MATLOCK TOWN 2-2 MARINE
This was two points dropped by Matlock who had recovered from an interval deficit to lead only to be pegged back by an 84th minute equaliser.
Once again the failure to put a consistent ninety minute performance together proved to be Matlock’s downfall, but even then they should have grabbed all three points.
Retaining the starting line up which had beaten Mickleover in midweek, they immediately went on the attack with Luis Rose firing comfortably wide and Marine goalkeeper Ben Barnes holding a Shaun Harrad header.
But the hosts lost concentration on 10 minutes when Marine took a free kick quickly on the right and DANNY MITCHLEY finished the centre with aplomb with Matlock all at sea.
Harrad glanced a Jake Green cross wide shortly afterwards before firing a free kick into the Mariners defensive wall. Then Harrad had a shot and a header blocked by a stubborn Marine back line before a fine challenge by Adam Hughes stopped Harrad in his tracks as he was about to pull the trigger.
Harrad’s strike partner Tyler Blake had an effort deflected wide, Adam Yates put a header narrowly over and Rose had a shot deflected wide to end a half Matlock had dominated without looking altogether convincing. Apart from the goal Marine had seldom threatened, their only other opportunity being a 44th minute shot from Mitchley which cleared the bar.
Matlock made a double change at the interval, bringing on Ted Cribley and Ryan Wilson for Blake and Callum Lloyd.
Within six minutes Matlock were back on level terms, Cribley inding HARRAD who rifled a siperb finish past Barnes from fifteen yards.
It was a more business like Matlock now and Rhys Sharpe and Wilson both came close before the Gladiators went in front on 68 minutes following a handling offence in the Mariners penalty box. HARRAD confidently struck home the spot kick and it looked safe to assume that from this point, the Gladiators would go on to secure victory.
But Matlock could not build on their advantage and Marine sensed an unlikely point, those dreams materialising when HUGHES looped a header over Phil Barnes following a long cross from the right.
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 Callum Lloyd (14 Ryan Wilson 46) 9 Shaun Harrad 10 Tyler Blake (12 Ted Cribley 46) 11 Rhys Sharpe Other subs: 15 Niall Flint 16 Jayden Cotterill 17 Callum Hawkins
MARINE: 1 Be Barnes 2 Kisimba Kisimba 3 James Short 4 Adam Hughes 5 Michael Grogan 6 William Smart 7 Kenny Strickland (15 Scott Bakkor 75) 8 Michael Brewster (17 Thomas Field 80) 9 Danny Mitchley 10 Vincent Bailey (12 George Hassall 65) 11 James Edgar Other subs: 14 Peter Wylie 16 John Shaw
REFEREE: Matthew Law (Leicester) ATTENDANCE: 305 BEST GLADIATOR: Shaun Harrad