Returning to league action on the back of a Worsbrough Bridge defeat, FC Humber sighted their next points haul at the HE Barnes Stadium in a 3.00pm kick-off against mid-tabled opposition of the Northern Counties East strugglers, Dronfield Town Football Club. The magnitude of the fixture hadn’t gone unnoticed, as Humber sought to build on the thoroughness instilled through Dave Haley, as the club progressed to revive the season. 

However, the return to league action offered little respite as Humber were left to rue in another defeat, after the Sheffield outfit proved too clinical on the day. With match officials commencing the league fixture, the game had begun as perhaps many a game would; an intense opening few minutes the was borderline physical as the twenty-two combatants of Humber and Dronfield vied for early supremacy.

And as with many a game witnessed this season, it was Dronfield Town who took the early advantage; Danny Wood netting the opening goal of the game, capitalizing on an unsettled Humber back four. Humber almost provided an instant response at the other end, after a perfectly weighted ball in from Szymon Czubik narrowly missed Ewan Hallows at the back post. Despite falling behind early doors, the game offered little resemblance to that of an eye-catching affair with opportunity becoming more sporadic as time went on. 

Callum Mawbey doubled Dronfield’s lead shortly after the twenty-minute mark after catching out the Humber defence once more. Fully aware of the unsettled FC Humber, the host’s continued to press their advantage thereafter, and perhaps should have extended their lead prior to the half hour mark. As the half wore on Humber gradually grew into the game and began to produce some decent football and opportunity of their own, subsequently the lads were rewarded with a goal five minutes from half-time; Szymon Czubik tapped home a lovely ball in from the right. Furthermore, to Super Sym’s goal, Humber were unlucky not to be level at the break; Craig Allen’s thunderous header on goal forced a fine save from Lewis Naylor. 

HT: Dronfield Town 2-1 FCHU

Enter the second forty-five and Humber showed great endeavour in the early stages, as they methodically went about restoring a little rejuvenation to the tie. Despite the early endeavours from Humber, it was the hosts who scored the next goal; Callum Mawbey firing home his second of the game to extend the host’s lead. Humber could well have scored their second of the game after Louis Blackwell found himself through on goal however, the presence of the Dronfield defence saw Lou unable to get the required touch slot the ball home. 

The fixture then mellowed out a little despite sporadic chances coming for both teams and it wasn’t until the seventy-second minute that the next goal came; Brandon Burke set free on goal, slotting home a tidy finish to give Humber a little hope. Much to the dismay on the touchline, Dronfield hit back instantly after Danny Wood secured his second of the game and restored the host’s two goal cushion. Dronfield were perhaps fortunate in getting a fifth goal, ten minutes from time after venomous free-kick twenty-five yards out slipped through Dave Howard’s hands. Deep into added time Humber scored the games eighth of the afternoon; Seb Losa with a lovely solo effort, sliding a tidy finish past Lewis Naylor. 

FT: Dronfield Town 5-3 FCHU

As It Happened

Positives despite defeat

With the game ending in defeat for Humber, there are positives to take from a game against fellow NCEL outfit, Dronfield Town. Despite a different challenge, it was felt a decent account was given in the way the team pressed and whilst in possession, if it were not for the goals conceded on the break perhaps points would have come to camp Humber. There are no illusions as to what preparations will be required heading into the game next Saturday. 

Mentality of the game

As has been for major parts of the current season, quite possibly Humber’s greatest downfall would perhaps be the squad’s mentality during match days. With tell tale signs seeping through the cracks i.e. A lapse in concentration or merely confidence being shot after conceding a goal, the mentality aspect has perhaps cost Humber on more than one occasion and Dave Haley will have his work cut in changing that. 

Man of the Match

Although not officially announced and as sponsored by Talk Tonight – Selby CIC, Humber’s Man of the Match went to returning Skipper, Craig Allen. Predominantly for his commanding presence in the air and calm, composed efforts in playing the ball out, Craig’s experience shone through upon his return to the side that will no doubt rub off on the younger members of the Humber squad. The only thing perhaps lacking an otherwise decent performance was the elusive goal and Craig was unfortunate not to get it. 

Post-Match Thoughts

Speaking after the game in a post-match interview, Dave Haley offered an all but brief and honest assessment of the squad’s performance: “Another very defensively poor performance, we conceded far too many goals through basic defending principles. We were poor from set pieces, didn’t mark tight enough, didn’t compete well enough and lost out in 1v1 situations too easily. Despite this we still managed to score three very good goals. So overall it was the same old problem again, we can score goals but can’t defend ours.”

Dave added: “I try to stay positive after conceding a goal early on as there is a lot of time left to solve our problems and get back in the game. In our last two fixtures it was us that scored the early goal but could not go on to win the game. We tweaked our system after they scored early on but it doesn’t matter what system you play if players don’t do the basics well and have the passion, the determination and desire you need to win games. We need to improve these two areas of our game quickly so we can start heading in the right direction.”

FC Humber United: Dave Howard, Szymon Czubik, Eddie Wileman (Sebastian Losa 77’), Jack Durkin, Craig Allen, Billy White (Jamie Baxter 63’), Ewan Hallows, Jack Gascoigne, Louis Blackwell (Luca Binsley 68’), Luke Sidaway, Brandon Burke.

Unused Subs: None. 

Dronfield Town: Lewis Naylor, Will Hunter, Charlie Stewart, Regan Rooke, Tom Gladwin, Billy Wright, Connor Chapell, Ethan Flower (Jamie Willis 81’), Callum Mawbey, Danny Wood (Tom Fairweather 85’), Sam Terry. 

Subs not used: Mike Fereday, Nick Siddons. 

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

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December 12, 2021