Gresley FC 1-3 Matlock Town – Derbyshire Senior Cup
The Gladiators were convincing winners against their Evo-Stik First Division South play off hopeful hosts as they won their first Derbyshire Senior Cup tie since lifting the trophy in April 2010.
James Ashmore drove the visitors into a 12th minute lead which was cancelled out when Richard Hanslow netted eleven minutes later. Gresley were indebted to goalkeeper and skipper Gary Hateley for a succession of fine saves in both halves but Town’s top scorer Lewis McMahon beat him twice in the second half to take his personal tally to fourteen for the season.
It was a strong looking Matlock side that took to the field with Nick Buxton deputising for Jon Kennedy between the sticks with Anthony Griffiths-Junior, Oscar Radford and Joe Leesley all included.
Matlock began well attacking down the Moat Ground slope although McMahon would not want to boast too much about an early sliced shot that finished closer to the corner flag than the goal. Soon afterwards Ashmore lost control at the vital moment when well placed from Griffiths-Junior’s pass.
Gresley won a free kick twenty five yards out which Marc Goodfellow floated too high and Hanslow saw an effort deflected for a corner with the hosts starting to settle.
But Matlock hit them hard on 12 minutes as Hateley appeared to see ASHMORE’slow drive late and the ball was arrowed low into the corner with deadly accuracy from just outside the box.
The Gladiators pegged Gresley back as Hateley did well to cut out a Griffiths-Junior cross and Leesley fired disappointingly wide but when James Lukic failed to cut out Jamie Barrett’s through pass, HANSLOW took full advantage to hammer in the equaliser.
Glyn Cotton and Gresley’s Mark Stryzewski both fired excellent attempts narrowly wide before Hateley earned his corn.Hesuperbly flicked an Adam Yates header over the bar before denying Leesley whose venemous shot looked destined for the net. After another brilliant save, this time from Radford who bore down on the home defence deep from his left back slot, Hateley relied on his packed defence as both Griffiths-Junior and McMahon tried to find the onion bag in the ensuing scramble.
Matlock dominated virtually the whole of the second half, constantly opening up the home defence with some neat, crisp passing. They nearly scored from a fluke when Hateley misjudged the flight of Leesley’s hanging centre which rebounded off the bar. But the custodian again then showed his good side with a cracking stop from Ashmore. A point blank stop from Griffiths-Junior followed two missed chances as Leesley drove into the sidenetting and Griffiths-Junior’s glancing header fell wide.
But Matlock’s almost non stop pressure was rewarded on 64 minutes as McMahon ghosted in on Cotton’s pin point cross to nod concisely beyond Hateley. Radford might have added to the lead straight afterwards firing narrowly too high but the tie was settled for good when Radford robbed Jordi Gough some thirty five yards out before driving forward and squaring for McMahon to shoot accurately into the bottom corner.
Hateley again saved Gresley with a cracking diving full length stop from Leesley who then had a one on one duel with Hateley which the goalkeeper won, turning aside the shot. Leesley should really have made it four.
Matlock looked a class above their hosts for the lion’s share of the game and apart from a little sloppiness and over confidence in defence at times, turned in a professional performance. They will now welcome Borrowash Victoria to the Reynolds Stadium next month after the Vics also made it through to the last eight with a 3-2 extra time victory over New Mills.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Nick Buxton 2 Micky Harcourt 3 Oscar Radford 4 Martin Foster (12 Laurence Gaughan 75),5 Adam Yates, 6 James Lukic 7 Anthony Griffiths-Junior (14 Will Dennis 83), 8 James Ashmore 9 Glyn Cotton 10 Lewis McMahon 11 Joe Leesley Other subs: 15 Lee Ellington 16 Phil Roe
REFEREE: N Smith–Clay Cross ATTENDANCE: 113 STAR MAN: James Ashmore