Workington 1-3 Matlock Town
Workington have just cause to look back in Dinanga after Matlock striker Marcus Dinanga inspired a second 3-1 win in four days at Borough Park for the Gladiators.
On the previous Tuesday Matlock had dumped the Reds out of the FA Cup, so what were the chances of the exact same scoreline being repeated in the league so soon afterwards?
Dinanga played a crucial role,leading the attack with strength and panache, his unselfish running constantly upsetting the home defence. The Burton loanee opened the scoring and had a huge assist in Matlock’s second goal which saw Matlock regain the lead midway through the second period. This came after Barrow loanee Elliott Newby had levelled on his debut early in the second half. The icing on the cake came at the end when Ted Cribley scored a wonderful individual goal to confirm victory.
Again though an unchanged Matlock did not have things all their own way.As Workington had a dangerous first half spell, goalkeeper Phil Barnes pulled off a couple of fantastic saves as well as handling with authority, once more being th solid rock behind the Gladiators defence.
His first fine stop came from a 5th minute Dave Symington free kick as he flung himself low to his right to claw away the shot.Then in the next breath it looked as if Barnes had stretched sufficiently to tip away a low effrt from Newby, the referee upsetting the home support by awarding a goal kick.
Matlock soon responded as Dinanga found Cribley on the left, goalkeeper Aaron Taylor doing well to drop on the Matlock number eleven’s low centre. Then Dinanga and Cribley combined for Williams whose powerful blast was blocked by Taylor’s legs.
Newsham nodded a deep Williams cross against the outside of the post on 18 minutes before DINANGA fired the visitors into a 20th minute lead. Niall McManus ran across the penalty box before finding Dinanga who turned smartly to shoot powerfully past Taylor at his near post.
Taylor grabbed the ball off Newsham after Dinanga again created danger, the pair linking neatly again as Newsham again brought Taylor into action.
From the Workington viewpoint it was crucial they did not go two behind so their resilience and positive response was commendable.
Phil McLuckie’s inviting through pass was a touch too strong for the returning Scott Allison to latch on to before Barnes again proved his undoubted worth with a fine stop from Jacob Simpson’s shot.
But an equaliser would soon come for the Reds four minutes in as Joe McGee broke away on the by-line to cut his cross back for NEWBY to confidently slide a low shot comfortably past Barnes.
The leveller would cause worry for managers Kirkwood and Hopkins with Kirkwood revealing afterwards that he thought his squad looked dead on their feet. So the win probably deserves a lot more credit, particularly as the Gladiators found extra bundles of energy to regain the initiative.
Immediately following the equaliser another troublesome McManus run saw him find Newsham who could not quite find the finish in a scramble in the six yard box before Dinanga ran with power and purpose down the left, a pinpoint centre being converted convincingly by NEWSHAM, his tenth goal of the campaign,
Both sides made a change for the remaining quarter of the contest, the speedy Morrison replacing Newsham for Matlock.
Clear cut opportunities dried up which was testament to an efficient Matlock defence which again saw the promising Liam Marsden enhance his already growing reputation.
Morrison outstripped the home defence on 85 minutes only to fire directly at Taylor but Matlock were not done yet, Dinanga forced a corner on the left as his shot was deflected wide, Morrison joined Cribley at the corner flag, Morrison releasing Cribley a couple of yards from the touchline and CRIBLEY weaved his way past a clutch of mesmerised defenders, none of whom could nick the ball away as the skilful Matlock wide man stroked a low shot past Taylor to create an identical scoreline to the FA Cup tie.
It was as good a goal as you would see at any level this season. Watching Matlock Town is fun at the moment.
WORKINGTON: 1 Aaron Taylor 2 Jacob Simpson 3 David Symington 4 Kyle May 5 Matthew Douglas 6 Phil McLuckie 7 Elliott Newby 8 Robert Wilson 9 Scott Allison 10 Joe McGee 11 Conor Tinnion (12 Nathan Waterston 70) Other subs: 14 Tom Kilifin 15 Robbie Hebson 16 Callum Henderson 17 Jamie Bethwaite
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Liam Marsden 3 Jake Green 4 Joe Doyle-Charles 5 Adam Yates 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Niall McManus 8 Michael Williams 9 Marc Newsham (16 Curtis Morrison 72) 10 Marcus Dinanga 11 Ted Cribley Other subs: 12 Laurie Wilson 14 Nico de Girolamo 15 Jamie Yates 17 Arron Jameson
REFEREE: G Hopper (Tyne and Wear) ATTENDANCE: 435 BEST GLADIATOR< Marcus Dinanga