Following a crazy last ten minutes at Armthorpe, Rangers next game was a tough test at Dronfield Town, who are there or there abouts in the league, and if they win their games in hand will be right up there.
With the match hardly underway, the first goal was unlucky, with Rangers trying to keep possession and playing it back, the centre-back got robbed by one of the two excellent strikers. The finish was superb from an acute angle across Dale.
The early goal unsettled Rangers, and for the first 45 minutes, Rangers were being torn apart down the right hand side. All six Rangers players in front of the back four were playing in a very fluid manner that was leaving holes across the pitch. Joel was running his heart out trying to cover the space this was creating in midfield, but with the game so open it was Dronfield who were winning all the first and second balls.
Hindsight is always 20:20, but after surviving a few scares and some poor finishing from Armthorpe last week, it was a bold move to play such an attacking side versus a quality side as Dronfield away from West Street. Dronfield probably created a similar number of chances that Armthorpe did the week before, but they have 3 exceptionally good players upfront and 2 very solid centre-halves. Dronfield’s 2nd goal came again from their right-hand side after again overloading this wing.
Halftime gave Ranger’s Manager, Scott, the time to solve some problems and talk things through with his team. He decided on a change in formation to three center halves, and to add some more energy to the team further back in the park by taking off forward Adam Lee and bringing on right back and utility man, Jack Turnbull. Apart from the quick goal four minutes into the second half that ended the game as a contest, this gave Rangers a solid platform at the back, and something to build on and to start to solve some of the problems posed by Dronfield going forward.
There were some good positives in the second half, with Chaz, who had a difficult first half, with few options ahead of him to distribute the ball to, having a superb second half playing the middle of the 3 centre-backs. A position that has been difficult for Rangers to fill since Manager Scott’s injury. Jack Turnbull also added to the game with his pace, energy and football brain down the right-hand side. Nelly was strangely subdued in this game, and gave way to Tyla Bell with a third of the game to go. Tyla had a good impact upfront, which is another positive to take.
Only two teams have looked better than Ranger’s this season, Borough with their physical approach and this Dronfield team with their quick, committed and skillful football. Away from home against a very good side, sometimes the match just gets away from you. Rangers will have learnt from this game, and remain in a really good position being second in the league. We go again! UTR
Dronfield Town 3 Winterton Rangers FC 0
Cristian Savage 4
Daniel Wood 27, 49
Sat 12th Jan 2018 – Att: 72 (HT 2-0)
Weather: 5C / Damp, light rain second half.
Distance from Winterton: 55 miles – 70 minutes
Match Ratings: Coy, Fisher-Powell, R.Start, Nelthorpe (Bell ’72), Wheeldon, Wressell, Shortland, Broughton, Anderson, Lee (Turnbull 45’), Grimes
Away Ground Rating (6)
Ground Friendliness (8)
Referee & Linesmen (8)