WARRINGTON TOWN 2-0 MATLOCK TOWN
Matlock twice lost concentration shortly before the half time break to slip to a first defeat of the season.
Connor Hughes on 43 minutes and Tony Gray in stoppage time scored the goals which came against the run of the first half play when Matlock looked the better side without stretching Wire goalkeeper Tony McMillan.
Matlock tried hard in the second half but apart from a Dwayne Wiley header which struck the post ten minutes from time, they rarely looked like recovering a point.
Rhys Sharpe replaced Tyler Blake in the one change from the starting line up that drew at Sutton Coldfield meaning also Ted Cribley again playing a more central role after operating on the wing at Sutton.
It was Sharpe who created Matlock’s first dangerous moment with a penetrating run down the left ending with a fine cross which the Yellows did well to clear, Joe Doyle-Charles being fairly beaten as he attempted to drive the ball goalwards.
Barnes held a bobbling low shot from Dylan Vassallo before the next chance fell to the Gladiators. Josh Hine was booked for an elbow on Sharpe and from the free kick Nico Degirolamo’s header was deflected wide. It signalled a good spell of pressure from Matlock. A Darnelle Bailey-King centre failed to drop for Cribley before another fine break from the pacy winger saw him cross invitingly again but no-one in an anthracite kit was there to finish.
Although Barnes had to smother the ball at Gray’s feet, there was no indication that Warrington would take a grip on the game, but Matlock contributed to their own downfall.
Nobody picked up HUGHES who broke through to slip a shot past Barnes for the opener and with Matlock not having recovered from that setback, they gave the ball away in midfield and a pass was threaded through for GRAY to calmly fire past Barnes.
Shaun Harrad needed more support and service to be able to prosper, although he was denied on 52 minutes when James McCarten headed his shot behind for an unproductive corner.
Warrington were efficient and uncomplicated as they looked to be in relative comfort in the second half. The enormous throws of Hine created problems for the Gladiators defence, Barnes doing well to block a Gray effort from one, but clear cut opportunities were at a premium.
Harrad was off target before Wiley’s header beat McMillan but rebounded off his left hand post with ten minutes to go. Matlock needed that chance to go in to set up a possible grandstand finish. But Warrington closed Matlock down quickly and played sensibly , Phil Baker doing well to intercept a pass bound for Tyler Blake to ensure a clean sheet for his side.
As at Sutton on Tuesday, Matlock gave away some sloppy goals which cost them vital extra points.
WARRINGTON TOWN: 1 Tony McMillan 2 Liam Goulding 3 Rory McKeown 4 Brad barnes (16 Caleb Richards 76) 5 James McCarten 6 Phil Baker 7 Josh Hine 8 Sean Williams 9 Tony Gray 10 Dylan Vassallo (14 Joe Mwasile 72) 11 Connor Hughes (15 Abou Sanogo 66) Other subs: 12 Adam Carden 17 Gerard Kinsella
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Nico Degirolamo 3 Jake Green 4 Joe Doyle-Charles (12 Marc Newsham 76)5 Adam Yates 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Darnelle Bailey-King (15 Luis Rose 69) 8 Ryan Wilson 9 Shaun Harrad 10 Ted Cribley 11 Rhys Sharpe (16 Tyler Blake 66) Other subs: 14 Callum Lloyd 17 Zeyn Hakeem
REFEREE: Nik Storey (Manchester) ATTENDANCE: 243 BEST GLADIATOR: Ryan Wilson