Selby Town 3-2 Dronfield Town
Liam Flanagan hit a late winner tinged with huge controversy as Selby Town grabbed their first win of the new Toolstation NCEL Division One campaign.
The striker scored at the second attempt with time running out after his penalty, which had been incorrectly awarded, had been saved.
Selby had surrendered a two-goal lead before a Stuart Hill challenge on Josh Walker outside the penalty area was wrongly deemed to have taken place inside the 18-yard-box.
Dronfield were incensed and the new sin-bin rules were enforced for one of the first times in the NCEL, with Ash Rawson placed under lock and key for the last ten minutes for remarks made during the protests.
It was high octane drama and great entertainment for the crowd. The manner in which the three points were won just took the shine off a deserved victory for Selby.
Christian Fox’s men had the means and opportunities to blow Dronfield away. They just did not take them and they allowed their visitors back into it – and in the end needed a huge stroke of luck.
With the heavy wind on their side, captain Ryan Gothard and Chris Jackson laid the foundations, only for Dronfield’s Danny Wood and Hill to destroy them.
In the first half Dronfield did not look like a side that had won 6-1 on the opening day. Selby’s formidable forward-line of Walker, Jackson and Flanagan constantly opened them up with ease.
The Robins delivered the first blow from a free kick on their right-hand-side. The returning Danny Snaith delicately lifted the ball into the penalty area at the right height for Gothard to head home with power.
More chances followed. Jackson rattled the crossbar, Walker went close before a Jackson penalty doubled the lead. Flanagan had been felled by Rawson and there was no doubt about this one.
Dronfield’s route back began from nowhere. Sam Bebbington found acres of room on the right and it was far too easy for them as the ball was worked into the box for Wood to score with a low drive.
With the wind being to Dronfield’s advantage in the second half, it was a big moment and Selby were made to rue being unable to make the most of their chances and the conditions.
Initially their front three dominated the early part of the second stanza and excellent goalkeeper Naylor kept Dronfield afloat with several saves.
Eventually Dronfield began to assert themselves and to dominate proceedings. The crossbar was hit and a smart save was forced out of Peter Lawrie so an equaliser felt inevitable.
Dronfield duly got it, as almost comical defending enabled Hill to bundle the ball over-the-line from a corner.
It could have gone either way. But fortuitously Selby scored their third goal, with the added bonus of a key Dronfield man in the sin bin for the final act.
Playing against ten men, Selby saw it out fairly straight-forwardly. Fox’s men could have even added fourth as Walker was only denied a certain goal by some heroic last-ditch defending.
Selby Town: Lawrie, Rogerson, Sellers, Carter (Bissett 60), Gothard, Snaith, Jackson, Clamp, Flanagan, Walker, Walker. Subs unused: Woodhead, Lawrence, Anderson.
Dronfield Town: Naylor, Bebbington, Bovill, Rawson (Fereday 90), Mintoft, Hill, Chappell (Wilson 68), Stewart (Pugh 54), Mawbey, Wood, Ord. Subs unused: Flower, Owen.
Who Was In Charge
David Sutton (6/10)
Mr Sutton actually had a decent game and looks a good addition to the band of Division One officials, but obviously the incorrectly awarded penalty does reduce his mark.
How Many Were There
Man of the Match
Luke Sellers (Selby Town)