REPORT: Three is the magic number for Dronfield

Dronfield Town made it three wins out of three and ten points from the last twelve with another solid display, this time against Shirebrook Town. Two first half Callum Mawbey goals sealed the victory that sees Dronfield jump above their opponents to sixteenth in the Northern Counties East League Division One table. Dronfield’s remarkable rise from the foot of the table to sixteenth inside a month will look to continue with another big game next Saturday on the road at Rainworth.

As might be expected of a game between two sides so close together in the standings, chances were few and far between for the first fifteen minutes. When a chance did come, it was a remarkable individual effort that gave the home side the lead.

Callum Mawbey dispossessed Shirebrook’s Ryan Ordidge just inside the visitors half. He carried on his run goalwards and slotted home low past Lewis Hill to give Dronfield the lead with an outstanding individual move.

The same player gave a hammer blow to Shirebrook seven minutes later. After Sam Bebbington’s flick on, Mawbey ghosted in past a static Shirebrook rearguard and sidefooted home to make it two.

Bebbington chased a lost cause on thirty three minutes and with Shirebrook failing to clear their lines, Sam Terry fired a shot come cross agonisingly across the face of the Shirebrook goal.

Shirebrook came closest to reducing the arrears two minutes later. Brook skipper Ashley Grayson rose highest from a corner on the far side and his header was cleared off the Dronfield line. Despite appeals that the ball had crossed the line, the referee waived away the visiting side’s protests.

On the stroke of half time, Shirebrook’s Josh Devereux managed to get into the Dronfield area, Nathan Jessop eventually shooting just wide from close range as both sides headed to the changing rooms with the score at 2-0.

The second half was less of a spectacle for the viewing neutral but it was clear that home manager Chris Millington would be happier with the eventual outcome.

From the restart, a poor clearance by Shirebrook keeper Lewis Hill fell to Sam Bebbington. Bebbington took the ball on but Hill redeemed himself by saving from the Dronfield striker with his legs.

Shirebrook continued to try and get back into the game. Sam Allcock glanced a header wide from a free kick on the left and Kenan McKenzie-Gray had a shot from the edge of the area comfortably saved by Dronfield stopper Lewis Naylor.

Jessop had an effort on the hour mark similarly saved by Naylor and the Dronfield defence, for whom Billy Wright excelled, cleared a goalmouth scramble on seventy four minutes after Joe Harris’ goalbound attempt.

A minute later, Devereux made a useful run, cutting in from the right hand side but fired high, wide and handsome as Dronfield soaked up everything Shirebrook could throw at them for the remainder of the encounter.

A third consecutive win saw Dronfield climb one place in the table ahead of a visit to twentieth-placed Rainworth Miners Welfare FC. The last month has seen a remarkable turnaround from a side lacking in confidence, to a team with a clear shape, role and plenty of belief. Dronfield Manager Chris Millington vowed that his team would fight for every point and it appears that his men are currently buying into that philosophy in spades.

Dronfield Town: Naylor, Mike Fereday, Stewart, Lester, Hill, Wright, Rooke, Gladwin, Mawbey, Bebbington, Terry. Subs: Mark Fereday, Willis, Flower, Knight, Dawson.

Shirebrook Town: Hill, Radmore, Ordidge K, Grayson, Harris, Ordidge R, Allcock, Kimberley, Jessop, Devereux, McKenzie-Gray. Subs: Eagle, Whitehead, Cockburn, Lannaman, Khan Ehsan.

Attendance: 86

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