FC Humber entered the fourth round of their Pre-Season campaign with a visit to Cheadle Heath Nomads and the inaugural Steady Eddie Cup. FC Humber arrived in Lancashire in good spirits after back-to-back victories, however, Cheadle who also play at step 6 would offer a more in-depth challenge. 

As the cup tie began, the hosts made short work of settling into the game, looking the stronger of the two in the early stages, yet any attempts from Cheadle in taking the lead were snubbed. Cheadle were denied by the woodwork prior to being denied by a sensational save from Aiden Smith, a fizzing effort wonderfully tipped over the bar. 

FC Humber had an opportunity to take the lead themselves in the twelfth minute, Szymon Czubik rocketed down the right hand side, his cross found an unmarked Louis Blackwell in the centre who’s tame shot landed in the arms of the Cheadle keeper. 

FC Humber then began gathering a little momentum themselves, as Louis Blackwell saw a second effort on goal fizz past the post. The competitiveness of the inaugural Steady Eddie Cup began to flow, however a drinks break couldn’t have come at a worse time for FC Humber as any momentum they had built up would be nullified. 

Subsequently Cheadle would take the lead shortly after the restart, an unfortunate own goal from defender Ben Clowes, his clearance hitting the inside of the post subsequently finding the back of the net. A subtle competition began to return to the game as both sides aimed to gain a foothold. 

FC Humber had an equaliser disallowed moments before half-time, a free kick in the build up was deemed to have been taken too quickly by the unaware referee. Taking the tie into half-time with Cheadle Heath Nomads one goal to the good. 

As expected, the hosts continued their pressured approach after the restart. FC Humber’s shop stopper was drawn into action yet again, Aiden Smith denied the hosts an extension to their lead including a fantastic block from a one-on-one attacking effort from Cheadle. 

However, despite a heroic goal line clearance in the early stages, FC Humber began to offer a more threatening approach as the second half wore on. Opportunity on goal did find FC Humber, however for their efforts, were unable to capitalise. Szymon Czubik had a low driving effort tipped out for a corner, the subsequent corner saw FCHU hit the post. 

As the tie entered its final stages, weary legs began to show and the fixture ultimately took a turn for the worse as Cheadle doubled their lead as the game passed the eightieth minute. A lovely volleyed goal from the Cheadle attacker. Unfortunately the misery wouldn’t end there for FC Humber, despite a potential offside shout, Cheadle extended their lead minutes later.

As it Happened

Tough day at the office

Despite offering spells of a composed collective effort, The Steady Eddie Cup ultimately offered FC Humber United their toughest test to date. It was a hard, tough battle against a well established step 6 side, despite the intense heat FC Humber could count themselves unlucky in a closely contested tie. However, as Mark Maspero picked up on, it wasn’t a 4-0 game and a late drop in focus ultimately paid dividends for Cheadle. 

Learn and move on

FC Humber have now contested four of their seven pre-season fixtures. The squad are indeed developing well as a whole, however there is still a continued development aspect in the vigorous training efforts as the club head into the season. As each game plays out, we learn, adapt and move forward. 

Post-Match Thoughts

A Tough Day

In his post-match interview, Club Manager Mark Maspero offered his thoughts on a tough test against a decent Cheadle side. Mark outlined the challenges faced with the heat and that despite the final score, it wasn’t a 4-0 game. Tired legs in the final minutes let the game slip. 

From an on-field perspective, Liam Mulligan added thoughts on the days action. Outlining the physicality Cheadle offered, through a near constant pressure added on and off the ball. Furthermore, Liam picked up on the challenges presented in Cheadle flooding FC Humber’s defensive lines, making it a tough effort particularly when pressured two to one. 

Four games in…

FC Humber are now four games into pre-season, Mark offered his view on the squad’s development thus far. Despite the obvious of only being four games in, all is to be as expected at an early stage. Although, Mark did offer a line on the squad’s improvements from game to game. 

Furthermore, Mark proceeded in commenting on the squad’s abilities in trusting the system more as each game passes. In conjunction with the squad’s trust in the system, Mark added they are becoming more able in following instruction and therefore are becoming harder to beat. 

Further work in training?

In conclusion to the post-match talks, Mark shared his thoughts on a return to the training ground. Mark offered that despite there not being a great deal to take away from the game, there were some aspects to continue working on. Mark outlined the squads content at following the game plan, and utilising it to good effect. 

Further to a return to training, Mark added his desire in the squad’s efforts whilst in and out of possession and plans for problem solving. In a final discussion, Mark shared his thoughts on the continuing training efforts in game management, adding that the club has new members on the coaching staff who offer a new approach through their knowledge of the game and ideas in approaching each game as they come.

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

July 19, 2021