Preview of AFC Unity Vs Dronfield Town Development

by Sam Tabuteau

It seems Sod’s law that every time I sit down in preparation of writing up my preview some almost mystical force of nature appears hell-bent on ensuring that the game in question is postponed and my grandiose descriptions are rendered null and void. Well, they say third time’s a charm, so here it is my preview of AFC Unity’s upcoming game with Dronfield Town Development.

Swirling winds, swirling debts and an apathetic contempt for division up and down the country have made for pretty grim viewing over the past week – football, however, remains the one constant chasm of optimism. Unity has worked tirelessly under testing conditions to prove the exception to the rule both in their capacity as a football club and a social enterprise. Their continued support for Sheffield’s campaign to stop and scrap Universal Credit has taken on added importance in light of reports that use of the controversial welfare scheme has increased by 4% in the North East since January – whilst their on-field preparations for the weekend’s game has failed to be disrupted by the relentless downpour of Storm Dennis.

This is not to say that Unity are a team without their issues. Injuries continue to pile up amidst a run of games that has seen players unable to build up match fitness due to the constant postponement of fixtures throughout the league.

In Dronfield, they also face a side well accustomed to causing Unity problems. The reverse fixture this season saw Jay Baker’s team concede an agonising late goal to hand Dronfield all three points, and as such the importance of maintaining concentration levels will surely have been reinforced.

Unity still retains their position as favourites, however, with Dronfield sitting one place and one point behind them in the league despite having played three more games. A defensively vulnerable outfit, only Dearne and District have conceded more than Dronfield’s 49 goals this season.  A game that should by no means be taken lightly, but one that could potentially push Unity up the table and build up an encouraging run of form heading into an increasingly hectic run of fixtures.

Selected squad of 16:

1. Hannah Lamb

2. Sarah Choonara

3. Jane Watkinson

5. Jaimee Reeve

11. Becky Gay

12. Emma Howe

14. Chloe Burditt

15. Jodean Wadsworth

17. Kirsten Vizor (captain)

18. Ruth Kennedy

22. Pippa Joseph

24. Jodie Spillings

27. Michelle Garrigan

29. Kristina Rankine

33. Lisa Gray

37. Rachel Rodgers