DCFA Divisional Cup Semi Final 10/01/2015
Matlock Town Reserves 3 Cromford FC 1 AET
Two extra time goals from substitute Matt Andrews saw off the threat of previously unbeaten MRA Premier outfit Cromford FC as the young Gladiators booked their place in the Divisional Cup Final.
A chance to Cromford in the 2nd minute when the ball fell to a Cromford forward just inside the box but he shot went straight at Gladiator custodian Marco Taaffe. Five minutes later the Gladiators could have taken the lead when leading scorer Dave Edge received the ball in space but was eventually crowded out by the joint efforts of Craig Gascoigne and Joe Kay.
With Matlock using the pace of Jack Siddall and Ollie Walden to good effect out wide, Cromford were struggling to keep their goal intact and it took a fine save from keeper Adam Gratton to keep out an effort from Jack Siddall, palming the ball over the bar. As the referee blew for half time the Gladiators were well ahead on points but missing a vital ingredient. H/t 0-0
The young Gladiators started the second half in much the same vein, making life uncomfortable for the Cromford defenders with the pace out wide still causing problems and inevitability this lead to the opening goal. The referee awarded the lads a free kick to the left 5 yards outside the box. Not surprisingly in view of his rather fortunate goals against Dunkirk last week, Jack Siddall chose to drive the ball into the near post deceiving the keeper with the pace and trajectory. 1-0
The goal had an immediate effect on the Cromford players as they were now quicker to the ball pinning the young Gladiators back in their own half. Matlock were conceding free kicks in dangerous positions and from one of these Joe Kay rose highest meeting a cross with a thumping header giving Marco Taaffe no chance. Cromford were now in the ascendency and very nearly took the lead. A free kick on the edge of the box was brilliantly saved by the Matlock custodian diving full length to his left to palm the ball to safety. In injury time David Awomola had a chance to win the game for Matlock but mistimed the shot. F/t 1-1
The heavy conditions were now beginning to take its toll on the players of both sides with misplaced passes more frequent. However the breakthrough came midway through the first half with Ollie Walden putting over a curling cross from the right which succeeded in eluding the Cromford keeper and defenders but found substitute Matt Andrews arriving late at the far post to drive the ball home.
Ten minutes in to the second half of extra time it was game over as Matt Andrews remained calm to lob the ball in to an open net, following a mix up in the Cromford defence.
After reaching the semi-final and quarter-final of this competition in the last two seasons, the young Gladiators finally have the opportunity to compete in a final. They will play the winners of the tie between Rowsley FC and New Mill Reserves