Matlock Town 1-3 Daventry Town
First Division South play off hopefuls Daventry won their first ever meeting with the Gladiators in the Integro Doodson Sport NPL Cup on Tuesday in a tie Matlock boss Mark Hume used to cast his eye over fringe and reserve team players.
While Hume would have wanted a victory to maintain their unbeaten run which stood at six league and cup matches at kick off, the result will not cause him any lost sleep, the Northamptonshire side’s goals all coming from uncharacteristic mistakes.
Jack Siddall, a goalscorer in the epic against Blyth at the weekend, started in attack with fellow reserve teamers Tom Laister and Sam Lavelle deeper and Matt Wilkinson on the bench. A mixture of injury, illness and suspension ruled out Micky Harcourt, Craig Nelthorpe, Laurie Wilson, Nicky Travis, Scott Maxfield and Danny Holland, with Liam Needham being included on the bench along with Holland.
Siddall’s first full game could have had a dream start as he raced clear of the visiting defence in only the 2nd minute but blazed high and wide with only goalkeeper Ben Heath to beat.
An open start saw opportunities for both teams, Willis saving well from a speedy break and shot by Joel Curtis and Purkiss turning sweetly to fire wide.
It was nearly a debut to remember for both Laister and Lavelle as Laister headed home a corner on the half hour but the ball brushed the offside Harry Coates on the goal line. Then on 44 minutes Lavelle screwed his shot against a post from a cross by Niall McManus.
In between these two chances though there was a goal for Daventry, a chance to double the lead almost immediately and another great chance falling to Siddall.
Daventry ‘s 33rd minute opener came when Willis failed to claim a Joe Curtis free kick from the left and MITCH PIGGON drove firmly into an empty net. It proved Willis was human after an out of this world display against Blyth. Then with Coates down injured, Karabo Motshweni surged inside from the left but could only poke his clear shooting chance straight at Willis.
Siddall was again clear as Purkiss released him, an unfortunate bobble maybe contributing to him lifting his shot over the bar again with only Heath in front of him and McManus square of him in support.
But PURKISS with one of his long range specials equalised for the hosts seconds before the interval, his thirty five yard drive striking both posts before bouncing in.
Wilkinson replaced McManus for the second half which began with Laister mopping up on the line after Piggon had slipped past the onrushing Willis on the edge of the box and firing goalwards. Almost immediately a quick Matlock counter attack saw Siddall cut inside and see his powerful twenty yarder deflected wide.
But Daventry regained the lead on 62 minutes, Willis clattering into Nabil Shariff and CURTIS calmly firing home from the spot kick.
Heath kept Daventry ahead when Purkiss turned Curtis Hartley inside out on the left, the goalkeeper shovelling away Purkiss’ near post strike.
Matlock’s hopes of another fightback were dashed in the 69th minute when a Ted Cribley free kick was easily cleared and Kieron Fitzgerald sprinted forward to slip a pass to SHARIFF to shoot calmly into the corner.
Purkiss curled a free kick wide before giving way to Hume, the Town manager slicing a shot at Heath and being booked in his short cameo. Wilkinson grazed the bar from a Lavelle cross late on but Daventry were home and dry.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 George Willis 2 Tom Laister 3 Sam Lavelle 4 Liam Gaughan 5 Adam Yates 6 Harry Coates 7 Ted Cribley (14 Liam Needham 70) 8 Jack Siddall 9 Joel Purkiss (16 Mark Hume 77) 10 Niall McManus (15 Matt Wilkinson 46) 11 Ben Algar Other subs: 12 Danny Holland 17 Ryan Pugh
DAVENTRY TOWN: 1 Ben Heath 2 Curtis Hartley 3 John Bukara 4 Ricky Hill 5 Jason Lee 6 Kieron Fitzgerald 7 Joe Curtis 8 Rob Prinzel 9 Nabil Shariff 10 Mitch Piggon (12 Penzo Antonio-Edilson 80) 11 Karabo Motshweni (14 Neil Champelovier 86) Only 2 subs named.
REFEREE: M Fryer (Nottingham) ATTENDANCE: 145 BEST GLADIATOR: Adam Yates