Selby Town FC 7 FC Humber United 3
Despite some heavy rain at The Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium pre kick-off on Saturday (July 3), there was a good crowd of 240 in attendance, all eager for a return to live football after so long without. The appetite for action was well sated by a lively encounter between two teams playing their first pre-season game. As per usual, the first squad featured some names new to the Robins, as well as some old favourites.
Unfortunately, the anticipated return of Liam Flanagan was on hold - one of several early-season injuries. Town were the first to settle, although FC Humber’s George Brown had a dangerous looking cross cut out by the Selby backline. Flynn McNaughton was proving hard to contain, and Selby’s new boy Harry Clapham was soon showing that he was going to give his defenders a torrid time. It wasn’t long before a good run by Flynn McNaughton allowed a ball behind the FC Humber defence, which the speedy Harry Clapham ran onto and calmly planted the ball past the exposed Aiden Smith between the sticks. A moment later, and Flynn McNaughton had a pop at goal only to hit the crossbar.
Later in the first half, almost clean through, Harry Clapham was dragged down, the first of many challenges that might have seen yellow cards, or even worse, in a league match. From one of the frequent free kicks, the Robins extended their lead - Dan Davison meeting a cross with his head to power the ball home. Selby were well on top at this stage, and a series of crosses were causing FC Humber serious difficulties. It seemed only a matter of time before another Town goal arrived. Sure enough, yet another cross found another new boy, Gracjan Klimczak, at the far post. He didn’t need to be asked twice as he deftly registered the first of his hat-trick. Whilst the Robins were in the ascendency, United kept plugging away, and were showing that they’re not to be taken lightly. New centre back, Tom Giblin, needed to be alert to block an FC Humber attack, and the opposition soon got their first score on the board.
A corner ball found its way into Town’s penalty box. The defending was rusty to put it kindly, and Lewis Blackwell had the time and space to rifle the ball home giving Dylan Parkin no chance. Town responded yet again with impressive debutant, Harry Clapham, heading in his second. Almost immediately, Gracjan Klimczak, not wanting to be outshone by his fellow forward debutant, notched his second of the match. Coming back at the Robins again, FC Humber United scored once more, but there was a touch of fortune about the goal. Dylan Parkin claimed a high ball, but a bone-crunching mid-air collision dislodged the ball, leaving the keeper on the ground. The referee saw nothing wrong, and George Brown took advantage of the unguarded Selby net. Still enough time before the break for Selby’s sixth, as a slick move involving Flynn McNaughton, and Harry Clapham, saw Gracjan Klimczak on the end of the cross to seal his hat-trick goal. It didn’t take long after the restart for town to get on the goal trail again. This time a fizzing shot, and well-deserved goal for Flynn McNaughton.
The game was clearly won, so Christian Fox elected to make all his substitutions. FC Humber United had always been competitive, but the substitutions interrupted Town’s attacking flow and allowed the opposition to get on top. FC Humber United made their substitutions too, but their fresh legs seemed to herald a fresh impetus. Several chances were created by United. A little more steadiness in finishing could well have brought them back into the game, but certainly, Dylan Parkin was much busier than in the first-half. At times, the Selby goal led a charmed life as the backline worked hard to keep the opposition at bay. It was almost inevitable that FC Humber United would score, and sure enough, a long-range shot from Szymon Czubika rocketed into the net past the surprised Selby goalkeeper. There was to be no capitulation from the Robins, as they continued to work hard to keep their opposition at bay. The referee brought the game to an early end to allow the crowd to go home happy.
Report by Phil Dearnley and photos by Harvey Brewster.
Selby’s players battle well in the air against FC Humber United. (08-07-26 SU)