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REPORT: Dronfield claim important win over determined Ollerton

Dronfield Town claimed an important three points with a hard-fought 1-0 win over a belligerent Ollerton Town side. Ollerton, who have recently seen former manager Stephen Bodle depart for Shirebrook Town along with a large proportion of the squad, rang the changes from the side that lost 10-0 in midweek at Parkgate. Despite the behind-the-scenes turmoil, stand-in Ollerton manager Richard Walker got the best from his charges, who also had Tishaun Brown dismissed for a second bookable offence early in the second half. It was Dronfield’s Sam Bebbington, who secured the win for the Derbyshire outfit with a 77th minute penalty ahead of the midweek visit of Brigg Town to the HE Barnes Stadium.

Just two players remained from the Ollerton side that was humbled by Rotherham-based Parkgate in midweek. Former Dronfield Town defender Will Hunter took the captain’s armband and outfield player Callum Kniveton donned the keeper’s jersey as the Notts outfit cancelled their reserve fixture in order to fulfil the game at the HE Barnes Stadium.

Dronfield found success down the right flank in the early stages, spending long spells in the Ollerton half as the visitors defended physically and robustly.

Kniveton was first called upon on 13 minutes when he made a terrific save to his left hand side from Mike Fereday’s 20 yard free kick.

Just two minutes later, Callum Mawbey’s dead ball from the right saw Sam Bebbington heading over as the hosts struggled to convert dominance into clear cut chances.

Dronfield suffered a blow after 19 minutes when recent signing Cameron Hill was forced to leave the field through injury to be replaced by fellow striker Matt Crowe.

Ollerton created a couple of reasonable chances of their own through Tishaun Brown and Josh Brentnall but it was Brown who was to walk a disciplinary tightrope, picking up a yellow card following a series of robust challenges.

Kniveton made another fine save from Dronfield’s Jake Hatton out of Callum Mawbey’s inswinging corner and the home side had possibly the best chance of the half when Bebbington failed to connect from 6 yards out with the goal at his mercy.

Substitute Matt Crowe fired past the post as the last act of a first half where Dronfield dominated but failed to convert against a determined Ollerton rearguard.

That pattern continued into the second 45 minutes. Isaac Knight, making a start for Dronfield alongside brother Cameron, brought out another fine save from Kniveton with his legs, Bebbington stabbing the ball back into the grateful stand-in keeper’s arms from the rebound.

Just short of the hour mark, Bebbington placed his stooping header wide from close range when he potentially had time to bring the ball down with his feet but it was Ollerton who were to suffer a hammer blow just moments later.

Tishaun Brown was adjudged to have fouled Dronfield’s Cameron Knight and having already collected a yellow card in the first half, was given his marching orders.

Ollerton left Josh Brentnall as their lone striker and packed their defence in a bid to get something from a game where they had battled so determinedly.

Kniveton’s extraordinary performance in goal continued, saving to his left from Matt Crowe and then tipping the ball out of play from Callum Mawbey’s left footed strike that looked destined for the top corner of the net.

Ollerton’s resolve finally ran out in the 77th minute. A drive into the box from Cameron Knight, who put up a superlative display in the Dronfield midfield, saw the youngster upended with the referee immediately pointing from the spot. Sam Bebbington stepped up and sent Kniveton the wrong way to give Dronfield a decisive 1-0 lead.

The scoreline remained the same for the conclusion of the game. Given a tumultuous couple of weeks, Ollerton could be proud of the workrate and effort of their side. For Dronfield, a pleasing three points sees them climb to 12th in the Northern Counties East League Division One table, still ten points clear of the relegation zone with eight games left to play.

Dronfield welcome 7th placed Brigg Town to the HE Barnes Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Dronfield Town: Naylor, Riley, Gladwin, Fereday, Wright, Hatton, C Knight, Mawbey, Bebbington, C Hill, I Knight. Subs: Adams, Crowe, Benson, Rooke, S Hill.

Ollerton Town: Kniveton, Hunter, Mendes, Walker, Lowe, Hamnett, Cockburn, Bletcher, Brentnall, Bell, Brown. Subs: Sibthorpe, Thomas-Boswell, Clayton, Jordan, Orme.

Attendance: 72

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