Grantham Town 0-2 Matlock Town
First half goals from Michael Williams and Marcus Dinanga ensured a second Matlock victory in four days over Grantham and this time progress in the FA Trophy.
The Gladiators would undoubtedly have been expecting a more exacting challenge than the relatively easy one that Grantham provided them with. The Gladiators never had to get out of second gear and goalkeeper Phil Barnes will not have a more redundant afternoon all season.
The visitors named an unchanged starting line up from the one which narrowly beat the Gingerbreads at the DCJ Group Arena in midweek as they sought to improve on their quite substantial earnings from cup games so far this season.
Matlock put the hosts on the back foot from the start, playing some excellent positive attacking football.It seemed only a matter of time before a goal would come and when it did on 23 minutes it was MICHAEL WILLIAMS again on the scoresheet, having also grabbed the opener in the midweek league clash. He rose above the home defenders to glance a fabulous header from a cross on the left that left home goalkeeper Kieran Preston helpless to register his seventh goal of the season.
The pace of the Gladiators’ front two of Dinanga and Curtis Morrison was a constant concern for the Gingerbreads who simply could not get going against an efficient Matlock side who used the flanks to great effect and when DINANGA doubled the lead five minutes before the interval with another fine header from a left wing cross, the tie was virtually decided.
The big question was whether Matlock could add to their tally. The answer was no but sensible game management as Matlock sensibly retained possession and took no chances meant that a Grantham recovery was never on.
The second period was more of a training match, a low key affair where Matlock always had the edge and chances were few and far between. But having worked hard to establish their comfortable lead, that suited Matlock just fine.
Surprisingly there was a lack of passion from the hosts as Matlock strolled to victory. Adam Yates and Dwayne Wiley easily dealt with the limited threat from the Gingerbreads forwards and Liam Marsden and Jake Green were often able to supply ammunition from wide positions when they joined in on attacks.
Williams and Joe Doyle-Charles dominated the midfield, Williams’ goal giving him star rating. With Niall McManus and Ted Cribley both putting in a good shift also, Matlock simply had too much for an on the day poor Grantham outfit.
Grantham’s best performances came from defenders as they carried little threat going forward, although from their point of view, to concede two similar headed goals would be disappointing.
So in the end it was a routine win for Matlock and another £3250 in prize money going into the club’s accounts.
GRANTHAM TOWN:1 Kieran Preston, 2 Luther Wildin, 3 Ellis Storey,4 Rhys Lewis, 5 StefanGalinski, 6 Danny Meadows, 7 Harry Clifton,8 Curtis Burrows,( 14 Danny Durkin 46) Barcelos, Lee Shaw, Luke Shaw (12 Michael Hollingsworth 46) Other subs: 15 Liam Quinn, 16 Danny Martin
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 Curtis Morrison (15 Marc Newsham 70) 10 Marcus Dinanga 11 Ted Cribley Other subs: 12 Alex Pursehouse 14 Jamie Yates 16 Kevin Grocott 17 Nico de Girolamo
REFEREE: D Hanna (Peterborough) ATTENDANCE: 259 BEST GLADIATOR: Michael Williams