MATLOCK TOWN 1-2 WHITBY TOWN
Two errors cost Matlock dearly as they slipped to a fifth successive league and cup defeat.
A goalkeeping mistake was at the heart of the Seasiders’ opener, then with just two minutes left, Dwayne Wiley misread the bounce of the ball midway inside his own half leaving a clear route forward for Michael Roberts to net. This came after Luis Rose had deservedly levelled for Matlock who looked the more likely to go on and collect the three points.
The hosts gave a debut to attacking midfielder Niall Flint, brought in from Sutton Coldfield Town, replacing Zeyn Hakeem in an otherwise unchanged line up from the team unluckily beaten at Coalville in midweek. Rose was pushed forward to partner Shaun Harrad in attack.
It was Rose who had the game’s first chance on 12 minutes when he latched on to a poor clearance to fire goalwards, his shot being parried by goalkeeper Shane Bland. In a start of precious few chances, Harrad was unfortunate not to find the net on 21 minutes. Joe Doyle- Charles was fouled some twenty five yards out and Harrad’s beautifully struck free kick thudded off the crossbar with Bland a spectator.
Whitby had rarely threatened but went in front six minutes later as Callum Hawkins allowed a soft shot from KIERAN WELEDJI to slither under him after the Whitby number nine had cut in from the left.
Rose looped a header too high from a Rhys Sharpe cross but although they had the lion’s share of the play, first half opportunities were limited.
Matlock made a double change at the interval bringing on Jake Green and Tyler Blake for Jeyden Cotterill and Flint, Green being the outlet on the left with Ryan Wilson switching to right back.
Doyle-Charles drove narrowly over the bar from twenty five yards four minutes after the restart, Harrad then nodding a Sharpe cross wide three minutes later. But Harrad would have been disappointed not to score in the 55th minute, Bland keeping out his shot in a one on one duel.
Rose was looking lively and a typical surging run ended with his long range drive thumping into Bland’s chest.
Having been on the defensive for most of the contest, Whitby suddenly broke and Weledji headed a good chance over the bar in the 69th minute, then it looked as if that miss might prove to be expensive for the Seasiders.
Just four minutes later, good foraging by Harrad on the right saw him set up ROSE who tucked a low shot from the edge of the box inches inside Bland’s left hand upright.
Soon afterwards Harrad headed a corner back into the danger area and Blake nodded wide but that was as near as Matlock would come to grabbing the decider.
It was Whitby who stole all three points when ROBERTS took advantage of Wiley’s misjudgement to steer his shot past Hawkins to extend the Gladiators’ dismal run. It was another game they should have got something from but errors and some ill fortune are hampering them at present.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Callum Hawkins 2 Jeyden Cotterill (14 Jake Green 46) 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Joe Doyle-Charles 5 Adam Yates 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Niall Flint (12 Tyler Blake 46) 8 Callum Lloyd 9 Shaun Harrad 10 Luis Rose 11 Rhys Sharpe (16 Zeyn Hakeem 74) Other subs: 15 Nico Degirolamo 17 Darnelle Bailey-King
WHITBY TOWN: 1 Shane Bland 2 Callum Martin 3 Daniel McWilliams 4 Luke Bytheway 5 Niall McGoldrick 6 Andrew May 7 Andrew Monkhouse 8 Stephen Snaith 9 Kieran Welejdi (12 Michael Roberts 80) 10 Matthew Tymon (David Carson 65) 11 Adam Gell Other subs: 15 Anthony Hume 16 Kyle Fryatt 17 Daniel Dixon
REFEREE: Ian Johnston (Wakefield) ATTENDANCE: 372 BEST GLADIATOR: Luis Rose