Matlock Town 2-0 Gresley
Matlock comfortably saw off their lower division county rivals to make deserved progress in the FA Trophy in what was a repeat of last season’s Derbyshire Senior Cup Final.
Then Matlock were 7-0 winners, and in a whirlwind start they did their best to make serious inroads into a repeat scoreline with Gresley having seventeen year old debutant and Port Vale loanee Callum Ferrie to thank for still being in contention.
But cruelly Ferrie would be culpable for both Matlock goals which came at the end of each half.
Manager Mark Hume moved Laurie Wilson back into central defence to cover for the suspended Harry Coates with Craig Nelthorpe playing wide on the left. George Willis was also back in goal after injury.
The Gladiators attacked with gusto from the off and Gresley were hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Matlock could easily have been three goals ahead in the opening five minutes as a Nicky Travis shot was deflected behind and Ferrie made two fabulous saves from Ted Cribley. Then a Liam Needham cross found Danny Holland unmarked at the back post but the Gladiators skipper sliced his volley wide.
When Cribley did get the better of Ferrie on 10 minutes , defender Jake Carlisle stepped in to get the vital touch to loop the ball against the crossbar.
The pressure was virtually unrelenting and after Cribley fired too high, Ferrie again pulled off an outstanding save from Joel Purkiss before clawing away a dangerous and teasing Micky Harcourt centre. Further chances dropped to Nelthorpe and Purkiss as Matlock were wasteful but PURKISS would break the deadlock in exquisite and dramatic style after 40 minutes.
A weak Ferrie clearance which had neither pacer nor height was collected by the Town striker just inside his own half and from fully 45 yards, he returned the ball with considerable interest, lobbing the backpedalling Ferrie who could do nothing as the ball sailed over him and into the net. It was a memorable goal and probably the best Purkiss has ever scored.
The lead was totally deserved at the interval for apart from a header from veteran striker Gary Ricketts which Willis palmed away and an off target shot from Courtenay Meade, Gresley had been outplayed.
The First Division South outfit suffered a further blow as Ricketts, suffering from concussion, failed to appear for the second half an ambulance being called to ferry him off to hospital. His replacement Ryan King looked lively and to their credit, Gresley improved considerably after the break.
It was a more even contest now but shots from Martin Smyth, John Guy and Jordan Ball were all off target and failed to trouble Willis while the goalkeeper was able to save comfortably from another Ball attempt.
A neat passing move from Matlock on 65 minutes might have brought a second goal as Cribley found the overlapping Harcourt on the right whose low cross was poked wide by Purkiss who then six minutes later turned smartly only to fire at Ferrie.
The match clincher came in the 89th minute when Ferrie challenged and collided with Purkiss as a high centre was played into the penalty box. Referee Street ruled Ferrie guilty of fouling Purkiss and after lengthy treatment for both players, LAWRIE WILSON stepped up to calmly net from the spot to send Matlock into the next round.
It was the first time Matlock had scored more than once at home all season. A shock never looked on the cards as Matlock showed there is a difference in class between the two divisions.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 George Willis 2 Micky Harcourt 3 Ben Algar 4 Lawrie Wilson 5 Adam Yates 6 Craig Nelthorpe 7 Ted Cribley 8 Liam Needham 9 Joel Purkiss 10 Danny Holland ( 14 Niall McManus 59j 11 Nicky Travis Other subs: 12 Scott Maxfield 15 Jack Siddall 16 Mark Hume 17 Ryan Pugh
GRESLEY FC: 1 Callum Ferrie 2 Matt Roome 3 John Guy 4 Kallum Keane (14 Sam Wood 62) 5 Jamie Barrett 6 Jake Carlisle 7 Martin Smyth (12 Gareth Mzungwana 54) 8 Jack Langston 9 Gary Ricketts (17 Sam Wood 46) 10 Jordan Ball 11 Courtenay Meade Other subs: 15 Richard Bailey 16 Melanius Mullarkey
REFEREE: Duncan Street (Normanton, West Yorkshire) ATTENDANCE: 242 BEST GLADIATOR: Joel Purkiss