Handsworth Parramore 1-3 Matlock Town
The Gladiators won for the fifth successive pre season game in the searing heat of Worksop’s Sandy Lane with an impressive display of passing football.
Oscar Radford, Jason Stokes and Leon Osborne were the goalscorers, putting Matlock into a commanding position against their Toolstation NCEL Premier Division opponents, before former Gladiator Lee Whittington pulled one back for the Parras who also included former Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Alan Quinn plus former Buxton player manager Scott Maxfield.
After a slow start by both sides, Osborne had the ball on the net for the Blues in the 14th minute only to be pulled up for being offside.Matlock then increasingly imposed themselves with Corey Gregory glancing a header narrowly wide from a fine Stokes cross and then Stokes himself forced the Parras trialist goalkeeper into a tremendous tip over the bar from his fierce twenty yard strike.
Soon afterwards the custodian was parrying another well struck Stokes shot and from the rebound nicked the ball off the oncoming toes of Osborne before Handsworth’s first real opportunity came when Alan Quinn released Whittington but Kennedy stood his ground superbly to block the latter’s shot.
The trialist who had featured against Mansfield replaced the injured Martin Foster and Matlock continued to probe with Phil Roe, attacking from deep on the right seeing an effort deflected narrowly beyond the far post.
The pressure intensified on the Parras goal and it bore fruit two minutes before the interval when following a corner taken short, Stokes crossed for RADFORD to have a simple tap in from four yards.
The barrage on the Parras goal continued in the second half and after Osborne had struck the bar, STOKES doubled the lead just after the hour, cutting in to fire a dipping shot from the edge of the box over the head of the well beaten goalkeeper.
Warren Burrell fired over the bar as the hosts looked for a way back but their hopes of a recovery were virtually extinguished when a great passing move cut open their defence and OSBORNE slid a precise finish under the goalkeeper for Town’s third on 71 minutes.
Lavell White and Radford came close to further goals but to their credit Handsworth never gave up and WHITTINGTON took full advantage of poor defending from a free kick to touch a low shot past Kennedy with eleven minutes remaining.
The hosts goalkeeper denied Stokes with his feet before Kennedy saved well from Whittington to end what had been a competitive and entertaining afternoon’s football in tropical like conditions.
HANDSWORTH PARRAMORE: 1 Trialist 2 Thompson 3 Tootle 17 Hudson 5 Cotterill 6 Griffiths 7 Fox 8 Quinn 9 Whittington 10 Burrell 11 Maxfield Subs: 12 Dacre 14 Chappell 15 Dawes 16 Eades 17 Hill
MATLOCK TOWN:1 Jon Kennedy 2 Phil Roe (15 Alex Hewitt 68) 3 Joe Leesley 4 Martin Foster (12 Trialist 25) 5 David Haggerty (16 Dean Freeman 72) 6 Oscar Radford 7 Jason Stokes 8 Josh Meade 9 Leon Osborne 10 Corey Gregory (14 Lavell White 57) 11 Jordan Snodin (17 Oliver Brock 68)
REFEREE: S Wright (Sheffield) ATTENDANCE: 68