Mickleover Sports 2-0 Matlock Town
Matlock’s miserable record at Station Road continued with another defeat there on Saturday against an experienced Sports side.
A goal in each half, netted by Evan Garnett and Pablo Mills, the second being the killer when Matlock showed signs of a recovery, did the damage.
The Gladiators included all three loan signings in their starting line up, left back Jan Yeomans and midfielder Harry Vince arriving from Boston United and striker Harry Limb from Premiership Burnley.
Rhys Sharpe, Max Hunt and Joe Doyle-Charles were all on the bench, although Doyle-Charles reported with a heavy cold after being ill all week.
Matlock made a bright start and were unlucky not to go ahead in the 5th minute when smart interplay between Shaun Harrad and Ted Cribley released Kieran Wallace whose diagonal shot was heading into the far corner of the net until former Matlock goalkeeper Lewis King fingernailed the ball away for a corner.
Mickleover did not threaten until the 13th minute when the giant number nine Alex Morris headed over from a corner at the other end. But Sports maintained their momentum with Andy Gales having a shot blocked before a fortunate run of the ball saw it drop to GARNETT who made the most of the deflection to fire past Phil Barnes.
A good challenge by Adam Yates on Dales gave Matlock the sniff of an equaliser, Limb firing wide when well placed.
Kieran Wallace went into the referee’s notebook for a late challenge on Jimmy Phillips, the free kick causing Matlock hearts to flutter as Ollie Mulders’ low shot struck the post with Barnes unsighted.
Mickleover were then denied by the excellence of Barnes who made two first class saves to keep the Gladiators in contention.
Garnett raced into the box to find a short pass to Dales who saw his effort brilliantly blocked by the veteran goalkeeper who minutes later, produced an even better save to knock a six yards strike from Garnett over the bar.
Dales drove wide from twenty five yards as Mickleover ended the half in control after Matlock’s encouraging opening.
That trend was reversed somewhat as Matlock drove forward in the opening stages of the second period.
Yates saw an effort blocked before the Sports defence stood firm as a Harrad strike was deflected over the bar.
Cribley was giving Kevin Grocott a tough time, constantly skipping past him, a and when a shooting chance was there on the hour, he fired yards over the bar when well placed.
But Matlock’s hopes of a point took a nosedive three minutes later when MILLS escaped the attention of Wallace who was marking him to thump a header past Barnes from a left wing corner.
Matlock nearly found an almost instant response as Limb’s shot from distance was narrowly wide, and they came even closer in the 73rd minute.
Jamie Jackson, deployed down the right flank, was booked for dissent as Matlock’s frustration with an inconsistent referee grew.
Vince, who along with Yeomans, had an impressive debut, curled in free kick which rebounded on to King off the post, the goalkeeper desperately scrambling the ball behind for a corner.
After a number of late Mickleover challenges had gone unpunished, captain Tom Burgin was finally yellow carded in the 85th minute for a terrible challenge on Vince.
Another Yates effort was charged down and claims for a penalty when Jackson went down in the box were waved away as another
visit to the Don Amott Arena ended just the way all the other competitive ones had done for Matlock—in a defeat.
MICKLEOVER SPORTS: 1 Lewis King 2 Kevin Grocott 3 Ollie Mulders 4 Jake Scott 5 Pablo Mills 6 Tom Burgin 7 Andy Dales 8 Clinton Morrison (15 Lewis Belgrave 82) 9 Alex Morris 10 Evan Garnett (17 Jermaine Palmer 60) 11 Jimmy Phillips Other subs: 12 Reece Horne 14 Morgan Williams 16 Ben Turner
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Jake Green 3 Jan Yeomans 4 Kieran Wallace 5 Adam Yates 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Jamie Jackson 8 Harry Vince 9 Shaun Harrad 10 Harry Limb 11 Ted Cribley Subs (not used) 12 Joe Doyle-Charles 14 Max Hunt 15 Rhys Sharpe 16 Zak Brunt 17 Alfie Smith-Eccles
REFEREE: R Hathaway (Tamworth) ATTENDANCE: 412 BEST GLADIATOR: Phil Barnes