Dronfield Town’s five game unbeaten run came to an end with defeat at home to third-placed Rossington Main. Town fully played their part in an entertaining encounter, taking a first half lead through Sam Bebbington, but two second half Myron Gibbons strikes saw the three points heading back up the M18 to Doncaster. Despite the defeat, Dronfield remain in fifteenth position ahead of another tough game away at Brigg Town next weekend.
Town certainly weren’t overawed by their higher-ranked opponents, taking the game to Rossington from the off.
Just two minutes had elapsed when Callum Mawbey dug out a shot that was saved by Kian Johnson in the Rossington goal and a minute later, the keeper spectacularly tipped over from a twenty yard Sam Bebbington drive that looked goalbound.
Dronfield suffered a blow on nineteen minutes when midfielder Ethan Flower was forced to leave the game through injury to be replaced by Connor Chapell.
It took until the half hour mark for Rossington to even have a sniff of a chance. Richard Henson fumbled a relatively straight-forward claim and Dronfield managed to clear before Rossington’s Josh Yeamons could pounce.
Yeamons had a header saved from a free kick out on the left on thirty two minutes but it was Dronfield who had the stronger finish to the first half.
On thirty nine minutes, Callum Mawbey pounced on a sloppy backpass – his sliding effort appearing to be heading for the net before just grazing the outside of the post and going out of play.
Dronfield did take a deserved lead on forty three minutes however. A jinky Isaac Knight run down the left flank won Town a corner. From Jamie Willis’ delivery, Sam Bebbington rose to head past Johnson and give his side the advantage at the break.
Rossington introduced former Staveley MW striker Tyla Bell at the start of the second half in a bid to get back into the encounter.
Despite this, Town continued to take the game to their visitors. On fifty eight minutes, Bebbington continued to make himself a nuisance up front and from his persistence, Connor Chapell’s left foot shot was saved by Johnson from twelve yards out.
Henson came to the rescue of Dronfield on the hour mark as Myron Gibbons ball from the right found Jamie Green, whose left footed drive was well saved by the legs of Henson.
Rossington got back on level terms in the sixty ninth minute. Continuing the former Staveley connection, Sean Mundy got free down the right and his low cross was finished from six yards out by the onrushing Gibbons, himself a former Staveley striker, to make it 1-1.
The goal proved to be a boost to the visitors with Gibbons coming to the fore increasingly. He was put free from inside his own half on seventy four minutes. Henson raced from his goal to make a crucial stop with his body to keep the scores level.
As Dronfield began to tire from their monumental effort, it was Rossington who claimed all three points with eight minutes to play. Substitute Bell neatly fed Gibbons, who raced on and fired into the top right hand corner to give Main a hard-fought 2-1 victory.
While the result wasn’t in Dronfield’s favour, they could take great heart from the manner of their performance and the fact that they had more than matched one of the division’s frontrunners for long periods. A similar outlook will be required as they head to second-placed Brigg Town next week.
Dronfield Town: Henson, Rooke, Stewart, Willis, Wright, Bovill, Flower, Gladwin, Mawbey, Bebbington, Knight. Subs: Hunter, Mark Fereday, Chapell, Wood, Terry.
Rossington Main: Johnson, Wharton, Green, Conway, Williamson, Young, Mundy, Slater, Gibbons, Deakin, Yeamons. Subs: Hunter, Bell.