Glossop North End 3-2 Matlock Town
Matlock’s second first stage exit from an FA competition this season was largely self inflicted as poor defending and the inability to put the game to bed when they were 2-1 up in the second half cost them dearly.
Shaun Harrad’s brace had overturned a half time deficit as Matlock looked in total control but the Hillmen recovered their composure and took advantage of Matlock’s defensive generosity to fight back and win.
So a horrible afternoon weather wise in the High Peak was compounded for Gladiators fans with an overall frustration of what could and should have happened. They should have secured their place in Monday’s draw for the next round.
There was a pre match blow for Matlock with captain Adam Yates being ruled out with an injury sustained against Stafford Rangers seven days earlier. Nico Degirolamo took his place with the starting line up otherwise unaltered, loan signing Noel Burdett being named as a substitute.
The visitors had the wind and rain in their favour during a first half which never really got going. Matlock failed to make the conditions count, Tyrell Waite firing wide on 11 minutes and goalkeeper Paul Phillips holding a long distance effort from Kieron Wallace.
Glossop were handed the lead from their first shot at goal on 23 minutes, a forward pass down the middle cutting through the Matlock back line too easily and JUDE OYIBO neatly tucked a low shot past Phil Barnes.
The goal stung Matlock into a more urgent response but nowhere near enough the level required. Michael Williams shot over the bar and then skied a free kick even higher. Harrad was working hard with little support and it was clear that the Gladiators had to improve greatly in the second half to progress.
That was a sentiment clearly shared by the management duo as Matlock were out for the second period a clear five minutes before everyone else.
Those half time words appeared to have done the trick although they might have fallen further behind in the 48th minute, Barnes coming to his side’s rescue.with a fine one on one save from Glossop debutant Zeph Thomas who had the shortest of spells with Town three years ago. The loose ball fell to Dale Johnson, Barnes scuttling across his goal to block with his feet.
Three minutes later the game was all square with a brilliant strike from HARRAD, the Gladiators top scorer picking the ball up from a throw on the left to float a magnificent strike over Philips and into the top far corner of the net from twenty yards.
Shortly afterwards both Harrad and Waite missed chances to score before the Gladiators went in front just before the hour. Waite’s shot was handled by Courtney Meppen-Walter who was probably a touch unfortunate to be booked. HARRAD’s spot kick was brilliantly blocked by Phillips but he could not prevent Harrad from firing in the loose ball.
Now Matlock needed to go for the kill. Had they taken their chances there would have been no way back for the hosts who at this point looked a beaten side. Harrad frd Waite who shot disappintingly wide when well placed. a tame drive from Williams suffering the same fate. Harrad with a header and then Micky Harcourt had efforts blocked on the line as Glossop hung on.
But then Matlock pressed the self destruct button. Out of the blue Glossop broke and from a right wing cross nobody picked up OYIBO who gently nodded a bouncing ball past Barnes for a 77th minute equaliser.
Harrad drove too high after being set up skilfully by Ted Cribley before another defensive mix up cost Matlock the tie. A free kick was needlessly conceded just inside the Matlock half which was floated in for skipper ADAM JONES to give Barnes no chance with a thumping header.
Matlock had six minutes plus added time to save themselves. Burdett replaced Jake Green and Harrad had the ball in the net but was thwarted by the offside flag. With Matlock throwing men forward, gaps inevitably appeared at the back and Barnes stopped Obiyo from registering a hat-trick.
So Matlock have no money whatsoever from the prize funds in the two FA competitions, highly disappointing after their exploits last season. They only have themselves to blame, this, like the FA Cup tie at Haughmond, was there for the taking, and again they fell short, not primarily from their opponents being better, but from self inflicted wounds.
They must now make sure they concentrate their efforts on jumping up the league and doing well in the Integro and Derbyshire Senior Cup competitions. There is still much to play for, the season is not over as some fans believe.
GLOSSOP NORTH END: 1 Paul Phillips 2 Matt Russell 3 Matty Russell 4 Lee Rick (17 Chris Baguley 78) 5 Adam Jones 6 Courtney Meppen-Walter, 7 Jude Oyibo 8 Gary Gee 9 Dale Johnson 10 Zeph Thomas (15 Ben Deegan 73) 11 Liam Wood (14 Tunde Owolabi 73) Other subs: 12 Mark Haslam 16 Kane Hickman
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Micky Harcourt 3 Jake Green (12 Noel Burdett 84) 4 Kieron Wallace 5 Nico Degirolamo 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Rhys Sharpe 8 Michael Williams 9 Shaun Harrad 10 Tyrell Waite 11 Ted Cribley Other subs: 14 Joe Doyle-Charles 15 Nathan Whitehead 16 Harry Wood
REFEREE: L Freeman (Sheffield) ATTENDANCE: 310 BEST GLADIATOR: Shaun Harrad