Glapwell go top of the league!
Glapwell went to the top of the table for the first time season as they recorded their seventh straight victory with a 3-1 win at Dronfield Reserves.
It is, in fact, the first time that Glapwell have topped any league they have played in for 12 years, or 4224 days to be precise, and it comes off the back of their seventh straight league victory which is also the club’s best run of league form for eight years.
Again, Glapwell were able to stick with a settled side although Adam Kimberley returned to the starting line-up with Tom Norris ruled out with the hamstring injury picked up the week previous.
On the 3G pitch at Gosforth Fields, Glapwell started the game well enough and had a couple of half chances with Josh Parfitt seeing a shot blocked by a home defender before Lee Naughton headed over after the defence had failed to clear a corner.
Patient build-up play down the right set up another chance as Daniel Russell got around the back of the defence but could only head at home keeper Chris Conroy from Adam Kimberley’s cross from the right.
But, Glapwell were in front on 11 minutes when Lee Naughton played a great ball over the top to Josh Parfitt who dinked the ball over Conroy from the edge of the area for his 15th goal of the season.
Early goals have been a big part of Glapwell’s recent form although they could have been pegged back eight minutes later when defensive hesitation allowed in Charles Bradwell but Glapwell were thankful that his effort crashed back off the post and into the grateful hands of Ryan Hopkins.
Glapwell’s foothold on the game was dramatically improved on 25 minutes when their lead was doubled and the home side were reduced to ten men in the same incident.
A weak back pass was intercepted by Josh Parfitt who rounded the home keeper and was bought down inside the area, the referee decided that Conroy was the last man and perhaps, slightly harshly, gave him a straight red card.
Dronfield were forced to put an outfield player in goal with Tyrone Parkin taking up that challenge but he could do nothing about Parfitt doubling Glapwell’s advantage from the spot.
Glapwell were now coasting and their lead could have been even greater just after the half hour when another poor back pass allowed in Daniel Russell down the right but the angle was just a little bit too tight as he fired into the side netting.
Just before the break, further defensive disaster almost followed for the home side as two defenders collided into each other with Adam Kimberley picking up the loose ball and he squared it into the middle to the unmarked Josh Parfitt whose shot was blocked by stand-in keeper Tyrone Parkin.
Glapwell made a change at the break with Mitchell Mullins being forced off with a slight injury and he was replaced by Ryan Duffy-McGirr, making his first appearance for a month.
Four minutes after the break, the game was wrapped up as Parfitt completed his hat-trick to give Glapwell a three-goal advantage. Duffy-McGirr’s ball from the left found Parfitt in acres of space and he finished emphatically from the edge of the area.
That was Parfitt’s 17th goal of the season which is the largest tally in a single season for a Glapwell player since the 2010-11 season when Ian Holmes bagged 32 in the Evo-Stik League.
It could have been even better on the hour as Jack Hutchinson’s corner from the left found an unmarked Josh Parfitt whose powerful header from 12 yards crashed back off the crossbar.
Another chance fell for Parfitt with 20 minutes remaining when he flicked the ball round a defender but he couldn’t get his bearings this time as he fired his shot well wide of the post.
But for the final quarter of the game, the chances were at a premium and Glapwell were comfortable although the home side didn’t give up the ghost.
Glapwell could have extended their lead again though with ten minutes remaining when Josh Parfitt brilliantly bought the ball under control but as he was bearing down on goal his shot was blocked by a defender with the rebound falling to Jack Hutchinson who tried to curl a shot into the far corner but put too much on it.
On 81 minutes, though, the home side pulled a goal back when the ball fell to Charles Bradwell on the edge of the area and he made no mistake by smashing the ball emphatically past Ryan Hopkins into the top corner.
That could have made the final few minutes a little nervous for Glapwell and although the home side upped the intensity they couldn’t force a way to get themselves back into it as Glapwell held on for a victory that takes them above Appleby and to the top of the league.
The team look high in confidence at the minute with seven straight league victories also the club’s best run of form since 2007.
They have the opportunity to extend that this Saturday when they return to Hall Corner for the visit of Easington United, kick-off 2pm.
Goals: Parfitt (Glapwell) 11; Parfitt (Glapwell) 27pen; Parfitt (Glapwell) 49; Bradwell (Dronfield) 81
Dronfield Town Reserves: Chris Conroy, Dan Hamilton, Tyrone Parkin, Tom Gladwin, Sam Fisher, James Savage, Mikey Shaw, Ash Rycroft (Billy Bennett 85), Aaron Gordon (Zuzu Tshuma 88), Charles Bradwell, Will Earl (Alex Jones 78)
Glapwell: Ryan Hopkins, Sam Bartram, Jack Hutchinson, Adam Barratt (Rowan Mayor 75), Lee Naughton, Jonathan Heston, Adam Kimberley, Mitchell Mullins (Ryan Duffy-McGirr HT), Josh Parfitt, Daniel Russell (Lee Jordan 59), Jake Ballinger. Subs not used: Ross Murcott, Josh Clayton
Glapwell Man of the Match: Josh Parfitt
Yellow Cards: Bartram (Glapwell) 47; Earl (Dronfield) 70; Rycroft (Dronfield) 75
Red Cards: Conroy (Dronfield) 25
Referee: Jamie O’Connor (Bolsover)