Two goals saw Dronfield win the ‘Battle Of The Quagmire’ against visiting Teversal in the NCEL Division One on Saturday.
Credit must go to Dronfield for even getting their pitch ready for a game of football though some would argue it wasn’t suitable for playing football on.
The home side dominated from start to finish with their direct approach, so it was no surprise they managed to take all three points.
It was clear from the off that there was not much football going to be played on a surface more suitable to growing rice.
So the industrious home side took immediate charge and their direct approach soon had the visitors on the back foot.
Ironically it was Teversal who had the first opportunity to take the lead when they worked the ball forward with Oli Wood releasing his strike partner Burrell.
He broke clear, firing in an effort that saw Siddons smother as he raced off his line to make an excellent save in only the second minute.
A minute later Dronfield created their first opening of note with Doran holding up one of those long punts before spreading the ball out to Danny Wood, who fired a looping effort from the right that dropped to hit the back of the bar without putting Brooks in the Tevie goal under any pressure.
This became a source of pressure for the hosts and Danny Wood did manage to get in behind the visitors’ defence only for Brooks to be big and brave and collect the ball at the feet of the Dronfield wide man in an heavy coming together.
On 15 minutes, the game turned ugly when Dickinson put in a solid challenge on Maubey, but, due to the conditions, went through the player with the slide after making the challenge.
A free kick was awarded and a yellow card shown, but what followed saw Whitehead run 20 yards to aggressively shove Dickinson in the face and back to the floor as he was getting to his feet.
The obvious gathering of handbags followed and, when it all settled, a straight red card should have been issued to the Dronfield midfielder, not a yellow.
The pattern of the game continued with Dronfield getting the ball forward, the Tevie rearguard clearing and it coming straight back.
But, on possession, the home side were not creating enough clear cut chances to put a scoreline on the game that their dominance should have done.
The best effort of note in the first period came when Wood found time and space on the right again and was thwarted by Brooks before laying back to Marples, who fired an effort that Cox headed clear from in front of his own goal.
Marples was then involved in the second flashpoint of the game when Dickinson put in another thunderous challenge, but again took the player after sliding through on the very wet surface.
Again the Dronfield players took the focus by overacting and created further issues for the referee with Marples violently throwing the ball to the back of Dickinson’s head.
Teversal must have feared the worse as Dickinson could and possibly should have received his second yellow card, but Marples like his team mate Whitehead was very lucky to get away with a yellow card instead of the straight red his actions deserved.
The visitors did manage to create one further opportunity of note in the first period when Wilson and Barke combined with the latter crossing to find Robinson, whose effort was blocked and went out for a corner that led to nothing and a score line of 0-0.
The second half continued in the same vein and it really wasn’t a great game, clear to see it was only going to be settled by hard work and commitment and not football ability. So credit to the home side that they more than beat their guests on that front.
To get their reward the home side had to score and on 53 minutes they did so when Wood was found out on the right before finding Doran, who rounded the advancing Brooks to slot home to make it 1-0.
Teversal then sparked into life and on 67 minutes really should have been back on level terms.
Cox, who had moved into midfield, played in a great ball to release Dickinson, who took the ball in his stride wide just inside the 18 yard box before rounding the home keeper and, with two Dronfield players tracking back to get on the goal line, Dickinson fired what looked a certain equaliser high over the bar.
Teversal were now having their best spell of the game but like their hosts were not creating enough chances for the possession they were having.
In all fairness they only created one other effort of note when the only patient passing move of the game saw Cox with time and space to unleash a superb strike that looked destined for the top corner, but Siddons produced an equally impressive save at full stretch to his left to get a solid hand to the ball to parry it over the bar.
Dronfield sealed the win with an exquisite 88th minute strike from Richie Marples, who picked the ball up out on the left of the 18 yard box to curl an effort out of Brooks’ reach and into the top corner to put a 2-0 scoreline on a game that will soon be forgotten by all those who had to witness it.
Teversal must put in a much improved performance when they travel to face Shaw Lane Aquaforce on Tuesday, 25th February with a 7.45pm kick off, then on Saturday they entertain Dinnington Town with a 3pm kick off. Both games are in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Division One.
DRONFIELD TOWN: Nick Siddons, Liam Hogg, Joe Butler, Ash Rawson, Richard Mintoft, Callum Maubey, Dan Wood, Steve Whitehead (Daniel White 73), John Doran, Nick Horsfield (Lewis Naylor 66), Richie Marples. Subs not used: Trevor Roberts, Adam Fordham, Mitchell Clarke.
TEVERSAL: Ryan Brooks, Brad Cox, Danny Barke (Will Harcourt 45), Greg Tobin, Jacob Ashley, Jordan Schofield, Mark Robinson, Sean Dickinson (Kurt Bamford 85), Oli Wood, Triston Burrell, Danny Wilson. Subs not used: Mark Walker, Craig Newton.
REFEREE: Lee Freeman of South Yorkshire. ATTENDANCE: 53.
TEVERSAL MAN OF MATCH: Jacob Ashley.