Matlock Town 3-2 Hallam FC
The Gladiators made hard work of beating Toolstation NCEL First Division visitors Hallam in a hastily arranged friendly game at the Reynolds Stadium on Tuesday night.
Indeed the Sheffield side led twice and it needed an 87th minute decider to settle the game.
Hallam’s opener on 12 minutes was a free downward header from a corner which left Matty Leese in the Gladiators goal helpless. Matlock were soon level though when in the 17th minute Lavell White’s cross struck a defender and sat up conveniently for DANNY HOLLAND to touch home.
But Matlock’s passing was both careless and over ambitious, which made Hallam’s defensive work a good deal more comfortable than should have been the case.,
Town received another nasty shock when in an attack down the right Joe Leesley was left floundering by a direct run along the bye-line and with Leese committed to his front post, the cross was converted from close range.
Liam Gaughan struck the bar but seconds before the break another cross from the right just needed a touch and Hallam might have been two goals in front.
Matlock fought back after the break but still the frustration of inadequate passing and poor decision making was there. But once they had drawn level when BRAD GRAYSON helped a goalbound David Haggerty header over the line, the hosts at last looked the more likely winners.
Hallam defended well and their efforts looked like earning them a draw but another header from Haggerty, employed as a central striker late on, looked to have gone in directly but COREY GREGORY claimed the goal.
There was still time for Hallam to fire a fierce effort against the bar but Matlock held on to earn an unconvincing win and apart from several players getting valuable match practice, it was difficult to see any value being gained from the fixture.
MATLOCK: 1 Matty Leese 2 Oscar Radford 3 Joe Leesley 4 Liam Gaughan 5 Lee Featherstone 6 Adam Yates 7 Cecil Nyoni 8 James Ashmore 9 Danny Holland 10 Brad Grayson 11 Lavell White. Subs-all used: Corey Gregory, Tom Laister, Matt Wilkinson, David Haggerty, Jordan Snodin, Trialist.
REFEREE: Kevin Marchant (Matlock) ATTENDANCE: 60 est