WORKSOP TOWN 2-4 MATLOCK TOWN
Matlock broke their duck wining their first pre season game after five huge tests against higher league clubs.
But they had to come from behind at former NPL rivals Worksop, now plying their trade in the Northern Counties East League. There was no doubt though that the Gladiators were worthy winners, scoring four second half goals in the process.
Joint boss Glenn Kirkwood remarked that Matlock were “appalling” in the first half. A clutch of changes were made after some advice from the management and it worked a treat as they dominated the second half.
Matlock had also the better of the opening period in spite of Kirkwood’s assessment, but promising moves came to nothing due to a faulty final pass or the wrong option being taken.
They should have been ahead in the 9th minute when a probing run and pass from Niall McManus set up Ryan King but the former Gresley winger could only push a tame shot goalwards which former Matlock custodian Jon Kennedy saved with ease.
Andy Todd’s fine 22nd minute thrust down the left ended with a Jamie Yates effort being blocked and after Yates had curled a free kick wide, Ben Partridge shot early from distance with Kennedy once again untroubled. So territorial advantage was counting for nothing for Matlock in the opening half which ended with them a goal down.
16 years old Matlock goalkeeper Jordan Pierrpoint, who apart from the two goals, had little else to do, was well beaten by a fantastic 43rd minute twenty five yard power drive from Adam Somes, the ball flying viciously beyond Pierrpoint. A minute later Somes might have doubled the lead but screwed his shot poorly wide after being set up by Mitch Husbands.
Matlock wasted little time in showing they meant business in the second half with a Niall McManus shot being deflected over the bar and Marc Newsham’s effort hitting a defender and then Newsham himself to ease the pressure on the Tigers defence.
But the Gladiators were on level terms by the 53rd minute, Kennedy diving full length to his right to knock away a powerful Ted Cribley shot but Andy Todd picked up the pieces to cross accurately from the left and NEWSHAM headed back across Kennedy for his third goal in three games.
Trialist Anthony Griffiths_Junior, who had a spell with Matlock in 2013, unleashed a cracking thirty yard shot which dipped narrowly over, McManus lifted an effort a couple of feet wide with only Kennedy to beat and Cribley’s drive was even closer as the Tigers hung on grimly but from a quickly taken throw on the left, Todd was brought down by a stray Tigers foot and LAURIE WILSON netted fiercely from the penalty spot to give the Gladiators a 67th minute lead.
Just three minutes later McMANUS clipped home Newsham’s centre from close range after initial good work from Griffiths Junior on the right and Worksop were in danger of being overwhelmed. Wilson beat three challenges in a mazy run and blasted wide from distance before the hosts cut the deficit with a well worked 78th minute goal.
Two anonymous trialists combined sweetly on the right and MARK FEREDAY headed in a fabulous cross at the back post.
But Worksop, who battled hard, would not threaten again as Matlock finished strongly, introducing young striker Jordan Lee who had impressed in reserve and academy games. Todd’s shot from distance bounced inches wide, a Newsham header from a fine Wilson cross was blocked and Griffiths-Junior also went close before in stoppage time, TODD’s bullet header from a Wilson corner made it four to confirm Matlock’s clear second half superiority.
WORKSOP TOWN: 1 Jon Kennedy 2 Leon Loftus 3 Jack Waddle 4 Callum Harrison 5 Sam Weston 6 Kieran Fenton 7 Mitch Husbands 8 Scott Wesley 9 Adam Somes 10 Kyle Jordan 11 Steve Woolley Subs-all used: 12 Hawkins 14 Trialist 15 Mason Gee 16 Connor Johnson 17 Josh Dacre 18 Trialist 19 Julian Lawrence G/K Ryan Graves, 20 Mike Fereday 21 Mark Fereday 22 Matt Parkin
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Jordan Pierrpoint 2 Jamie Yates 3 Keenan Layton ( 16 Ashley Bartle 46) 4 Perry Cotton 5 Alex Pursehouse (12 Liam Marsden 46) 6 Nico de Girolamo (14 Laurie Wilson 46) 7 Ted Cribley 8 Andy Todd 9 Ben Partridge (15 Marc Newsham 46) 10 Niall McManus (18 Jordan Lee 84) 11 Ryan King (17 Anthony Griffiths-Junior 46) Sub not used: Matt Bradwell (G/K)