In their final week of pre-season, FC Humber welcomed Winterton Rangers to FPH Stadium after Stockport Town unfortunately pulled out of the tie. The last Saturday fixture prior to the season opener at home to Dronfield Town, the NCEL Prem side would offer the hosts their biggest test to date.
As per previous pre-season fixtures for FC Humber, the home tie against Winterton offered onlookers a game of two halves. The opening minutes brought about a physicality as both teams vied for a foothold in the game. However, it would be the hosts who settled first, battling well against their Winterton counterparts.
Opportunity on goal began to flow as the game passed fifteen minutes, yet the deadlock would yet be broken. FC Humber continued their efforts in subduing the visiting Winterton Rangers, battling very well in midfield through the efforts of Cam Hall and Jamie Phillips.
The deadlock was finally broken as the game passed the twenty minute mark, after a moment of frenzy in their own area, FC Humber broke free on the counter until Tom Phillips was brought down midway into the Winterton half. Szymon Czubik volleyed home a lovely finish from the resulting free-kick.
The first forty-five continued mostly in the same manner, both side’s battling extremely well with attacks on goal becoming more frequent as the half wore on. FC Humber could count themselves a tad unlucky prior to the half-time whistle, a chance header from the Winterton attacker clipped the bar subsequently finding its way into the goal.
HT: FCHU 1-1 Winterton
Winterton began the second half quicker of the two as they looked to punish their hosts for the day, however they were unable to find a way through in the early stages. FC Humber did have the ball in the net for a second time through Louis Blackwell, however play was pulled back by the referee, giving an indirect free-kick to the hosts. The resulting effort somehow evaded the goal.
Sadly for FC Humber, signs of a continuation of their first half performance began to fade as the game approached the hour mark. A proverbial smelling of blood from Winterton as they went in for the kill. Subsequently Winterton took the lead as the game passed the hour mark, a lead that was extended to three-one a mere minutes later.
Any hopes FC Humber had of regaining a foothold in the game were shattered in the seventieth minute, Winterton scored their fourth of the afternoon. Unfortunately it would not end there for the host, as Winterton extended their lead to 5-1 in the seventy fifth minute, Aiden Smith was beaten at his near post after a stinging cross in from the right.
Credit to FC Humber, they had an opportunity to pull a goal back minutes late, after a lovely move down the left the ball was fizzed across the face of goal but was unable to find anyone in the middle. That would be about it for FC Humber as Winterton scored their sixth and seventh in the seventy-ninth and eighty-fifth minutes respectively.
There was however, a glimmer of hope for FC Humber United in pulling a goal back in the ninetieth minute only for Cam Hall to be given offside prior to finding the net. Well and truly a game of two halves, a drop of disappointment after a great first half from FC Humber United. Time to reset and go again.
FT: FCHU 1-7 Winterton
As It Happened
A Tale of Two Halves
Previously witnessed in their inaugural fixture against Selby Town, it was once more a game of two halves for FC Humber United. The first half was nothing short of professionalism personified, despite sporadic efforts from Winterton Rangers, FC Humber went about their game befitting of an NCEL Division One team.
Whilst offering an odd patch of nerves, FC Humber defended well when it was required of them. The FC Humber midfield battled extremely well in and out of possession, during the opening forty-five. Cam Hall in particular, offered onlookers a prime example; Battled extremely well and showed great desire in regaining possession for the most part.
However, the second forty-five became something of a nightmare for FC Humber as all their hard work from the opening half slipped away. Subsequently, Winterton made short work of putting FC Humber to the sword, scoring a further six goals with no reply.
Reset the Hard Graft
A true game of two halves, Mark Maspero will take his squad back to the training ground in their final weeks preparation ahead of the season’s start. A sense of resetting and restarting perhaps for the squad. There are plenty of signs coming out of the squad, showcasing how Mark and the coaching staff want the squad to play.
The only way is forward for FC Humber, time to learn, adapt and move on to the next.
Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United