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REPORT: Wood hat-trick fires Dronfield to sixth win in eight


Dronfield Town made it six wins in eight games, coming out on the high side of an eight goal thriller against FC Humber United. The returning Danny Wood was the hat-trick hero for Town, who led 5-2 before a late consolation for the visitors. Dronfield remain in fifteenth place in the Northern Counties East League Division One table but crucially have closed the gap down to seven points on fourteenth-placed Parkgate FC. The final game before the Christmas break is another important one as the Derbyshire side make the short journey across to Swallownest FC, the side currently in nineteenth.


Town re-jigged their forward line in the absence of eight goal top scorer Sam Bebbington and got off to the best possible start through his replacement, Danny Wood. Connor Chapell’s near side inswinging corner was met by Wood’s head at the far post to give Dronfield a sixth minute lead.


It took Humber thirteen minutes to record an attempt on goal. Luke Sidaway down the left channel managed to bring off a close range save to Lewis Naylor’s left hand side but by and large, it was Dronfield who dominated the opening half.


Ethan Flower produced a low drive from the edge of the area on fourteen minutes that just evaded David Howard’s far post and on the twenty minute mark, the lively Szymon Czubik was allowed to carry the ball into the Dronfield half with his shot from distance just going wide.


Town doubled their advantage on twenty two minutes. Connor Chapell fed Charlie Stewart on the left flank, whose pinpoint cross was met by the head of an un-marked Callum Mawbey to make it 2-0.


Nine minutes before half time, Stewart’s overhead clearance out of defence found Wood, who in turn fed Sam Terry; his snap shot going over the bar from around twelve yards out.


A lapse saw FC Humber United pull one back on forty minutes. Sidaway got free in the Dronfield box and squared for Czubik, who had the relatively easy task of turning the ball home from six yards out to make it 2-1 going into the break.


Town restored their two goal advantage ten minutes after the restart. Sam Terry raced past his man down the right wing and his shot was turned out by Howard for a corner. Another inswinging Chapell delivery saw Mawbey connecting with his head once again as the score became 3-1.


For all Dronfield’s dominance, it was Humber who again got back into the contest on 72 minutes. Brandon Burke found himself in acres of space at the top of the Dronfield penalty area and finished clinically into the bottom corner from twenty yards out to leave the score at 3-2.


The Humber comeback was brief as just a minute later, Dronfield got their fourth. The ball was headed down at the far post and Town’s Danny Wood did well to get over the top of the bouncing ball and guide it into the goal to make it 4-2.


Wood was to claim a fine hat-trick with ten minutes to go. Dronfield won a free kick some thirty yards from the Humber net. Wood stepped up with a piledriver that went through Howard’s hands in the wet conditions and into the net for the striker’s third and Dronfield’s fifth of the encounter.


Humber claimed a consolation goal three minutes into added time. Substitute Sebastian Losa picked the ball up in midfield and carried it forward before firing past Naylor from the edge of the area to conclude the scoring at 5-3.


The win was possibly more comfortable than the scoreline suggested for Dronfield but 113 spectators were treated to an entertaining afternoon of football, well officiated by the referee Waqar Ahmad and his assistants, Tom Barney and George Barber.


Town play their final game before the Christmas break on the road at Swallownest, looking to add to their current 23 points, which includes 18 taken from the last eight fixtures.


Dronfield Town: Naylor, Hunter, Stewart, Rooke, Gladwin, Wright, Chapell, Flower, Mawbey, Wood, Terry. Subs: Fairweather, Siddons, Mike Fereday, Willis, Knight.


FC Humber United: Howard, Czubik, Wileman, Durkin, Allen, White, Hallows, Gascoigne, Blackwell, Sidaway, Burke. Subs: Binsley, Losa, Baxter.


Attendance: 113

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