Dronfield Town beat the frosty weather for a change but had to settle for a point away at Ollerton Town. The momentum Town gained from beating Worsbrough Bridge a fortnight ago dissipated to a certain degree and in the end they returned to North Derbyshire with a useful result against one of the teams in and around them in the NCEL Division One table. Sam Bebbington scored his tenth of the season to give Dronfield a second half lead, which was soon cancelled out by the prolific Gav King for Ollerton. Next up for Dronfield is the visit of fifth-placed Selby to the HE Barnes Stadium next weekend.
The game began in controversial fashion; something that was to be a mark of the officiating throughout the afternoon. One robust challenge in the Dronfield Town box was followed by another – the referee deciding that the tackle on Ollerton’s King was worthy of a spot kick. Jacques Etia stepped up for the home side but his effort was poorly taken and went past Lewis Naylor’s right hand post.
Ollerton did have the ball in the Dronfield goal on sixteen minutes. Etia skipped past several Dronfield challenges and played in King. The regular marksman put the ball into the net from close range, only to see it ruled out for offside by the assistant referee.
Ollerton’s Lewis Murr struck his thirty yard free kick comfortably wide on nineteen minutes and wasn’t until the last fifteen minutes of the half that Dronfield found their regular rhythm.
However, despite the half largely being dominated by the home side, it was relatively low on quality efforts on goal and unsurprisingly ended nil-nil.
The tempo stepped up after the break but chances still proved to be at a premium. Five minutes after the restart, a useful move by Ollerton ended with Murr shooting just wide from the edge of the area.
It was Dronfield who were to take the lead just one minute later. Ethan Flower won the ball in midfield and fed Mark Fereday out on the right. The bustling striker powered on and his ball across goal was finished from close range by a sliding Sam Bebbington for the first goal of the encounter.
Dronfield’s lead was only to last seven minutes however. A free kick that appeared to be awarded without any great degree of contact eventually resulted in a useful ball in from the left by Ollerton, which was deftly turned home by the outstretched boot of King from close range for his seventeenth goal of the campaign.
Dronfield had keeper Lewis Naylor to thank in their quest to take something out of the game. Sam Geeves’ ball in from the right in the seventy eighth minute was met by the glancing header of Murr; Naylor saving excellently at point blank range.
Six minutes from time, Etia was allowed to turn in the box, forcing Naylor to save with his legs from the forward’s effort.
The postponement of the previous week probably didn’t help Dronfield, who had built up quite a head of steam in their last fixture and in truth, a point was a reasonable result, reducing the gap now to just six points on the team one place above, Glasshoughton Welfare.
Dronfield have two games in hand on the sides above them and face another tricky game next Saturday when fifth placed Selby are the visitors to the HE Barnes Stadium.
Ollerton Town: Owen, Geeves, Slack, Stretton, Turner, Murr, Etia, Lumley, King, Grady, Green. Subs: Foster, Shaw.
Dronfield Town: Naylor, Hunter, Wright, Gladwin, Hill, Hatton, Chapell, Rooke, Fereday, Bebbington, Flower. Subs: Lester, Stewart, Terry, Ord.
Photo: Ken Allsebrook