Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Selby Town 1 v Dronfield Town 0 - NCEL Division 1

Tuesday 11th October 2016
Toolstation NCEL Division 1
The Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium, Richard Street, Selby
Selby Town (0) 1
Scott Jones 90+3
Dronfield Town (0) 0
Admission £5 Programme £1.50 Attendance 111
In days of old when Knights were bold and King Coal was still a merry olde soul, a 16 year old management trainee (AKA me) was offered a very generous package by the National Coal Board, to relocate to the booming Selby Coalfield after being shown plans for the future of the mining industry, that encompassed 'super pits' in the area, boasting sufficient coal reserves to sustain maximum productivity for the next three centuries. Apparently.
Alas, when it comes to political nous, there are a lot of people in this country who have a disturbingly small capacity for looking at the bigger picture before putting a X in a box... and the day before I actually left school, somebody, or some thing, called Margaret Thatcher was elected into government and spitefully set out to destroy the industrial landscape as we knew it and ruin the lifetime prospects of working class people who wanted to better themselves for generations to come. The rest is history.
Selby, like so many other communities was never going to be allowed to prosper, because it isn't in the Tory heartlands.
Suffice to say: I never moved their, but the Robins very nearly became my local team back in the day.
If you ever get the inclination to visit Selby Town FC, I would advise that you should arrive early to afford yourself the time to browse through the Aladdin's cave of treasures and bargains, to cater for all tastes, stocked in their thriving club shop. 
If there is another shop with such a vast array of desirable purchases in the NCEL, then I must have missed it on my travels.
Selby just about shaded the first half, by virtue of getting the ball into the last third more often than their visitors, with attacking right back Craig Maynard seemingly pivotal to a lot of their forward movement, operating out on the left flank.
But in Richard Mintoft and Tom Fairweather, Dronfield had a centre half pairing, who didn't shirk a single tackle or defensive header all night. And as a consequence, it wasn't until the third minute of stoppage time right at the end of the game, that the Robins finally punctured the Derbyshire side's rearguard.
Craig Butler's side must've been gutted to concede so late in the day, but they had been under the cosh for the majority of the second half and although they battled resolutely and absorbed a lot of pressure, I would imagine that the home side would have been equally frustrated if they didn't take all three points from the game, after dominating most the game after the half time interval.
The Robins haven't conceded a goal in four games and tonight's win took their unbeaten run to seven games as they climbed up to sixth in the table, which after last season's change to the league format, now constitutes a play off berth.
The two first real chances of the game fell to Selby and they were both the consequence of Maynard getting forward on the right wing and delivering quality crosses;the first one fell to Jason Crisp, who was unlucky to see his shot from twenty yards clear the crossbar and the second saw Gary Lumley direct a downwards header wide of the left hand post.
Ryan Ruddiforth was trying to get some momentum going for the visitors down the right flank but James Arnold was keeping a close watch on him.
Maynard found Scott Jones with his back to goal on the edge of the area with a diagonal pass and his shot on the turn was only a matter of inches wide of the upright.
Dronfield won a free kick out on  the right wing and Jack Stocks was forced to clear the ball away from danger at the expense of a corner from Harley Wilson's delivery.
Carlton Dickinson connected with the flag kick, but Peter Lawrie pulled of a great save.
Moments later Callum Mawbey set Dickinson up for another attempt, but Lawrie did well to deny him again.
The visitors advanced forward again, but when Fairweather launched a long free kick into the area towards Blake Owen, Lawrie was fouled and the chance amounted to nothing.
Stocks blocked Owen's shot, but (H) Wilson put the ball behind from the resulting corner.
With half time approaching, Lawrie saved with his feet from Jamie Willis, Selby countered and Joe Taylor did well to prevent the home side from taking the lead, as Jones broke free and kept his shot on target.
Mintoft floated a long free kick to Fairweather, who directed his header just over Lawrie's goal and in stoppage time Dickinson held the ball up on the ege of the area before rolling it into the path of Owen, who was denied by another good stop by Lawrie.
HT: 0-0
Dronfield had a lot of possession in the first half, but Selby turned the game on it's head after the break and mounted a relentless bombardment of the visitors goalmouth.
Mintoft cleared the ball as an all hands to the pumps situation unfolded in front of the visitors goal, but Jones charged down the ball and went close from six yards.
Will Ramsay saw off a tackle before crossing to Crisp who shot over, while Ramsay himself was denied by a good reflex save by Taylor from Arnold's cross shortly afterwards.
Taylor was called into action again just moments later, when he needed to push Ward's effort around the post.
Selby poured men forward and penned the visitors back in their own area with a series of aerial raids, but found Mintoft and Fairweather to be a formidable barrier, winning a string of challenges and last ditch headers.
Maynard pushed his way into the visitors area and squezzed the ball through the scrum into the path of Ramsay, who couldn't quite get a touch, with the goal at his mercy.
 combination of Mintoft and Fairw4ather's 'never say die' determination, Taylor's agility and some bad luck in fron of their visitors goal for Selby, saw the game heading for a goalless draw. The point apiece would have been hard won and highly deserved by both teams, though probably for completely different reasons as regards the second half juxtaposition of the action.
However, right at the end of the second half (and then some), Liam Flanagan made some space as he stormed into the left hand side of the visitors goal area, before thumping the ball across the six yard box, where Scott Jones reached it with his right foot, at full stretch, as he slid in to divert it into the goal before it reached the visitors keeper, Joe Taylor, who had just pulled off two quite magnificent saves, both of which thwarted Flanagan, in stoppage time.
What an  agonising way to lose a game of football, that must have been for a very hardworking Dronfield side.
But credit where it's due, Selby mounted wave upon wave of attacks after the break and never let up right until the final whistle... and ultimately, that is why they claimed all three points.
FT: Selby Town 1 v Dronfield Town 0
A thoroughly enjoyable game to watch all told.