MATLOCK TOWN 5-0 SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN
It was a memorable afternoon all round for Matlock who went nap and made the day especially great for skipper Adam Yates who was presented with a watch ahead of his 400th appearance for the Gladiators.
They did it without top scorer Shaun Harrad, sidelined with an ankle injury and had two new players on the bench in midfielders Nathan Whitehead from Spalding United and Adam Etches, on loan from Stockport County.
Matlock fully deserved the margin of victory against a poor Sutton side who never tested home goalkeeper Phil Barnes and at the other end had a defence full of holes which the hosts eventually exploited to the full.
After going close numerous times it was Harrad’s replacement, TYLER BLAKE who got the ball rolling on 17 minutes, firing low under Alfreton loanee Mason Springthorpe following good build-up play from Ted Cribley and Tyrell Waite.
Sutton seldom threatened, only a deflected 25th minute strike from Gurjit Singh who hit a hat-trick in the 3-3 draw against Matlock at Coles Lane in August, dropping behind for a fruitless corner.
But it was only one nil at the interval as a Michael Williams free kick was held by Springthorpe and Luis Rose shot too high.
Then Yates might have made his afternoon all the more memorable.
A swift attack involving Joe Doyle-Charles, Waite and Rose saw Cribley’s shot hit a defender and bounce out for a corner from which Yates saw his header rebound off the post.
Sutton had conceded six at Grantham on the preceeding Tuesday and would have been relieved to be just one behind at the DCJ Group Arena, but they were soon in deeper trouble after the interval.
After just two minutes ROSE cut in from the right to float a marvellous shot over Springthorpe and into the far corner to put Matlock even more firmly in command. Now it seemed a case of just how many Matlock would score.
But it took until the 77th minute for the third goal to arrive, Cribley being fouled and WILLIAMS calmly slotted home the spot kick.
WILLIAMS netted again on 88 minutes finishing off a cross from ETCHES who then showed sublime awareness and skill to glide home the fifth as the game entered its 90th minute.
Unfortunately Whitehead’s debut did not last long as he was helped off with blood streaming from around his eye late on to leave the Gladiators a man short.
It was a much needed Matlock victory against admittedly the worst team they have faced this season, But the job had been professionally done and they will now be looking to put an unbeaten run together to climb the table. Confidence will also have been lifted by such a comprehensive victory and there are signs that they are returning to the exciting form of last season.
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MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Nico Degirolamo 3 Jake Green 4 Joe Doyle-Charles 5 Adam Yates 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Luis Rose 8 Michael Williams 9 Tyler Blake (14 Nathan Whitehead 74) 10 Tyrell Waite (17 Adam Etches 69) 11 Ted Cribley (12 Rhys Sharpe 81) Other subs: 15 Niall Flint 16 Jayden Cotterill
SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN: 1 Mason Springthorpe 2 Brian Smikle 3 Bobby Mossley (14 Nathaniel Kelly 59) 4 Reece Webb (17 Francino Francis 74) 5 Luis Morrison-Derbyshire 6 Jak Barnes 7 Joseph Sinton (16 Nehemiah Zazi 38) 8 Lee Smith 9 Gurdit Singh 10 Kris Taylor 11 Zak Martin Other subs: 12 Bozhidar Aleksaadrov 15 George Cleet
REFEREE: Paul Tomes (Sheffield) ATTENDANCE: 334 BEST GLADIATOR: Michael Williams