MATLOCK TOWN 3-0 FRICKLEY ATHLETIC
Joel Purkiss scored twice in the first half to provide the solid base for Matlock’s most emphatic win of the season so far.
Substitute Niall McManus added a late third to earn Matlock a league double over the Yorkshire side following the 2-1 opening day victory in the reverse fixture.
Manager Mark Hume named an unchanged starting eleven from the previous week’s FA Trophy win against Gresley but made changes on the bench with Liam Gaughan back after injury and a first chance for local youngster Sam Lavelle. The visitors named both Jacob Hazel and Bradley Grayson, both former Gladiators, as their front two, another Zeph Thomas being suspended.
Only a fortunate clip off the heel of Frickley central defender John Cyrus prevented Matlock from having a glorious chance in the 2nd minute as Purkiss attacked down the right, his centre being bound for the waiting Danny Holland eight yards out.
Then Ted Cribley, who was comfortably the best attacking player on the park, intelligently curled an effort towards goal which was only inches over the bar.
The opening exchanges were competitive, Hazel seeing a twenty yarder deflected wide for a corner which Nicky Travis cleared as far as Tyler Williams whose shot was always rising and therefore did not trouble George Willis.
But Willis was called into action shortly afterwards to superbly push a well struck Bradley Dockerty strike over the bar in Frickley’s best spell of the contest.
Cribley crated another opportunity for Purkiss whose shot was charged down but the breakthrough came on 27 minutes when Craig Nelthorpe’s hoisted cross from the left dropped invitingly for PURKISS to expertly volley home from close range.
Frickley sought a response but efforts from Williams and the Luke Hornsey drifted off target before Matlock struck again with a classic counter attacking move in the 36th minute. PURKISS was again the scorer but he would undoubtedly have appreciated the approach work superbly fashioned firstly by Micky Harcourt with an inch perfect pass to Cribley in acres of space on the right. Cribley then looked up to feed Purkiss with another deadly accurate crossfield pass and the centre forward did the rest, gliding his finish beyond the the helpless Sebastian Malkowski into the bottom corner.
Purkiss might have completed a hat-trick two minutes into the second half as Holland and Cribley combined to fashion the opportunity only for Purkiss to fire over the bar.
Niall McManus was introduced to inject extra energy against a tiring Frickley who started to adopt a more physical approach. The substitute shot wide from distance before Purkiss had another chance for a treble, shooting beyond a post after another neat passing move.
McManus thought he had scored a third with twelve minutes to go but referee Mather ruled Holland had fouled Jameel Ible in the build up but McMANUS would still have the last laugh as most of the 369 crowd did.
Malkowski made a horrendous error, literally passing the ball straight to him in a lazy clearance, McManus keeping his head to stroke home to leave Malkowski red faced and Frickley on the end of a second successive 3-0 defeat at the Autoworld Arena.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 George Willis 2 Micky Harcourt 3 Ben Algar 4 Laurie Wilson 5 Adam Yates 6 Craig Nelthorpe (14 Niall McManus 63) 7 Ted Cribley 8 Liam Needham 9 Joel Purkiss 10 Danny Holland 11 Nicky Travis Other substitutes: 12 Scott Maxfield 15 Sam Lavelle 16 Liam Gaughan 17 Ryan Pugh
FRICKLEY ATHLETIC: 1 Sebastian Malkowski 2 Macaulay Parkinson 3Scott Matthews 4 Luke Hornsey (14 Jake Ellam 59) 5 John Cyrus 6 Jameel Ible (15 Lee Stratford 90) 7 Bradley Dockerty 8 Simon Lenighan 9 Jacob Hazel (12 Chris Wood 58) 10 Bradley Grayson 11 Tyler Williams Other substitutes: 16 Karl Rose 17 Peter Fotko
REFEREE: S Mather (Droylsden) ATTENDANCE: 369 BEST GLADIATOR: Ted Cribley