FC United Of Manchester vs Matlock Town FC
FC United Of Manchester2
Broadhurst ParkNorthern Premier League
Matlock Town FC3
FC United of Manchester 2-3 Matlock Town
A brace from Karl Demidh added to Nathan Whitehead’s opener earned the Gladiators a three goal advantage which the hosts cut into with a late rally but Martin Carruthers’ men held on to record a deserved away victory at Broadhurst Park.
The Matlock boss made one change to the team which lost at Guiseley in midweek , Harry Wood failed a late fitness test so Demidh came into the starting eleven to play in tandem with Anthony Dwyer in attack.
Dwyer came within a lick of paint of opening the scoring in only the 2nd minute, an instant volleyed strike from twenty five yards bouncing against the bar with home goalkeeper Pat Boyes well beaten.
Charlie Munro fired wide for the Reds before Demidh mishit his strike with the ball drifting harmlessly wide. The promise of an entertaining game was already evident.
Matlock came again with Demidh again not getting full purchase on his shot when Dwyer crossed, Michael Williams then having a shot from the edge of the penalty box deflected over the bar.
United then had a good spell without threatening Saul Deeney but the chances were falling to Matlock.
Dwyer hit a power packed shot which Boyes brilliantly tipped over the bar, Whitehead’s header from the corner being deflected wide but this corner would bring joy for the visitors with WHITEHEAD rising majestically to steer a well directed header beyond Boyes to give Town a 32nd minute lead.
Soon afterwards another header, this time from John Johnston from a George Wilkinson break down the right struck the junction of bar and post before Williams drove too high from distance.
But Matlock doubled their lead three minutes before the interval, United overplaying as they worked the ball out from defence and with Matlock pressing intently they forced a mistake and DEMIDH took full advantage with a fiercely hit low angled drive from the edge of the box.
Deeney comfortably held a twenty yarder from Declan McLoughlin and Matlock went in for their half time breather with a deserved advantage.
United made two changes at the break, including the introduction of former Matlock attacker Paul Charlie Ennis.
The hosts piled on the pressure almost immediately, Adam Yates making a crucial block from Max Woodcock before substitute Jay Fitzmartin shot wide. Michael Donohue then fired too high before Deeney’s first save of note came on 58 minutes when he did well to fingertip Dontai Gabbidon’s effort over the bar.
A free kick from McLoughlin found the sidenetting as United were much more purposeful but they made their task look virtually hopeless when another mistake cost them a third goal on 68 minutes. A long punt from Deeney was missed by Dan Lafferty leaving DEMIDH clear to fire left footed beyond Boyes’ dive.
That should have been game set and match for the Gladiators who had another opportunity through Alex Duhameau, Matlock defeating the offside trap and the number eleven saw his shot well saved by Boyes. But within three minutes GABBIDON reduced the deficit, cutting in from the right to place an accurate low strike into the corner. It was a disappointing way to concede as Matlock had defended superbly up to that point.
Deeney scrambled to knock away a free kick by Munro with Matlock under the cosh somewhat as United looked to stage a grandstand recovery.
Yates stabbed clear a Gabbidon shot a yard from the goal-line, Ioan Evans then covering superbly but United made it a tense final few minutes when Matlock failed to clear a corner and CURTIS JONES drilled a low shot into the net with a minute of the regulatory ninety remaining.
Thankfully Matlock’s game management in stoppage time was decent and they held on for three equally decent points, a win away from home in front of a big crowd and without the goals of Jonny Margetts.
Demidh and Dwyer stepped up to the mark in attack and in midfield Whitehead and Williams were immense in what was a good all round team display and a pleasing away performance.
FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER: 1 Pat Boyes 2 Malakai Reeve (15 Paul Charlie Ennis 46) Guy Hall 4 Luke Griffiths (16 Jay Fitzmartin 46) 5 Dan Lafferty 6 Curtis Jones 7 Michael Donohue 8 Charlie Munro 9 Max Woodcock (12 Nic Ballado 69) 10 Declan McLoughlin 11 Dontai Gabbidon Other subs: 14 Max Cane 17 Charlie Oliver
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Saul Deeney 2 George Wilkinson 3 Joe West 4 Nathan Whitehead 5 Adam Yates 6 Ioan Evans 7 John Johnston 8 Michael Williams (15 Olly Clark 77) 9 Karl Demidh (14 Nat Crofts 69) 10 Anthony Dwyer 11 Alex Duhameau Other subs: 12 Andrew Wright 16 Jamie Sharman 18 Alex Akers
REFEREE: Joe Moss (Leeds) ATTENDANCE: 1,480 BEST GLADIATOR: Nathan Whitehead