Dronfield Town claimed their fifth win in consecutive games with a 3-1 victory away at Shirebrook Town. The game itself wasn’t a great spectacle but in following the old adage that sometimes you have to win ugly, Dronfield equalled their best ever run in the Northern Counties East League Division One. Goals from Sam Terry, Stuart Hill and Connor Chapell set Dronfield well on their way to the success before Daniel Ramsay claimed a late consolation for the hosts. Dronfield now welcome promotion-chasing Harrogate Railway Athletic to the HE Barnes Stadium on Tuesday evening.
A largely forgettable first half played out as both sides struggled to come to terms with a bobbly surface and a stiff breeze. However, given their recent good form, it was Dronfield who looked the livelier from the kick off.
On seven minutes, Dronfield’s Sam Terry outpaced the Shirebrook defence and despite home keeper Lewis Hall getting a hand to the ball, it was the visitors who took a 1-0 lead.
The same player managed a quick touch and dink over the bar on twenty one minutes following good work by Matty Ord on the left hand side and four minutes later, after Callum Mawbey’s shot was charged down, the ball fell to Danny Wood, whose effort was deflected out of play.
Shirebrook’s first attempt of note came on the half hour mark when Josh Devereux’s twenty five yard free kick sailed comfortably over the bar as the Dronfield bench urged their players to raise standards.
Four minutes from the interval, Shirebrook’s Kieron Sykes Tobin chested the ball down for Josh Parfitt to blast home but the linesman raised his flag for offside, leaving Dronfield with a slight advantage at the break.
Again, there was little quality evident immediately after the break but it was Dronfield who were to build pressure from around the hour mark. Ord beat two men and saw his cross zip across the face of goal on fifty nine minutes and just two minutes later, Wood was put clean through on goal, only to see his effort tipped out for a corner by Hill when he probably ought to have found the net.
The second goal did come on sixty two minutes however when from Ord’s nearside corner, the stooping Dronfield skipper Stuart Hill headed home to make it 2-0.
Both sides made substitutions as the game became fractious following Devereux’s bad challenge on Dronfield’s Jake Hatton but it was the visitors who all but sealed the win on seventy four minutes.
Terry chased what looked like a lost cause down into the corner and his low cross from the right wing was backheeled into the net by Connor Chapell, the ball taking a deflection off Shirebrook captain Ashley Grayson on the way.
Shirebrook got a consolation on eighty four minutes in slightly bizarre fashion. Daniel Ramsay stood the ball up from the right flank and in a rare moment of misjudgement, Lewis Naylor could only tip the ball into the goal.
Having entertained royally in their previous two games, this was a somewhat more attritional win for Dronfield but win they did. Since falling to the bottom of the table back in early October, Dronfield have reversed their fortunes with thirteen wins and four draws to now sit only a single point outside the top ten in twelfth place.
Their good form will be needed again on Tuesday evening when third-placed promotion chasing Harrogate Railway Athletic are the visitors to the HE Barnes Stadium for a 7.45pm kick off.
Shirebrook Town: Hill, Maddocks, Birchall, Devereux S, Grayson, Ordidge R, Sykes Tobin, Ramsay, Parfitt, Devereux J, Johnson. Subs: Ordidge K, Cockburn, Davies.
Dronfield Town: Naylor, Bebbington, Stewart, Gladwin, Hill, Hatton, Chapell, Mawbey, Wood, Terry, Ord. Subs: Hunter, Lester, Knight, Mike Fereday, Mark Fereday.
Photo: Michelle Bell