REPORT: Well-deserved midweek point secured by Dronfield at Armthorpe

Dronfield Town secured a well-deserved point with a midweek trip to the side that beat them 6-0 earlier in the season, Armthorpe Welfare. The hosts claimed a second half lead through Rhys Plater but inspired by the introduction of Demi Timms from the bench, Town equalised through Captain on the night, Callum Mawbey. The point keeps Dronfield in tenth place in the NCEL Division One ahead of a return to Doncaster on Saturday when they travel to Rossington Main.

The first half was a largely forgettable affair befitting an end of season encounter. Neither side created a significant chance in the opening twenty minutes – Armthorpe seeing Noel Burdett’s attempt going wide of the far post on ten minutes and Jamie Austin blazing over on fourteen.

Town keeper Alfie Milnes was called into action on twenty two minutes. Freddie Russell managed to get a boot on a long ball into the area that was excellently tipped away by young stopper Milnes.

Dronfield came alive from the half hour mark. Tom Gladwin’s backheader from Matty Ord’s corner didn’t test Tom Chambers in the Welfare goal but signalled a revival from the visitors.

On thirty three minutes, a fifty yard run from Callum Mawbey resulted in the club’s top scorer shooting just past Chambers left hand post and a minute before the half time whistle, Sam Bebbington saw his rising shot climb above the Armthorpe crossbar.

The second half was wholly more incident-packed. Dronfield began with purpose when a measured through ball from Ethan Flower found Mawbey, whose shot was tipped round the post by Chambers.

The same player had a gilt-edged chance on fifty one minutes, when he put the ball over the bar from close range with his unfamiliar right foot and the goal at his mercy.

Dronfield were to regret the miss eight minutes later when Armthorpe took the lead. The lively Rhys Plater cut in from the left and slotted low past Milnes to make it 1-0.

A series of baffling calls and non-calls from the officials punctuated the second half and it took another useful tip over the bar from Milnes after Jack Wilson’s strike, with the Town defence rooted expecting an offside decision, to keep Dronfield in the contest.

Dronfield introduced young striker Demi Timms from the bench on seventy three minutes and he was to prove to be the spark that the visitors needed.

Another Town corner produced a scramble in the Welfare box. Timms managed to get off one of two shots that Armthorpe failed to clear and Callum Mawbey made no mistake with the third from close range to level matters at 1-1.

Timms managed another effort soon after and ten minutes from time, Mawbey shot wide of Chambers right hand post with a couple of his team-mates waiting in the area.

The game ended in controversy. A late challenge by Owen Lester sparked a ruckus between the two sides that ended with a pair of yellow cards being shown.

A minute into added time, Timms ended up on the floor sparking another confrontation that again resulted in another pair of cards swiftly brandished by the referee.

The official ended the encounter after three extra minutes, despite expectations from the home side that there would be much longer.

Another useful and deserved point sees Dronfield maintain their tenth place in the table with three games to go. Next up is a return to Doncaster on Saturday as Town travel to promotion-chasing Rossington Main, who are looking to cement their top five playoff berth.

Armthorpe Welfare: Chambers, Shelley, Russell, McEwan, Woodhall, Wilson, Plater, Cooke, Baskerville, Austin, Burdett. Subs: Race, Trueman, Hatton, Varley, Pugh.

Dronfield Town: Milnes, Mike Fereday, Gladwin, Lester, Wright, Hatton, Rooke, Flower, Bebbington, Mawbey, Ord. Subs: Furness, Siddons, Timms, Thorpe, Knight.

Attendance: 88

Photo: Michelle Bell

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