Dronfield Town went down to a narrow 1-0 defeat away at promotion-seeking Rossington Main. The home side were happy with the points in a fairly uninspiring encounter where clear cut chances were at a premium. Despite the defeat, Dronfield remain in tenth place in the Northern Counties East League Division One with two games remaining. Town wrap up their campaign by welcoming another promotion-seeker, Brigg Town, to the HE Barnes Stadium next Saturday and travel to Hall Road Rangers the following week.
Rossington came out of the traps strongly when former Grimsby Town man Greg Young headed just wide from a first minute corner.
Dronfield replied in kind on nine minutes when Charlie Stewart’s deep in-swinger from the left was headed wide by Sam Bebbington.
Town suffered a major blow on sixteen minutes when leading scorer Callum Mawbey, making his 250th appearance for the first team, was replaced by Regan Rooke through illness.
Neither side really got to grips with a dry and bouncy pitch and a twenty five minute spell ensued where Dronfield defended resolutely against Rossington, who were looking to confirm their place in the playoffs.
Dronfield’s resolve was broken on the forty minute mark however. A Rossington free kick twenty five yards from goal ballooned up in the air off the wall. The ball fell to a grateful Paul Sherburn, who forced it home with the Town defence static expecting an offside decision.
A series of half-chances were created by the home side in the opening stages of the second half. Two minutes after the restart, former Staveley striker Tyla Bell played in Jordan Buckham, whose left footed strike was comfortably claimed by Lewis Naylor in the Dronfield goal.
Rossington’s Jamie Green found himself free down the left on fifty six minutes but his shot curled wide of Naylor’s far post and two minutes after, another Young header was wide of the mark.
Dronfield introduced youngsters Demi Timms and Isaac Knight but the impact of any changes wasn’t felt this time around. Naylor pulled off a good stop to his left from Buckham’s eighteen yard half volley on eighty three minutes and Rossington substitute William Monteiro saw his shot zip past the Dronfield stopper’s right hand post two minutes after.
The game ended disasterously for Dronfield. Central defender Jake Hatton was shown a straight red for raising his boot on Rossington’s Sam Kitchen and as a result will miss the remaining two games of the season.
Dronfield welcome Brigg Town to the HE Barnes Stadium next Saturday with the North Lincolnshire-based side already having qualified for the end of season playoffs. They round off the campaign with a trip to Hull to play Hall Road Rangers on Saturday week.
Rossington Main: Johnson, Sherburn, Green, Kitchen, Mundy, Young, Slater, Deakin, Grayson, Bell, Buckham. Subs: Wharton, Monteiro, McGhie, Hunter.
Dronfield Town: Naylor, Mike Fereday, Stewart, Gladwin, Wright, Hatton, Flower, Mawbey, Bebbington, Terry, Ord. Subs: Knight, Milnes, Rooke, Timms.
Photo: Michelle Bell