising to the challenge

The frustrations of former games appeared long forgotten in FC Humber’s latest fixture away to Ollerton Town. An energetic tie full of opportunity saw Mark Maspero’s men showcase a desire and resilience to succeed; FC Humber succumbed to early goals from their host in both halves of the game, yet, FC Humber failed to give in. In previous fixtures, FC Humber would have perhaps crumbled as heads dropped, not this day. It was a refreshing sight to witness such desire on the field of play. 

Man of the match

In a game that saw an FC Humber side respond in a big way to the four-nil defeat to Glasshoughton Welfare, possibility for man of the match was plenty. However, one perhaps stood out for the visiting FC Humber; Louis Blackwell returned to the side after missing out against Glasshoughton, and oh my did he return with a bang. 

FC Humber initially succumbed to an early Sam Foulds goal however, Louis as with his FC Humber brethren responded and rose to the challenge. Louis led the way with a quick-fire brace, initially dancing round the Ollerton keeper to level the game at one-all; Then came the second a minute later, upon receiving the ball in the area quick thinking ensued as Louis was able make a quick break in to tuck the ball into the bottom corner. 

Post-Match Thoughts

Speaking after the game in a post-match interview, Mark Maspero offered an honest assessment of the three-all draw away to Ollerton Town; “We were proud of the lads tonight. They showed a resilience we haven’t seen before. In previous games we would have crumbled after conceding early goals. But tonight, we kept going, solving the challenges posed by a very physical team and the lack of protection from the officials. Going forward we need to stop conceding early goals in both halves and be better in managing the game. James Warwick-Atkins made a huge difference in organizing us tonight on debut. He will be huge for us going forward.

FC Humber also caught up with man of the match Louis Blackwell whom added comment on tonight’s game through an on-field perspective; “I’m very impressed for the first time I saw everyone of us leaving everything on the field everyone put 110% effort in and battled against a very physical team so we need to take that effort into Saturday against Selby.”

Louis added a comment on his own performance; “I’m extremely happy with my three goals tonight. It’s a shame we only came away with 1 point and the way it ended puts a downer on my hat trick.”

FC Humber fell to an early goal early in the first half and again in the second, however FC Humber rose to the challenge, Mark added; “We asked the players to find a way of getting something from the game. So, we have to be proud of what they achieved tonight. Despite conceding early goals in both halves and being subjected to some questionable off the ball tactics, particularly Aiden Smith getting a blatant elbow to the face as an opponent ran past. The lads played well in parts, defended resolutely at times and competed better.”

The game entered its final minute’s with FC Humber leading 3-2, then in the ninetieth minute Gav King popped up with an equalizer for Ollerton, Mark added comment on the late response from the hosts; “Of course we are gutted. With better game management we would have left ‘The Lane’ with all 3 points and a lift for the Selby game. But there were many positives, we came from behind for the first time this season, we had Louis score a hat trick. The first player to do that for FC Humber United. We showed we have learnt not to be so naive, especially with the dirty, horrible teams in this league. We will be ok this year.”

MOM Louis Blackwell added; “Yeah, I was gutted it ended that way but we just need to take the positive out of the game going a goal down after one minute to have to bottle to not crumble like we have in the past games is a big thing as a team and that will be a big point for us come end of the season.”

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

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August 19, 2021