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REPORT: Dronfield break losing streak in vital encounter

Updated: Jan 26, 2020

Dronfield Town broke a sequence that stretched back to 3rd December with an important win over Northern Counties East League Division One strugglers Harrogate Railway Athletic.

Town were on a wretched five game losing streak but dug deep into their reserves to pull off a win that sees them climb to 15th in the table. 18 games now remain to keep the momentum going in an upward direction.

Dronfield started with Sam Bebbington, better known as a right back, partnering Danny Wood up front and made himself a nuisance from the off. His claim for a penalty was waived away in the early stages but he soon had a bigger impact on the game.

Bebbington made a neat exchange of passes with Wood in the ninth minute. Wood’s cross from the right saw Bebbington sliding on the floor to give Town the lead.

Rail saw Sykes have a pop from distance that was spilled by Naylor in the Dronfield goal; Harris unable to force the ball home on the rebound.

Wood’s attempt in the 25th minute was beaten away by Lightowler in the Harrogate goal when he may have been better advised to pass and the visitors went up the other end to see Whitehead’s right wing cross just evade the foot of the outstretched Sykes.

Rail led a charmed life on 30 minutes when Lightowler dropped the ball under an aerial challenge from Callum Mawbey. Wood’s subsequent shot was stopped on the line by Harrogate defender Fraser Lancaster.

Town boss Chris Millington had his charges going through their paces on the field at the interval. However, it was Harrogate who were to get back on level terms immediately on the resumption.

A ball in from the left wing evaded the entire Dronfield defence as far as Patrick Sykes on the back post, who levelled for the North Yorkshire outfit.

Dronfield wasted no time in getting back in front. Rail precariously played the ball across the back four as they had done all afternoon allowing the opportunistic Bebbington to nip in and make it 2-1.

Bebbington almost claimed his hat-trick on 62 minutes when a great flick on by Wood saw him place the ball in the back of the net only for the assistant referee to rule it out for offside.

Harrogate continued to press. Kevin Terhaerdt’s twenty yard effort brought out an excellent save from Dronfield’s skipper for the day, Lewis Naylor.

Rail had the ball in the net in the 85th minute. Jassim Alali bundled the ball home but was ruled to have handled in the process.

It was Town who finished the stronger. Wood received the ball in an advanced position and after an attempt by substitute Matty Ord, it was Connor Chappell who fired home at the back post to make it 3-1.

Dronfield wrapped up three very important points one minute into added time as Jamie Willis’ shot was only parried by Elliott Lightowler into the path of Mark Fereday, who made no mistake from close range.

The win sees Town climb two places to fifteenth ahead of another very important road trip to 13th placed Brigg Town next Saturday.

Dronfield Town: Naylor, Wright, Stewart, Rawson, Mintoft, Pugh, Chappell, Willis, Wood, Mawbey, Bebbington.

Harrogate Railway Athletic: Lightowler, Whitehead, Kearsley, Alali, Lancaster, Terhaerdt, Hoare, Ward, Harris, Hunt, Sykes.

Attendance: 89

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