SPALDING UNITED 0-0 MATLOCK TOWN
(MATLOCK WIN 4-3 ON PENALTIES)
Matlock’s ten men went through to the next round of the Integro Doodson Sport League Cup at the Sir Halley Stewart Field following a penalty shoot out.
The Gladiators emerged victorious by a 4-3 margin after ninety shapeless minutes that referee Alistair Wilson wanted to dominate rather than let the players do the talking on the field of play.
He controversially sent off Scott Maxfield five minutes into the second half for foul and abusive language when the Matlock assistant boss swore at a Spalding player who had dragged his studs down his leg.
“Look at my leg” he said afterwards pointing to stud marks and a scrape. “Yes I swore in pain it wasn’t directed at the referee, even their players asked the referee not to send me off, if I’d have sworn at the referee, I wouldn’t have had a case” .
Maxfield played, as did manager Mark Hume as an emergency striker when news filtered through that a car load of four players had been held up en route to South Lincolnshire by an accident and wouldn’t make the kick off.
Hume was booked by the officious and petty official who believed Hume was talking about him to opposing players.
At least the official created some talking points, there was precious little else for the hardy 124 souls in attendance to enthuse about.
It was only in the final ten minutes that either goalkeeper was stretched and Matlock’s George Willis was again in superlative form with two cracking saves.
He spectacularly tipped a dipping twenty yarder from Dan Lawlor over the bar in the 86th minute before substitute Dan Bannister’s low drive was blocked by the goalkeeper’s legs. Spalding had left it too late to make their extra man count as Matlock defended sensibly and comfortably dealt with the largely toothless Tulips attack with relative comfort.
The Gladiators gave a debut to Ryan Fallowfield, signed on a month’s loan from Harrogate Town on Monday and the 20 year old defensive midfielder slotted into the right back role with ease and had a solid debut.
Harry Coates, recalled to central defence after suspension blocked a Josh Moreman effort in the 7th minute, Matlock’s first attempt at goal coming from Ted Cribley seven minutes later, home custodian Michael Duggan grabbing his daisycutter at the second attempt.
But even at this early stage there were too many unnecessary stoppages preventing any flow and pattern to proceedings and the only noteworthy action was a 40th minute shot over the bar from Niall McManus after a promising run and a Laurie Wilson free kick into the sidenetting seconds before the half time whistle.
Cribley had possibly the best chance of the game so far shortly after the restart only to trundle his effort into the sidenetting from a tight angle and then in spite of their man disadvantage, it was Matlock fashioning the clearer of the few opportunities on offer with Duggan denying Cribley superbly from close range.
Substitute Nicky Travis, on for Liam Gaughan who unluckily again collected a knock on his return, was mysteriously booked before Hume had the chance to make a name for himself but could only poke a half hit shot at Duggan when well placed.
Joel Purkiss replaced Hume but Spalding at last began to threaten and Matlock held on to force the shoot out with extra time not an option.
Spalding began with Josh Moreman easily finding the target as did Wilson for Town. Jamie Graham lifted the hosts second shot over and crucially Fallowfield edged Matlock ahead with confidence. Paul Walker netted for the Tulips with Cribley maintaining Matlock’s lead. Then Jake Newman was too high but Craig Nelthorpe failed in the same way as a chance to win it disappeared for Matlock. Although Spalding’s star player Nathan Stainfield comprehensively beat Willis with Spalding’s fifth attempt, Purkiss kept his nerve to fire home and send Matlock through.
Matlock’s makeshift eleven had seen off the First Division South play off hopefuls. Hume was keen to praise the travelling fans and explain his team selection.
“Scott and me starting as forced on us by the accident, it was not our intention to play for as long as we did. Danny (Holland) had a slight injury which we didn’t want to risk and although it was a scrappy game on a very bumpy pitch we’re pleased we’ve done what was required to get through. Unfortunately the referee thought he was bigger than both teams and it spoilt the game. Well done though to the fans who came down to Spalding on a Tuesday night which isn’t easy, their support is really appreciated by us all in the dressing room.”
SPALDING UNITED: 1 Michael Duggan 2 Paul Walker 3 Adam Jackson 4 Neal Spafford 5 Nathan Stainfield 6 Sam Murphy 7 Mitch Griffiths (14 Dan Bannister 49) 8 Dan Lawlor 9 Jamie Graham 10 Josh Moreman 11 Jamie Thurlbourne (12 Jake Newman 63) Other subs: 15 Charley Sanders 16 Jonny Lockie
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 George Willis 2 Ryan Fallowfield 3 Craig Nelthorpe 4 Laurie Wilson 5 Adam Yates 6 Harry Coates 7 Ted Cribley 8 Liam Gaughan (14 Nicky Travis 42) 9 Niall McManus 10 Mark Hume (12 Joel Purkiss 70) 11 Scott Maxfield Other subs: 15 Ben Algar 16 Danny Holland 17 Micky Harcourt
REFEREE: Alistair Wilson (Boston) ATTENDANCE: 124 BEST GLADIATOR: Ryan Fallowfield