MATLOCK TOWN 1-2 WORKINGTON
Matlock took an early lead but were then second best against a slick Workington outfit who desevedly equalised four minutes before the interval and then scored a late winner after Matlock’s Joe Doyle-Charles had been sent off.
There was drama before the kick off when a fan collapsed and an air ambulance landed on the pitch, meaning a forty five minute delay with the fan rushed to the Royal Derby Hospital by land ambulance.
Once the game got under way it was Matlock who got off to the best possible start as Marc Newsham won possession on the right to feed Marcus Dinanga who in turn set up TED CRIBLEY to net with a calm finish and give the hosts an 8th minute lead.
But then Matlock could not build on their advantage and Workington found their feet. Doyle-Charles did well to close down Connor Tinnion who in the early stages, was operating down the left before he and David Symington swapped flanks. Jack Ryan headed a Jacob Simpson free kick harmlessly wide, Symington had an effort held by Phil Barnes and James Earl was narrowly off target from distance.
But an equaliser looked likely and it duly arrived when the clever TINNION ran at the Matlock defence and into the penalty box from the right to score with a low diagonal drive. Soon afterwards a faulty header back towards Barnes from Nico Degirolamo threatened furter grief for Matlock, Barnes doing just enough at the expense of a corner.
Matlock improved after the break with Williams firing narrowly wide from distance and they could well have regained the lead seven minutes into the second half when top scorer Dinanga latched on to a neat return pass from Newsham but pulled his shot wide with only goalkeeper Arron Taylor to beat. Seven minutes later came another great chance as Newsham headed wide , again with Taylor being the only obstacle.
Curtis Morrison, back at the DCJ Group Arena on loan from Chesterfield, replaced Newsham but it was Workington now creating the better opportunities as Barnes saved well from Scott Allison and was then out swiftly to deny Tinnion.
The game though boiled over with ten minutes remaining as Doyle-Charles was the victim of a horrible challenge from James Earl and reacted by pushing his assailant and a melee began with Workington players wading in throwing punches. Doyle-Charles was ordered off but amazingly, Earl for the tackle and the fellow Reds players stayed on as referee Watson took the easy way out. It was possibly left overs from the FA Cup tie at Matlock earlier in the season when Earl saw red for a stamp on Doyle-Charles.
Williams curled the free kick over the bar.It looked as if Matlock had battled their way to a hard earned point until with two minutes remaining, substitute Sam Joel, on his debut found the unmarked JACK RYAN who pushed in the winner.
It condemned Matlock to a second successive home defeat in the league and has severely harmed their play off hopes. Matlock have not been second best on many occasions this season, but Saturday was one of them. Outgunned in midfield, they were beaten by a well organised and drilled Reds outfit, who despite having played more games than a lot of the sides around them, could make a good case for a place in the play-offs.
Matlock are still very much in the equation, but need to rediscover the form which made them such a potent threat earlier in the campaign. League leaders Blyth Spartans away, awaits them in the league next.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Liam Marsden 3 Jake Green 4 Joe Doyle-Charles 5 Nico Degirolamo 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Niall McManus (17 Cenk Acar 81) 8 Michael Williams 9 Marc Newsham (16 Curtis Morrison 66) 10 Marcus Dinanga 11 Ted Cribley Subs not used: 12 Adam Yates 14 Jamie Yates 15 Alex Pursehouse
WORKINGTON: 1 Arran Taylor 2 Jacob Simpson 3 Gari Rowntree 4 Kyle May 5 Josh Calvert 6 James Earl (12 Anthony Wright 89) 7 David Symington 8 Robert Wilson 9 Jack Ryan 10 Scott Allison (16 Sam Joel 82)11 Connor Tinnion Subs not used: 14 Nathan Waterston 15 Sam Smith 17 Matthew Douglas
REFEREE: Dean Watson (Rochdale) ATTENDANCE: 400 BEST GLADIATOR: Dwayne Wiley