Mickleover Sports 2-0 Matlock Town
Matlock’s terrible run of results at the Don Amott Arena continues in spite of dominating huge chunks of Saturday’s visit there.
In many ways they contributed to their own downfall, conceding an own goal for the opener and then missing a penalty before letting in a second a minute before half time. Then Mickleover were content to shut up shop to make it a miserable return for Matlock joint bosses Craig Hopkins and Glenn Kirkwood plus former Sports players Liam Marsden, Jake Green, Dwayne Wiley,Marcus Dinanga and Nico de Girolamo.
Matlock were understandably unchanged from the hammering of Coalville in midweek and were soon in the ascendancy as Ben Turner was forced to head behind a Ted Cribley free kick for a corner from which Marc Newsham headed wide.
The Gladiators must have had in the region of seventy per cent of the possession throughout the contest but Mickleover worked hard in denying them space and from their first foray forward, the hosts took a 14th minute lead when MARSDEN chested a right wing cross back towards Barnes, but with a little too much power and the scrambling goalkeeper could not prevent the ball from crossing the line, a view supported by an eagle eyed assistant who flagged for the goal.
Jake Bennett won an inportant header to prevent Dinanga from latching on to a Niall McManus cross but Matlock wasted a gilt edged chance to equalise on 22 minuteds when former Matlock defenderand Sports skipper Jack Broadhead upended Cribley in full flight.
At Coalville on Tuesday, Newsham had blasted in a spot kick with such ferocity it nearly burst the net, but this time he scuffed his shot wide. Two minutes later he diverted the ball past goalkeeper Jake Eastwood but was ruled offside as the curse of Mickleover looked to be striking Matlock yet again. They have lost evey competitive game they have played at this venue.
Eastwood then pushed aside a Dinanga effort, the Matlock striker then firing narrowly wide from twenty yards.
Mickleover’s danger man was winger Andy Dales who at last gave his side a shot at goal on 39 minutes, cutting in from the left to narrowly clear the bar from twenty five yards, but it would be DALES who would give his side an undeserved two goal cushion in the 44th minute.
It was a great strike though, Dales again weaving his way in from the left and curling a wonderful shot to comprehensively beat the diving Barnes.
The second half was a scrappy affair, again with Matlock having most of the play but being unable to make that possession count in terms of chance creation,
Eastwood kept out a deflected Michael Williams free kick and from a long throw penalty appeals were rejected when Broadhead appeared to handle, Newsham being off balance as he skewed his shot high and wide.
Substitute De Girolamo headed inches wide in the dying moments of a game which saw Matlock’s winning September sequence brought to a disappointing end.
Sports player boss and former Eire international John McGrath was instrumental in his side’s victory, organising and rallying his troops and leading by example with a host of well timed challenges. Matlock lacked the intensity of their previous four games but were still worthy of a point. It would most certainly have been a different story had the penalty gone in.
MICKLEOVER SPORTS: 1 Jake Eastwood 2 Jake Bennett 3 Ben Turner 4 John McGrath 5 Pablo Mills 6 Jack Broadhead 7 Andy Dales 8 Kevin Grocott 9 Clinton Morrison (15 Brodie Litchfield 60) 10 Adam Baskerville (12 William Norcross 80) 11 Danny Schofield Other subs: 14 Albert Lansdowne 16 Tom Burgin 17 Jack Tolley
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Liam Marsden 3 Jake Green 4 Joe Doyle-Charles (12 Laurie Wilson 86) 5 Adam Yates 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Niall McManus (15 Jamie Yates 84) 8 Michael Williams 9 Marc Newsham 10 Marcus Dinanga (14 Nico de Girolamo 70) 11 Ted Cribley Other subs: 16 Nicky Travis 17 Arron Jameson
REFEREE: D Watson (Rochdale) ATTENDANCE: 291 BEST GLADIATOR: Ted Cribley