RETFORD UTD 0-1 MATLOCK TOWN
A late header fromLeon Osborne settled an uninspiring game of few chances at Cannon Park.
OSBOURNE struck from close range in the 89th minute, nodding home a pull back from Lavell White who had escaped down the left flank.
But generally in terms of entertainment, it was average at best with both sides goalkeepers having quiet afternoons.
For Matlock Jon Kennedy was back in goal while young trialist Deano Freeman partnered David Haggerty in central defence. The central midfield had an unfamiliar look about it with Alex Hewitt and Oliver Brook in tandem. Matt Andrews was given an opportunity on the right while Corey Gregory assisted Osborne in the striking department.
It was a case of Matlock having most of the play against their Toolstation NCEL Premier Division hosts, but seldom ,looking particularly dangerous.
Home goalkeeper Tom Fuller kept out an early Osborne strike before Corey Gregory struck the woodwork from an acute angle five minutes later.
But afterwards in the opening half there was little to enthuse the small crowd until Brook shot too high from distance following a period of Matlock pressure in the 41st minute.
Retford, who included ex Gladiators Liam Gaughan and Liam Wilkin, created virtually nothing, save from a through ball which saw Kennedy advance quickly off his line to deny Reece Thompson.
The half ended with Fuller saving from White after Matlock had tried to make hay from a quickly taken free kick.
A speculative Andrews strike sailed too high and that was about the Tansley youngster’s last contribution as on came new signing Jason Stokes.
Stokes certainly pepped up the Gladiators as an attacking force and within two minutes he ran on to a Joe Leesley pass to shoot narrowly wide. This was quickly followed by a shot which was directly at Fuller.
A Haggerty header dropped wide as Matlock looked the more likely to break the deadlock and Hewitt came close when his twenty yarder was superbly tipped over the bar by Fuller.
Stokes would have been disappointed to fire off target rather than score when he found himself well placed and such was Matlock’s domination possession wise, it took replacement goalkeeper Matt Leese eighteen minutes to have a feel of the ball.
Osborne though clinched a deserved win for Matlock but the old demon of dominating a game and not being able to turn possession into goals persisted.
RETFORD UTD: 1 Tom Fuller 2 Matt Hancock 3 Jason Swannack 4 Tom Dorgan 5 Sam Farn Sam 6 Danny Smith 7 Liam Gaughan 8 Jimmy Walker (12 Callum Rush 64) 9 Liam Wilkin (14 Johnny Nicholls 68) 10 Reece Thompson 11 Ben Muirhead Sub not used-Liam Slack
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Jon Kennedy (17 Matty Leese 66) 2 Adam Yates 3 Joe Leesley 4 Alex Hewitt 5 David Haggerty 6 Deano Freeman 7 Matt Andrews (15 Jason Stokes 60) 8 Oliver Brook 9 Leon Osborne 10 Corey Gregory ( 14 Phil Roe 82) 11 Lavell White Sub not used: Oscar Radford
REFEREE: C Ward (Blyth, Notts) ATTENDANCE: 82