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REPORT: Dronfield climb off the foot of the table in six goal thriller

Dronfield Town climbed off the foot of the Northern Counties East League Division One table by coming from behind away at Clipstone to secure a draw in a six goal thriller. A brace from the returning Sam Bebbington and a last minute screamer from Tom Gladwin secured a share of the points that was thoroughly deserved from another hard-working Dronfield display. Hosts Clipstone had taken a 3-1 lead mid-way through the second half but some ‘never say die’ spirit from their Derbyshire opposition ensured an exciting end to the contest. Dronfield now exchange places with their opponents next week, Teversal.

Dronfield employed an attacking formation from the off and it almost paid dividends on four minutes when Charlie Stewart’s free kick fell to Sam Terry, who was ruled offside as Clipstone keeper Sam Ogden charged down his shot.

Clipstone’s first attempt on goal came on 13 minutes when Joe Massey fired wide with his left foot from twelve yards out but it was Town who were to take a twenty third minute lead.

Skipper for the day Callum Mawbey fed Sam Terry out on the right flank and his low cross was sidefooted home by an onrushing Sam Bebbington to make it one nil to the visitors.

Dronfield’s lead lasted a mere three minutes. A fortuitous rebound off Town’s Billy Wright fell to Clipstone’s Dec Sorrell, who curled home a decent left footed finish to bring the home side level.

Dronfield recovered to finish the half strongly. On thirty five minutes, Mark Fereday crashed a shot against the foot of the post with Terry’s close range follow up being blocked by Clipstone stopper Ogden.

Three minutes later, Ogden was deceived by the steepling bounce on the hard surface but Fereday was unable to keep his shot down; the home side relieved that the attack had come to nothing.

Dronfield were equally keen after the restart. The opening minute of the second half saw Bebbington’s close range header from Stewart’s corner cleared off the line by a Clipstone defender and ten minutes in, Fereday’s flick on found Terry who placed his low shot straight at Ogden with Bebbington invitingly in space.

Despite the visitors holding the upper hand, it was Clipstone who were to take a 2-1 lead on the hour. Jake Holt rose to head home from a corner on the far side in as straight-forward a goal as you are ever likely to see.

The home side were clearly buoyed by this reversal of fortunes and on sixty six minutes, substitute Josh Ing beat the offside trap but placed his shot against the post in the face of good work from Dronfield stopper Richard Henson, who narrowed the angle instinctively.

However, things went from bad to worse as Clipstone got a third on seventy one minutes. The home side cut through the Dronfield rearguard rather too easily with Jack Lowe nipping in to slot home past Henson at 3-1.

Potentially, the game looked dead and buried but the home side hadn’t reckoned on the comeback to follow. Good work by substitute Ross Dawson saw the ball come to Sam Bebbington, who rifled home from twelve yards out to set up an intriguing last ten minutes.

Going into the final minute, a long ball forward by Stewart fell to Tom Gladwin, himself a second half substitute, at the top of the area to smash home with his favoured left foot and send the Dronfield following into raptures.

The 3-3 draw sees Dronfield move off the foot of the table into twentieth place, exchanging positions with Teversal FC. Ironically, another huge game awaits Dronfield next Saturday when Teversal are the visitors to the HE Barnes Stadium.

Clipstone: Ogden, Blackbourn, Carrington, Mullins, Holt, Whitton, Hextall, Heather, Sorrell, Massey, Pickering. Subs: Lowe, Ing, Wright, Barnard, Foster.

Dronfield Town: Henson, Rooke, Stewart, Wesley, Wright, Bovill, Bebbington, Lester, Mawbey, Fereday, Terry. Subs: Knight, Gacita, Gladwin, Dawson, Savage.

Attendance: 52

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