MATLOCK TOWN 0-0 COALVILLE TOWN
Frustration filled the night air at the DCJ Group Arena on Tuesday night as Matlock’s play off aspirations took another jolt with two more points dropped in this scoreless draw with a hard working and organised Coalville.
The Gladiators had won 4-1 in the earlier fixture between the sides at Owen Street in September, but a repeat scoreline was never on the cards as despite dominating for long periods, Matlock laboured their way through the game.
It was a case of the spirit being willing but the flesh being weak. Matlock’s long season seems to be catching up with them, being victims of their outstanding cup success earlier in the campaign by paying the price now,
There were two changes to the starting line up defeated at Stour bridge last weekend. Liam Marsden was rested but named as a substitute, as was Jake Green, Cleveland Taylor and Nico de Girolamo being their replacements. Coalville included former Gladiators striker Massiah Macdonald plus Rory Coleman who managed twenty minutes for Town at FC United in August 2012 and Dean Freeman who had trials at Matlock during Mark Atkins’ tenure but left without a first team appearance to his name.
The initial signs were good as Michael Williams met Taylor’s 6th minute corner to clip a first time shot wide before just two minutes afterwards, defender Lee Torr did well to block a fierce Marcus Dinanga strike, Marc Newsham slicing the loose ball off target.
De Girolamo’s header dropped wide but Coalville appeared to have weathered the storm without suggesting they would shock the home crowd with the opening goal. Macdonald was fortunate to win a free kick on the edge of the penalty box when it appeared he had impeded Taylor first, Matlock clearing Nathan Watson’s chip into the danger area. A deep cross from full back Kyle Bryant drifted beyond the far post, as the visitors failed to trouble Phil Barnes at all in the opening half.
Matlock fared only slightly better, a Joe Doyle Charles strike being held by goalkeeper Matt Coton in the 44th minute after efforts from Ted Cribley and Williams were comfortably wide. When McManus was hauled down only inches outside the eighteen yard box, Taylor’s free kick was knocked to safety, the game crying out for an insirational intervention.
An early flurry of Coalville pressure in the second period saw skipper Liam Walshe head over from a corner and Jack McMillan fire powerfully but easily wide from distance. At the other end Dwayne Wiley claimed a spot kick after being held off the ball by Torr and a sliced McManus shot hit a defender for another unproductive flag kick.
Matlock’s best effort camer on 58 minutes when a weaving run from McManus saw him shoot low with Coton down swiftly to make the save.It signalled the start of a better spell for the hosts as Wiley’s header was narrowly too high, Cribley fired over the bar and another Wiley header being knocked off the line by Bryant. At the other end McMillan carelessly hoisted his finish high into the car sales behind the Town End goal aste 0-0 draw now looked increasingly likely.
In the end, it was the Leicestershire lads who nearly stole all three points. Watson broke away down the right, his cross being too hard for the supporting Macdonald , before Barnes was out in a flash to parry from MacMillan, the Gladiators scrambling the ball away from Coleman.
So Coalville’s first ever visit to Matlock saw them grab a point from a game that will not linger too long in the memory bank. Town are now four games without a win, that has to change very quickly. For that to happen they must rediscover the flair and panache they had earlier in the season. They look a tired outfit at present, but on the night that cutting edge was badly missing. They tried to walk the ball into the net, an extra pass more often a faulty one let them down when it could have been more beneficial in pulling the trigger..
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Cleveland Taylor 3 Nico de Girolamo 4 Joe Doyle-Charles (15 Andy Wright 74) 5 Adam Yates 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Niall McManus (17 Paul Ennis 69) 8 Michael Williams 9 Marc Newsham (16 Curtis Morrison 55) 10 Marcus Dinanga 11 Ted Cribley Subs not used: 12 Liam Marsden 14 Jake Green
COALVILLE TOWN: 1 Matt Coton 2 Kyle Bryant 3 Rory Coleman 4 Lee Torr 5 Dean Freeman 6 Liam Walshe 7 Jack McMillan 8 Steve Towers 9 Massiah Macdonald 10 Nathan Watson 11 Alex Dean Subs-none used–12 Anton Brown 14 Danny Jenno 15 Luke Foster 16 Edison Antonio 17 Hayden Talbot
REFEREE: James Bell (oughtibridge, Sheffield) ATTENDANCE: 293 BEST GLADIATOR: Adam Yates