On the back of perhaps a disappointing afternoon against Hall Road that saw the club succumb to defeat, FC Humber continued their league campaign in an early Saturday kick off at the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium. This time out however, Humber were left to rue in defeat against mid-table opposition, despite offering some improvement in a five goal game. On a cool autumn afternoon that offered a return to the weather perhaps that commonly dubbed ‘typical Yorkshire’, their visitors had begun the day middle of the pack in the Northern Counties East Division One and were in search of a further haul after an all but average start to the campaign. 

On the back of two week break and their previous Saturday fixture, a renewed sense of new beginnings had perhaps returned for Humber after a decent spell of thorough training under the clubs management; the club had every intention of transitioning forward in their campaign and made them known through a few well placed transfers. In search of getting the proverbial ball rolling, 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 Retford vied for early supremacy. 

Despite what appeared an even opening salvo between the two, it was Retford who opened the scoring; George White put the visitors in front, nine minutes into the tie. The game then became somewhat of an even affair after the goal, with both teams creating opportunities on goal; subsequently, Dave Howard pulled off some good saves to deny the opposition further goals. Whilst at the other end, Ewan Hallows looked to punish the visiting Retford, yet no goals would materialise for the hosts as the game went into the break with Retford holding a slender lead. 

HT: FCHU 0-1 Retford FC

A slow start from Humber enabled their opposition to double their lead in the early moments of the second half; Alex Wonham scoring the visitors second despite Humber having the opening chances of the half. Much to the credit of management and the Humber eleven of the field, the hosts had the kick start they needed and responded extremely well thereafter and pulled a goal back through Eddie Wileman. Subsequently Humber appeared to kick on initially and began to get the ball down and play some decent football. 

Unfortunately for the hosts, Matt Parkin and Adam Scott added further goals and subsequently secured the points haul for the visitors. Furthermore, to the credit of management and the Humber contingent on field, plenty of positivity and opportunities came their way throughout the game however, the ability to lapse concentration momentarily and convert at the other end perhaps saw the downfall in what was perhaps an average game of football at best. 

FT: FCHU 1-4 Retford FC

As It Happened

Tale of two halves

As has been the way in previous fixtures that have involved FC Humber, a home tie against mid-table opposition saw a game of two halves for the hosts. The first forty-five offered a close affair for the neutral and Humber played some desirable football at times that saw them go into the break still in the tie, despite trailing one goal to nil. The second forty-five however, Humber began slowly which enabled Retford to double their lead, credit to the squad though in pegging a goal back and perhaps looked to kick on but after two further Retford goals, it never really materialized despite a decent end to the game. 

Positivity despite defeat

Despite losing out in a game that perhaps wasn’t the easiest on the eye, Humber can take away some positivity from the visit of Retford. Humber were able to get the ball down in spells and played some decent football, whilst also showing a great willingness to respond on occasion; in particular, building momentum shortly after the second Retford goal and getting themselves on the score sheet. Good periods of play and a strong end to the game offered a sign of things to come and the only thing that was lacking, the ability to convert chances and the frustration of lapsing concentration. 

Man of the Match

In a game that had a number of potential candidates for man of the match, from Dave Howard to Luca and even Sam Lingard or Andy Martland. However, as sponsored by Talk Tonight – Selby CIC the Man of the Match went to Ewan Hallows. One of many who had a decent game, Ewan was all over the park, tracked back to regain possession, looked good going forward, as did others when warranted. Ewan proved relentless once more and is perhaps becoming a favourite for the non-league viewer in his style of play. 

Post-Match Thoughts

Speaking after the game in a post-match interview, Marc Brown offered an honest assessment of the squad’s performance: “The best word to summarise would be frustrating. The lads took on a couple of tactical changes which worked, but we just didn’t have the discipline to do it for 90 minutes. There were quite a few new players in the squad and it was always going to be difficult but we have to overcome those challenges. We played some good football at times and finished strongly which is a positive to take into the next game.”

Marc added comment on what was an even first half, and with Humber heading into Halftime still in the game at 1-0, his thoughts moving forward into the second half: “The first half was pretty even possession wise. They edged it on the number of shots on target and deserved the lead. We knew we were still in the game but we started the second half too slow which gave them the opportunity to double the lead. We showed great resilience to get a goal back straight away and looked like we could kick on from there. Unfortunately, when we conceded the third, it took a lot longer to recover. We lost our shape, heads dropped and we let them control the game. The last 10 minutes I feel we started to express ourselves again and could have got a couple of goals.

Concluding post-match discussions, Marc added his thoughts on the coming week and an away trip at Harrogate Rail: “We know we are in for a tough test. Harrogate Railway has had a really positive season so far and will give us a battle. We need to focus on ourselves though. It’s a big week with training and getting some more of the tactical information across and hopefully the lads can take it on board and build towards carrying out a game plan for the full ninety minutes.”

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

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November 7, 2021