REPORT: Solid win for Dronfield over Clipstone

Another solid win for Dronfield Town left them nicely poised for a climb up the Northern Counties East League Division One as the season enters its latter stages. A brace from Matty Ord and a further strike by Connor Chapell saw Town take a 3-1 win over Clipstone and finally draw level on points with the side just above them, Glasshoughton. Ten games now remain in the 2021-22 campaign for Dronfield to push on up the standings, beginning with a Tuesday evening visit to nearby Teversal.

Town made a positive opening to the encounter when Matty Ord’s left footed strike skipped just past Clipstone keeper Charlie Preston’s left hand post.

Clipstone found their main threats from the long throws of Adam Lillie but it was Dronfield who employed the tactic to good effect on 20 minutes. Ord’s long effort found Jake Hatton, whose backheader was tipped over by the outstretched arms of Preston.

The visitors first real effort on goal came three minutes later as Nathan Moss’ shot went just wide but it was the attacking threat of Dronfield that paid dividends on 29 minutes.

Clipstone were found wanting in midfield, allowing Matty Ord to steal the ball, nip in between the static rearguard and produce an excellent finish from the edge of the area to put Dronfield one goal to the good.

Dronfield had to wait just six minutes to make it two. An outstanding move that looked straight off the training ground saw Sam Bebbington, Ethan Flower and Connor Chapell deliver incisive passes before Chapell squared to Ord to tap in and make it 2-0.

Three minutes from half time, Bebbington blazed wide cutting in from the right hand side but Town remained happy with their two goal advantage at the break.

Three good chances at the start of the second half appeared to confirm Dronfield’s continuing dominance. Captain for the day, Ethan Flower drove just over the bar two minutes in, followed by Mark Fereday stinging the palms of Clipstone stopper Preston. Finally, Flower saw Preston tip his attempt from the edge of the area round the post.

Despite the bright start, it was Clipstone who got back into the game, somewhat against the run of play. Another Lillie long throw was met by a spectacular overhead kick from Darragh Roche. The ball appeared to take a deflection off a Town player and crept agonisingly past Alfie Milnes in the Dronfield goal to make it 2-1.

Clipstone were visibly buoyed by this potential way back into the game but it was Dronfield who continued to have the better efforts on goal. On 67 minutes, Flower had a 25 yard free kick tipped round the post by Preston and from the resulting corner, Bebbington’s header skimmed the crossbar.

Dronfield restored their two goal advantage on 73 minutes. Good work by Bebbington on the right hand side saw the ball played inside to Connor Chapell, who made no mistake from around 12 yards out to put Town 3-1 to the good.

A final fling from Clipstone saw Francis Finneran cut in from the right flank and his low left footed curling effort was excellently tipped round the post by Dronfield’s young keeper Milnes on 78 minutes.

Dronfield almost made it four 7 minutes from time when Ord’s left wing cross was headed on to the bar by Chapell but in truth, the final 3-1 scoreline reflected a solid afternoon’s work for the Derbyshire side.

Town now draw level on points with 14th placed Glasshoughton due, in no small part, to the outstanding efforts of the younger members of their side with several players unavailable. The value of having such a talented squad will again be important as Town travel to bottom side Teversal on Tuesday evening, looking to continue their rise up the table.

Dronfield Town: Milnes, Mike Fereday, Hunter, Lester, Gladwin, Hatton, Chapell, Flower, Mark Fereday, Bebbington, Ord. Subs: Furness, Thorpe, Terry, Knight, Wright.

Clipstone: Preston, Wright, Clarke, Roche, Hextall, McGowan, Moss, Appiah, Royle, Finneran, Lillie. Subs: Hardwick, Whitton, Pickering, Murphy.

Attendance: 103

Photo: Michelle Bell

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