REPORT: Dronfield let lead slip on night of drama

Updated: Aug 21, 2019

Dronfield Town broke Retford FC’s astonishing fourteen game winning streak but were left to rue what might have been after an added time equaliser.

Town were utterly dominant, going four goals up by half time but crumbled under pressure from ten man Retford in the second half as they let two points slip.

After an even first ten minutes, Dronfield’s midfield asserted themselves on the game to tremendous effect.

Sam Bebbington’s long range shot was spilled by experienced Retford stopper Jon Kennedy as far as Stuart Hill, who was able to stab home to give the visitors the lead.

Town’s dominance continued in the 17th minute when Bebbington and Wood exchanged passes down the right hand side; Wood delivering a pinpoint cross for Bebbington to head home.

A shell-shocked Retford were rocked even further on twenty two minutes when Ethan Flower curled a free kick from the right hand side just inside Kennedy’s near post to give Dronfield a three goal cushion.

And the rout continued on thirty two minutes when Billy Wright’s deep cross from the left was met by Bebbington’s diving header to make it four; Adam Scott for Retford departing to the sin bin as tempers became frayed.

Things went from bad to worse for Retford at the beginning of the second half. Haydn Goddard went to the sin bin as Retford’s frustrations continued and in the 51st minute. Josh Street then saw red for a diabolical tackle on Dronfield youngster Ethan Flower.

Town withdrew Billy Wright, Lawrie Wilson and Matty Ord with a shade under half an hour still to play and Retford sensed a way back into the contest.

Leading scorer Shay Evans-Booth pulled one back with a 20-yard free kick that curled round the wall on seventy minutes.

Jack Johnson further reduced the arrears eight minutes later, bursting into the area and firing low and hard past Lewis Naylor in the Dronfield goal.

Dronfield’s nerves told on the 84th minutes when they gave up another free kick again 20-yards from goal that Evans-Booth this time dispatched over the wall and past a static Naylor.

The momentum was well and truly with the ten man home side by this point and three minutes into added time, Dronfield failed to clear their lines and Johnson was again on hand to stab home and secure an unlikely point for his high-flying Retford team.

Manager Chris Millington must now pick his side up for the visit of lowly Glasshoughton Welfare to the HE Barnes Stadium this coming Saturday.

Retford FC: Kennedy, Knowles, Goddard, Severn, Tomlinson, Burgin, Scott, Bilham, Evans-Booth, Street, Johnson.

Dronfield Town: Naylor, Bebbington, Wright, Rawson, Pugh, Hill, Flower, Wilson, Owen, Wood, Ord.

Attendance: 152

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