In their opening fixture as FC Humber United, the club began their NCEL Division One campaign against Dronfield Town at the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium. With the club’s final pre-season at Pocklington Town called off, Mark Maspero had a full week’s training with the squad to iron out and finalise plans ahead of the season opener. 

Stemming our of more recent fixtures in FC Humber’s pre-season campaign, the question on going the distance perhaps plagued the thought of the coaching staff ahead the Club’s inaugural league fixture. However, the hosts made short work of settling into the game after a brief spell from Dronfield in the opening minutes.

With FC Humber’s attacking presence building momentum, it wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken, the hosts took the lead in the eighth minute through Harry Watson. A lovely strike from distance to the right of goal, the ball transitioning across to the left, hitting the inside of the left hand post then the right, before finding its way in. Wonderful effort from the right back. 

A confidence began to flow around the home camp after securing an early lead, with a composed approach as the ball was moved around the park, chances began to flow for the hosts as they worked through the motions of the game plan. At the other end of the field, the defence stood firm when required; early signs of a solid team effort began to seep through. 

FC Humber had the ball in the net for a second time prior to the half-hour mark, great work from Cam Hall in the build up, however, the effort was chalked off after the linesman flagged for offside. FC Humber’s relentless efforts did pay off in the end, as the lead was extended as the game passed the half hour mark; Another thunderous effort from range, this time it was left back Liam Mulligan with the glorious effort, extending an ever-growing presence for the hosts. 

FC Humber went three-nil up two minutes after Captain Liam Mulligan’s sensational effort, a sensational attacking move down the left from saw the ball fizz across the face of goal, midfielder Jamie Phillips charged into the area, calmly tapping in the cross for three-nil. The ever-growing performance from FC Humber offered onlookers an exciting prospect. 

A relentless FC Humber found the net a fourth time as the game approached half-time; Yet more fantastic build up play from the hosts as Jamie Phillips latched on to yet another superb strike on goal, providing further distance from their opposition. Brandon Burke fired the hosts into a five-nil lead prior to the referee’s half-time whistle, a truly sensational first half from FC Humber. 

HT: FCHU 5-0 Dronfield Town

As the two teams commenced for the second half, Dronfield Town again offered an early flurry from kick-off, however the confidence in the home camp was on the high after that first half. Whilst still offering a calm composed approach to their game, the visitors did manage to pull a goal back as the game passed the hour mark. 

However, FC Humber responded in the best way possible, the hosts sixth and seventh goals came through Cam Hall, the first a minute after Dronfield’s effort, the second, a sublime half volley that ultimately put the visitors to the sword. 

From then on it was all about game management for FC Humber, two substitutions came to offer a fresher aspect to the remaining minutes after a mammoth effort from the home side; Cam Hall and Louis Blackwell paved the way for Jack Gascoigne and Andy Leech to continue the solid efforts. 

That was certainly the case for FC Humber, with tiring legs appearing from the opposition camp, FC Humber’s calm, composed approach once more, reigned supreme as the squad offered a superb passing display, occupying possession for good periods as the minutes wore out. Ultimately extinguishing any hopes that remained from the Dronfield camp.

FT: FCHU 7-1 Dronfield Town

As It Happened

In Defence…In Attack

Previously witnessed in the early stages of their pre-season campaign, FC Humber certainly regained their sights for goal in their opening fixture of the season, netting seven times against an established NCEL outfit. FC Humber were an ever-present threat going forward as their relentless efforts paid off. The calm, composed nature returned as the club went about their game, ultimately proving too good for their opponents on the day. 

FC Humber also offered a stern defensive showing despite conceding once, midway through the second half. Dronfield Town were unable to find fault in the defensive lines when on the attack. All of which is testament to the hard work Mark Maspero and the coaching staff have put in over these last months. 

Game Management

It would be a fair assessment that FC Humber could have focused the entire second half on their management of the game. However, despite an early flurry from the opposition, the squad continued their relentless efforts through the second half and responded extremely well after conceding, bagging a further two goals ultimately putting Dronfield Town to bed. 

Despite previous showings against Cheadle and Winterton, in which the squad endured for sixty to seventy minutes prior to drifting off, the squad refused to give up in their opening league fixture. From the first whistle to the last, FC Humber never stopped in their quest for victory. 

Man of the Match

It would be a fair assessment that all fourteen who participated against Dronfield Town could well have staked a claim for man of the match. However, sponsored by Talk Tonight – Selby CIC the man of the match award went to debutant Craig Allen, for a solid effort all round. Craig offered a very calm approach whilst in possession and defended extremely well when it was required of him. 

Post-Match Thoughts

In his post-match interview, Club Manager Mark Maspero offered his thoughts on a sensational opening day league victory at home to Dronfield Town. Mark outlined that despite having ten players out through various reasons, it was a struggle to get fourteen players together yet he was extremely pleased with the squad’s efforts to pull through for a result. 

Mark mentioned this was not the first time this has happened; twice in pre-season and the squad pulled through for a result. To do it when it matters shows great character within the squad. 

Further to his post-match interview, Mark shared his thoughts on key aspects from his side’s 7-1 victory at home to Dronfield Town. Outlining his methodical talks with the squad in being relentless and being thorough with the simple things during games; FC Humber most certainly excelled in all these areas against Dronfield Town. 

Mark went on to mention that in previous fixtures, particularly during pre-season the squad have acquired an ample amount of possession and shots on goal yet didn’t have the required effect. However, in their efforts from their opening league game it paid off and they have the result to back it up. 

From an on-field perspective, both Tom Micklethwaite-Charles and Vice-Captain Liam Mulligan commented on the squad’s desire to dig deep and never give up. Outlining that everyone worked hard and played very well for ninety minutes, despite disappointments from pre-season.

Finalising his post-match thoughts, Mark outlined his delight in the squad’s thoroughness to see the game out. Further iterating the desire to be relentless for ninety minutes and despite having players missing, the fourteen stuck to the game plan extremely well and never gave up despite conceding. Everything paid off for an excellent FC Humber side today however this result only truly counts if we go to Worsbrough Tuesday night and back it up. 

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

August 1, 2021