Dronfield Town secured another very useful point against one of the division’s front runners in Selby Town and were left to ponder whether it might have been more. Selby took a two goal lead midway through the second half but Dronfield’s never-say-die spirit, so prevalent in recent games, saw them equalise with three minutes to go and almost go on to take the win in the dying embers. A tough month of February now awaits, with visits to the top two North Ferriby and Hallam as well as important games against those around them in the table like Glasshoughton and Clipstone.
Dronfield were forced into a late line up change with Regan Rooke coming into the starting eleven for Charlie Stewart with Tom Gladwin slotting into his left back role. The switch didn’t appear to upset their plans however as Danny Wood managed to test Selby keeper Thomas Brown inside the opening minute.
The opening half hour was patchy. Several fouls blown by the officials for seemingly minor offences didn’t allow the game to flow and as a result, neither side really got a grip on the game.
However, it was Dronfield who had the best of the last quarter of an hour of the half. On 32 minutes, Connor Chapell’s inswinging corner from the near side was headed on to the bar by Danny Wood before being scrambled clear by Selby.
Three minutes later, Wood turned his man and fed Chapell, who saw his low strike being smothered by Brown in the Selby goal.
To cap a trio of efforts, Sam Terry’s cross caught the strong winds that punctuated the afternoon and just travelled past Brown’s far post.
Selby’s closest threat to goal came when Liam Flanagan curled a ball into the area that was just missed by the head of his diving strike partner Harry Clapham but the two teams headed to the changing rooms at half time with a 0-0 stalemate.
The second half was anything but dull. Dronfield, playing with the wind, found themselves awarded a free kick fully 35 yards from goal in the 53rd minute. Wood’s piledriver was beaten away to his left by Brown but it signalled a good start to the half for Town.
It was Selby who were to claim the first goal on the hour mark in somewhat controversial fashion. Clapham was adjudged to have been brought down in the box by Dronfield’s Tom Gladwin despite the challenge appearing to have been innocuous. Flanagan stepped up to place the penalty low to Lewis Naylor’s right hand side and give Selby a 1-0 lead.
The penalty upset Dronfield’s momentum and they found themselves 2-0 down six minutes later. Town failed to clear their lines and Daniel Davidson was on hand to force the ball home from close range to double the East Yorkshire sides advantage.
The second half of the campaign has been notable for Dronfield’s never-say-die attitude and they used this spirit to ensure they took something from the fixture. In the 71st minute, Chapell’s cross sat up in the gusts. The Selby defence became static as Owen Lester hit a tame shot goalwards but the visitors inactivity allowed Sam Terry to sweep home from 6 yards out to make it 2-1.
Lewis Naylor kept Dronfield in the hunt, saving well from Davidson’s 12 yard drive in the 76th minute and Town should have levelled matters three minutes later when substitute Matty Ord blazed over the bar with his first touch from Callum Mawbey’s left wing cross.
Dronfield did get the equaliser they deserved three minutes from time however. Danny Wood cut inside his man and unleashed another fierce drive from 20 yards that saw Brown make the save but the ball, with plentiful backspin, continued its journey just inside the post to put Dronfield deservedly on level terms at 2-2.
One point could have been three as Owen Lester blasted over the bar in the dying embers and Callum Mawbey found the side netting in added time but once again Dronfield proved they could mix it with the higher-placed sides in the NCEL Division One table, something that will stand them in good stead ahead of next weekend’s visit to second placed North Ferriby.
Dronfield Town: Naylor, Bebbington, Rooke, Lester, Wright, Hatton, Gladwin, Chapell, Wood, Mawbey, Terry. Subs: Hunter, Furness, Knight, Ord.
Selby Town: Brown, Sheppard, Sellars, Murray, Gothard, Qualter, Davidson, Cooper, Flanagan, Clamp, Clapham. Subs: Vass, Snaith, Ward, Rogerson, Lawman.
Photo: Ken Allsebrook