FC Humber made their return to league action after a midweek defeat to Hall Road Rangers in the Northern Counties East League Cup; A cup opener that saw FC Humber reside to a narrow 3-2 defeat against local rivals despite a spirited fight back in the second half. Having re-acquired a sighted return to league action, FC Humber hosted Glasshoughton Welfare at The Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium.

Mark Maspero had his FC Humber side set up in a similar fashion to that of previous meetings in the league, key figures such as Aiden Smith, Cam Hall and Brandon Burke ensued in occupying key areas in the hosts starting XI. Noticeable changes saw Ben Clowes make his return to the side after a spell on the sidelines; Charlie Precious and Szymon Czubik were awarded their league debuts along with Tom Micklethwaite-Charles returning to the bench after suspension.

The opening minutes of the game offered little in the way of excitement as the twenty-two battled for a foothold in the game. After a handful of half chances from both teams, the game was goalless as the tie passed twenty minutes; Perhaps an improved endeavor from the three-nil deficit FC Humber faced after half an hour against Hall Road. The most notable factor from the opening salvo; Charlie Precious was forced off through injury which paved the way for Tom Micklethwaite-Charles to return to the side after serving a match ban for his sending off at Worsbrough Bridge. 

Much to the disappointment of the hosts, the deadlock was broken as the game entered the twenty-fifth minute; Glasshoughton had pressured the FC Humber defence with pin point crosses into the area however, upon the initial clearance the ball fell to an unmarked Daniel Youel 25 yards out. With the FC Humber defence offering little urgency in pressuring the ball, Youel calmly fired past Aiden Smith to put the visitors into the lead. 

Despite Glasshoughton taking the lead, the game still offered a level playing field to the footballing neutral. FC Humber sighted the return of a level score line in the twenty-eighth minute; A great passage of play from Owen Fletcher down the right wing, weaving his way through the Glasshoughton defensive lines, his ball in from the byline hit the bar and somehow avoided the blue shirts in the area before danger was averted by the visitors. 

Much to the dismay of the hosts, Glasshoughton extended their lead as the tie passed the half hour mark through Aaron Gray. As the remaining minutes of the first forty-five whittled away; FC Humber United continued their search for a way back into the game but were unable to provide a serious challenge to the Glasshoughton defence. 

HT: FCHU 0-2 Glasshoughton Welfare

Continuing the form witnessed in the early stages of the first half, the second also began at a steady pace and the first opportunity came to the hosts; Szymon Czubik offered a sensational run down the left flank however, the ball in lacked any danger and was unable to beat the first man. The half continued with fleeting opportunities between the two sides and FC Humber’s second substitution of the day came in the fifty-fourth minute; Ben Clowes paved way for Liam Mulligan. 

With the fixture passing the half hour mark, Aiden Smith was called into action once more; Glasshoughton were through one-on-one after perhaps another defensive mishap however, FC Humber’s man between the sticks bettered the low fizzing shot, forcing the ball out for a corner kick. The resulting corner was then cleared away by the hosts and the game continued in the manner witnessed for the most part. 

With the game now entering its final stages, FC Humber still offered little in challenging the Glasshoughton defence for a way back into the game; The tie went from bad to worse for FC Humber as we passed the eightieth minute, Harry Watson was given his marching orders after receiving a second yellow for a late challenge on the Glasshoughton winger. The visitors were then awarded a penalty moments later, Adan Hayton slotted the penalty away putting the visitors out of sight. Louis Stevens fired Glasshoughton into a four-nil lead just before the final whistle. 

FT: FCHU 0-4 Glasshoughton Welfare

As It Happened

Frustration, defensive mishaps and Discipline 

The third league game of the season ended in disappointment and frustration for the FC Humber camp. Quoting the gaffer, we weren’t up to par in spells and gifted our opponent’s goals, which we can’t afford to be doing at this level. Frustration perhaps kicked in towards the end with the game not going our way and FC Humber weren’t beaten tactically or technically, nor were they played off the park. The home tie against Glasshoughton was simply won on desire. 

The game also saw a second sending off of the season, Harry Watson given his marching orders in the eighty-first minute after a late challenge on the Glasshoughton winger. FC Humber also conceded a penalty adding further to the frustration from earlier mishaps that contributed to goals in the first half. All round a disappointing afternoon at the office. Extending from the club motto, we have to learn and move on. 

Man of the match

Despite the end result of the game; The man of the match, sponsored by Talk Tonight – Selby CIC went to Owen Fletcher for his constant efforts down the wing. Fletch certainly had a decent game for the most part despite the team falling to a four-nil defeat. Fletch offered a threat when going forward and worked well with teammates Cam Hall and Szymon Czubik. Fletch also dealt with his defensive duties in a respectable manner. 

Post-Match Thoughts

Speaking after the game in a post-match interview, Mark Maspero offered an honest and fair assessment of the four-nil home defeat against Glasshoughton Welfare; “Again, we are our own worst enemies, we were our own downfall through defensive mistakes especially in giving them two goals. From set pieces, no one puts them under pressure in pressing the ball, we let them have free shots.”

Mark added, “Again, we’re just not good enough today, another sending off, another penalty. Today’s game was unacceptable, they’ve not played us off the park and they’ve not beaten us tactically, technically or on quality. This was a game we should have got something from. These are the sort of teams that are going to be at the bottom and we should be beating, but we’re not.”

Our problem is, we are saying the same things every week. We’re young and naïve. We’ve had an honest conversation (after the game) – we’re going to go from here. Do we go out and get players who have played at this level? Or do we stick with these lads in the hope that it comes good. In 5/10 games time, we could be relegated by then. That’s the question I’ve posted to them, what do we do now? Leaving the emphasis on them.”

Mark added that we can’t be coming away from games each week after getting beat, we can’t be soft every week. Looking ahead to the club’s midweek fixture away to Ollerton Town, Mark commented:

“It’s another game we need to be getting something from, we need to be winning. We need to pick up the performance. Not having things go our way. Again, we brought in a central defender last week, Alex, he came off injured. This week, Charlie got injured. Struggling to bring defenders in and keep a settled back four who can defend. So we are having a bit of bad luck. But we’ve not been beaten tactically, technically. We’ve been beaten for desire. 

And that’s the problem we’re having, when the ball goes in, it pops out and no one’s taking responsibility and pressing the ball, putting the striker under pressure. We’re just letting them have a free shot, and it’s happened multiple times. People just aren’t taking responsibility and we’re going to struggle.”

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

August 15, 2021