Colwyn Bay 1-4 Matlock Town
As far as results go, this was just what the doctor ordered with a convincing win at the relegation threatened Colwyn Bay who look as if they could well suffer a second successive relegation.
Two goals in the opening thirteen minutes paved the way for an excellent victory although the hard taskmaster Mark Hume was not altogether happy with the performance.
“It was a good win but when we have teams on the rack we’ve got to kill them off and we didn’t do that until late on.”
Certainly Matlock had chances to put the game to bed when leading 2-0 and when Colwyn pulled a goal back early in the second half, Matlock then had to defend well before finally confirming their win with two late strikes.
Laurie Wilson was passed fit to return to the defence allowing Micky Harcourt to revert to his more favoured right back spot. An attacking bench included club skipper Danny Holland, fellow striker Alex Peterson and new signing Charlie Dawes from Mickleover Sports who had a loan spell with the Gladiators last season.
George Willis was soon in action superbly holding a low drive from Shaun Dowling on the drenched, greasy surface but it was Matlock who drew first blood with a superbly worked 5th minute goal.
Niall McManus and Craig Nelthorpe combined brilliantly down the left before Nelthorpe’s low cross was swept home by JOEL PURKISS.
Adam Yates headed a free kick straight at goalkeeper Shaun Pearson who was then picking the ball out of the net for a second time in the 13th minute when a beautifully crafted free kick move saw WILSON curl a twenty yarder into the onion bag.
A tremendous start for Matlock could and should have been better. Soon afterwards Ted Cribley and Harcourt cut through the Brittle Bay defence with ease and instead of shooting, Cribley passed inside and the chance was lost. Then Cribley fired over the bar and Purkiss fired wide before Colwyn were stung into a response.
Much travelled striker Shaun Tuck brought the best out of George Willis who brilliantly kept out his thunderbolt strike before penalty appeals were refused when Tuck went down in the box. Tuck then blazed a shot across the penalty area before Matlock broke at pace with Nelthorpe finding Cribley with a precocious crossfield pass, Liam Needham being denied by a last ditch challenge from Cribley’s assist. Then McManus saw alow shot well saved by Pearson as an entertaining and thoroughly acceptable half from the Matlock viewpoint came to a close.
The Seagulls came out for the second half with renewed vigour and put Matlock on the defensive. hey neded to score the next goal to give themselves any hope of a recovery and it came on 56 minutes with JOHN MARSDEN breaking down the right to score with a deflected shot.
Matlock immediately made a double substitution bringing on Holland and Jason Paling for Purkiss and the injured Harcourt, the latter having been taking Willis’ goalkicks for him.
To their credit Matlock stood up well to the increased pressure, defending well and looking dangerous on the break.
Holland drove at Pearson as did McManus from a Holland knock down wit Pearson then denying Cribley.
It was CRIBLEY who made the game safe for Matlock heading in an excellent Nelthorpe centre in the 79th minute and then with four minutes left McMANUS ran clear to stroke home a fourth leaving Bay manager Kevin Lynch bemoaning his side’s “schoolboy defending” afterwards.
In between the goals Willis pulled off a fine save from Tuck and then in added time denied Josh Sumner in similar fashion but Matlock were home, if not completely dry from the incessant North Wales rain.
So a precious three points haul for Matlock who have some breathing space between them and the relegation zone, and are now looking upwards ahead of two tough Christmas fixtures with Buxton and Ilkeston.
They should approach these games with confidence.
COLWYN BAY: 1 Shaun Pearson 2 Shaun Dowling 3 Mike Lea 4 Will Bell 5 Jordan Fagbola 6 John Marsden 7 Josh Sumner 8 John Dillon 9 Shaun Tuck 10 Kevin Holsgrove 11 Joe Newton (15 Luke Denson 69) Other subs: 14 Antonie Boland 16 Glenn Matthews 17 Zac Corbett
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 George Willis 2 Micky Harcourt (16 Jason Paling 57) 3 Ben Algar (15 Charlie Dawes 81) 4 Laurie Wilson 5 Adam Yates 6 Nicky Travis 7 Ted Cribley 8 Liam Needham 9 Joel Purkiss (12 Danny Holland 57) 10 Niall McManus 11 Craig Nelthorpe Other subs: 14 Alex Peterson 17 Liam Gaughan
REFEREE: Danny Hitchell (Merseyside) ATTENDANCE: 148 BEST GLADIATOR: Laurie Wilson