MATLOCK TOWN 2-0 WORKINGTON
Matlock fans will be scouring the record books to find out when their team last won six successive league games following Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Workington at the DCJ Group Arena.
Adam Yates on 25 minutes and Ricky German on 61 netted the goals which continues caretaker manager Dave Hoole’s remarkable record which still has a zero in the defeats column.
Amazingly it was Matlock’s fourth game in a week and having ben in 22nd spot just a month ago, the Gladiators have jumped into tenth spot, an astonishing turnaround.
The Gladiators again played their patient passing game against a decent looking Workington outfit, sometimes Matlock’s moves did not quite work out but it did not deter them from sticking to their game plan.
With Michael Williams ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a hamstring injury, Harry Wood slotted into his midfield slot. Dwayne Wiley returned at centre back so Jake Phillips resumed at right back and Jamie Jackson was in attack with Harry Limb on the bench.
Matlock had a chance to go in front almost immediately, German latching on to a Joe Doyle-Charles pass to see his shot deflected wide for an unproductive corner.
Workington though looked lively when they attacked, the dangerous Dave Symington flashing a low ball across the Gladiators box and then again finding a centre which Wiley was happy to flick away for a corner. Then Scott Allison had a 10th minute opportunity with Matlock wanting the offside flag, but he could only gently fire straight at goalkeeper Richard Walton.
German’s drive was comfortably held by Reds custodian Aaron Taylor following an 18th minute foul on Wood before Matlock had a more productive patch which brought about the opening goal.
Doyle-Charles won a magnificent challenge in midfield which gave Ted Cribley the chance to move forward and plant a low 25 yarder narrowly wide. Then Jake Green, always keen to support the attack from deep down the left, forced a corner after his shot was blocked. Kieran Wallace flicked the flag kick on at the near post for YATES to score with a fine header on the run.
The Reds though would not lie down and might have been level six minutes later as Walton parried a stinging shot from distance by Symington and Steven Rigg, following up, could only half hit the loose ball at Walton. The half ended with Symington floating a free kick wide and at the other end Jackson extending Taylor after a swift break on the left.
The visitors made a bright start to the second half with Rigg seeing his shot comfortably grabbed by Walton but Matlock might have twice doubled their lead soon afterwards.
German cut in from the left and with players up in support, shot disappointingly wide of the near post. He was then clear of the Reds defence but Taylor kept the Cumbrians in contention with an excellent block save.
Respite would not last long though when Jackson’s industry on the half way line saw him win possession and put Cribley clear.
GERMAN was up in support with Cribley feeding him at just the right moment and he slipped his shot past Taylor and the Gladiators looked home and dry.
Given the hefty fixture schedules of both sides recently the game lost its intensity in the closing stages which Matlock saw out without alarm being again applauded off after another excellent result.
But there was the chance for three academy products to be on the field in the closing stages. Billy Whitehead and Zak Brunt joined starter Harry Wood in gaining precious experience of NPL football.
It also gave Matlock their second league double of the campaign, having won 1-0 at Borough Park in September.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Richard Walton 2 Jake Phillips 3 Jake Green 4 Joe Doyle-Charles 5 Adam Yates 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Kieran Wallace 8 Harry Wood 9 Ricky German (16 Chris Ondong-Mba 66) 10 Ted Cribley (17 Zak Brunt 86) 11 Jamie Jackson (15 Billy Whitehead 77) Other subs: 12 Harry Limb 14 Amos Kabeya
WORKINGTON: 1 Aaron Taylor 2 Matty Douglas (15 Cam Harker 79)3 Gari Rowntree 4 Dan Wordsworth 5 Sam Smith 6 Jamie Mellen 7 Max Brown (12 Leo Holliday 73) 8 Jordan Holt 9 Scott Allison 10 Steven Rigg 11 David Symington Other subs: 14 Joe Hetherington 16 Lee Andrews
REFEREE: Wade Smith (Stockport) ATTENDANCE: 320 BEST GLADIATOR: Kieran Wallace