Rossington Main 1-2 Matlock Town
Monday night’s friendly win proved to be useful for Matlock as boss Mark Atkins gave several fringe players a run out in what turned out to be a well contested affair.
The Toolstation Northern Counties East League First Division hosts might have been swamped in the opening half hour had the Gladiators taken their chances, but having conceded only the one goal to Leon Osborne’s ninth minute strike, they fought back to level shortly before the half hour mark and then gave Matlock a good run for their money.
Eventually the visitors fired in the winner, a spectacular thirty yarder from Jamie Yates, in a strike reminiscent of his father Lenny in his Matlock days, proving to be decisive seven minutes from time. However it did appear that Yates handled prior to unleashing his rocket, it was ironic then that the Gladiators should receive their first slice of good fortune this season in a match that had no meaning in terms of league points or cup progression.
Matty Leese, between the sticks as Jon Kennedy was left on the bench, saved well from a well directed early header before the home goalkeeper saved twice from Osborne in quick succession. But it was third time lucky for Osborne as Matt Andrews’ corner was flicked on by Sam Robinson for OSBORNE to cleverly turn the ball in from close range.
In the next minute Oscar Radford headed wide from another Andrews corner before somehow the hosts cleared their lines after a scramble from another Andrews corner.
Out of the blue Rossington levelled when a beautifully weighted cross from the left was glanced past Leese, the goalkeeper then saving another attempt as Rossington suddenly came to life.
But chances continued to come at the other end. Robinson delayed too long and although the goalkeeper appeared to save his eventual shot, the referee amazingly awarded a goal kick, as he did soon afterwards when Andrews found room in the box to shoot low and hard, the home custodian again looking to have saved with some aplomb.
The second half was a much tighter affair and it took until the 72nd minute for a chance to arrive as Liam Needham ended a lovely passing move with a shot which was turned aside by the substitute Rossington number one.
A free kick was curled dangerously wide by the home number eleven following a handling offense but YATES’ tremendous shot saw Matlock return home with a win.
Yates nearly added a third for Matlock only for the goalkeeper to block his shot on the line with a last ditch stop.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Matty Leese 2 Laurence Goram 3 Phil Roe 4 Alex Hewitt 5 Oscar Radford 6 Adam Yates 7 Matt Andrews 8 James Ashmore 9 Leon Osborne 10 Sam Robinson 11 Lavell White Subs used 12 Joe Leesley 14 Jamie Yates 15 Jason Stokes 16 Liam Needham. Unused sub: Jon Kennedy
REFEREE: Colin Unwin (Rotherham) ATTENDANCE: 70 (est)