A fourth win in as many games was a most satisfactory outcome for Dronfield Town as they headed over to Rainworth MW FC. Callum Mawbey’s double, either side of a reply from Rainworth’s Morgan Boyle saw Town pick up their thirteenth point from the last five games and climb into fifteenth in the Northern Counties East League Division One table. The win came at a crucial time, ahead of games against high-flying Rossington Main and Brigg Town in the next couple of weeks.
Dronfield were somewhat under-manned, making five changes from the previous week’s victory over Shirebrook Town. The first half saw Chris Millington’s men playing into a stiff wind and after weathering the first ten minutes, it was the Derbyshire side who were to claim the first chance of note.
A right wing corner was met by a bullet header from skipper Stuart Hill that was tipped over by Warren Squires at point blank range in the Rainworth goal.
The fifteen minute mark saw Dronfield take the lead. Ethan Flower’s left footed effort from the edge of the area could only by parried by Squires straight into the path of Callum Mawbey, who made no mistake from close range.
Rainworth built their way back into a fairly even first half. Curtis Williamson curled a shot wide on twenty four minutes and a minute later, Aaron Hewitt’s low left footed shot was saved by Dronfield’s assistant manager and keeper for the day Nick Siddons.
Siddons wasn’t able to stop the home side getting on level terms in the twenty seventh minute however. A long ball out of defence was latched on to by Rainworth’s Morgan Boyle. Siddons came racing out of his goal but Boyle was able to slide his shot past him to make it 1-1.
A Nathan Benger strike from eighteen yards was parried away to his right by Siddons on thirty four minutes after Williamson had managed to feed him by holding off the attentions of Arran Bovill and with three minutes to go before half time, Dronfield squandered a gilt-edged chance.
Isaac Knight’s low left wing cross found Ethan Flower, who scuffed his close range effort, allowing Squires to turn the ball around the post.
Chances were at a premium early in the second half and it was Aaron Hewitt’s right wing cross that fizzed across the goalmouth on fifty seven minutes with no Rainworth player able to make the decisive connection.
Callum Mawbey, who once again led the line excellently, managed a shot from distance out on the right hand side that Squires just managed to tip past the outstretched leg of Dronfield’s Sam Bebbington but it only took another two minutes until Dronfield claimed a decisive lead.
The clock ticked to seventy five minutes when Mawbey managed to beat the offside trap and fire low through the legs of Squires from just inside the penalty box to put Dronfield in front by 2-1.
Town custodian Nick Siddons came to his side’s rescue a further two times before the conclusion of the game. On seventy nine minutes, Hewitt’s short free kick to Coupe caught Dronfield unawares; Siddons having to make a low save with his body.
In the final minute, Rainworth substitute Lucas Cotterill broke free, Siddons this time making a fine save to his right to ensure that the three points headed back to S18.
Given the numerous changes to the team and another opponent in the lower reaches of the table, it was a welcome three points from another hard-working Dronfield display. The next two weeks see games against the teams in third and second place in the league respectively and the levels of effort and commitment will need to be equally as high if the recent excellent run is to continue.
Rainworth MW: Squires, Coupe, Wootton, Smith, Radford, Fisher, Boyle, Baxter, Benger, Williamson, Hewitt. Subs: Cotterill, Williams, Hardman, Watts.
Dronfield Town: Siddons, Mike Fereday, Stewart, Willis, Hill, Bovill, Flower, Gladwin, Mawbey, Bebbington, Knight. Subs: Rooke, Wood, Dawson, Naylor.