REPORT: Ord brace in vain as Dronfield go down at Parkgate

The battle between the two sides that hadn’t played for 45 and 46 days respectively turned out to be an excellent spectacle for the neutral with home side Parkgate FC running out 3-2 winners over Dronfield Town. An early Parkgate lead was snuffed out by two Matty Ord strikes for Town before a barnstorming finish saw Fred Tracey claim a brace to send the points the way of the Steelmen. Dronfield, tiers and pandemics permitting, now await the visit of second placed Emley early in the New Year.

Dronfield set out an early formation curveball with Billy Wright joining Stu Hill and Alex Pugh as a central defensive three allowing Charlie Stewart and Matty Ord to push on as wing backs. However, it was Parkgate who took the early advantage.

On three minutes, a long ball into the area evaded Ord and fell to Bagley, who slotted home from 6 yards out to give the Steelmen an early lead.

Dronfield gradually built into the game with several patient passing moves, which eventually saw fruition in the 27th minute.

Utility man Sam Bebbington won a useful knock-down header for the on-rushing Matty Ord, who followed up and blasted home from 12 yards to put Dronfield back on level terms.

Lewis Naylor saved well with his feet from Parkgate forward Fred Tracey just past the half hour mark and it was Town who took the lead three minutes later.

Ord received the ball out on the right hand side, cut inside his defender and fired home from the edge of the area for his second of the game.

Dronfield survived some pressure from Parkgate late in the half but were very content with a 2-1 lead going into the changing room at half time.

The second half opened with Lewis Naylor tipping away a curling free kick from the edge of the penalty box by Parkgate skipper Bruno Holden.

Dronfield weren’t overawed – Sam Bebbington continued some excellent pressing work up front, producing a cross that just needed a final touch and just after, setting up Callum Mawbey for a shot that sailed over the bar.

Town managed a further scrambled effort in the 72nd minute – Stewart’s ball in from the left being steered straight at Zac Walker in the Parkgate goal by Mark Fereday before being hacked clear. Connor Chapell picked up an injury in the melee, to be replaced by Jamie Willis.

The momentum seemed to go Parkgate’s way from this point and they got back on level terms after 79 minutes. A ball in from the left was forced home inbetween a sea of bodies, Tracey claiming the final touch to make it 2-2.

Parkgate wrapped up the points three minutes later. Ollie Yates raced down the right flank and his low cross was turned home by a sliding Tracey to spark a pitch invasion by the Parkgate fans with the score at 3-2.

Dronfield committed Mawbey, Ord, Fereday and Bebbington up front but were unable to gain a share of the points that their effort had possibly deserved.

Town skip the round of Boxing Day fixtures and move into the New Year with the visit of second placed Emley AFC on January 2nd, having retained the 14th place they occupied before play began.

Parkgate: Walker, Yates, Staniland, Ward, Crookes, Collinson, Khalifa, Almond, Holden, Tracey, Bagley. Subs: Russell, Simpson, Rippon, Ackroyd, Holland.

Dronfield Town: Naylor, Wright, Stewart, Flower, Pugh, Hill, Chapell, Mawbey, Mark Fereday, Bebbington, Ord. Subs: Fairweather, Gladwin, Willis, Mike Fereday, Bovill.

Attendance: 118

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