Matlock Town FC vs Ashton United
Matlock Town FC4
The Proctor Cars StadiumNorthern Premier League
Matlock Town manager Paul Phillips and his players will have been delighted to come away with all 3 points in this Northern Premier League fixture after an extremely convincing 4-1 win over Ashton United crisp Saturday afternoon at The Proctor Cars Stadium. All of the Matlock team from front to back certainly put in a performance that they can be proud of.
Only one change was made from the starting eleven that beat Grantham Town 1-0 the previous week, we Callum Dolon replacing Osebi Abadaki.
Nothing that particularly sparked the interest of the crowd transpired within the first few minutes of the game. However, things certainly spiced up in the 4th minute of the game when the Ashton United goalkeeper Gregory Hartley brought down Callum Dolan inside the penalty area and the referee, Anthony Tankard, pointed straight to the stop with no hesitation. Matlock’s no.11 Declan Walker stepped up to take the penalty, he drilled the ball hard and low to the left-hand side, the keeper guessed the right way and got a touch to the ball but failed to keep the ball out of the net.
With only 4 minutes on the clock, this certainly took some of the pressure off the Matlock players and left Ashton United playing catch up.
Besides the penalty, neither team really created too much in the way of clear-cut chances within the first 10 minutes of the game. Despite this, it would be hard to argue that Matlock did not looking the better out of the two sides in the opening encounters.
A worrying moment came in the 16th minute for Matlock after Adam Yates went down holding his wrist after a nasty collision with one of the Ashton United players, sighs of relief echoed around the ground as he came back onto the pitch and was able to play on.
In the 18th minute Matlock won a corner, an area of their game that they have been excelling in so far this season, unfortunately, the corner was easily cleared, the ball then fell to Matlock’s no.10 who strikes the ball on the volley but sees his effort drag wide.
On the 25 minute mark, Ashton United won a corner on the right-hand side and caught Matlock napping by taking the corner short and quickly, giving it to their number 10 Ben Hardcastle just on the edge of the box, he cut inside and struck the ball with his left foot, the ball took an unfortunate deflection and found its way into the bottom corner of the Matlock goal. It was the type of goal that Matlock will be kicking themselves for conceding as they were simply caught napping.
Not too long after the Ashton United goal was scored Matlock had a penalty appeal at the other end after Callum Dolan was brought down inside the Ashton United penalty box but the referee waved play on.
An exchange between Matlock’s Ryan Qualter and Ashton United’s Liam Tomsett resulted in a yellow card for both men. Not too long after this there were appeals for Liam Tomsett to receive a second yellow after a rash challenge on Adam Yates, the referee had a word but no card was given.
36 minutes into the first half and we were provided with perhaps the most talked-about moment of the
game after a pass back from Ashton United’s Michael Raynes went horribly wrong, seemingly under no pressure whatsoever from any Matlock players, Raynes miscalculates the back pass to his keeper and lobs the ball into his own net. The Ashton United goalkeeper, Gregory Hartley, scrambled back to try and prevent the ball from crossing the line but his efforts were in vain. Matlock found themselves 2-1 up in the thanks to the strangest of errors.
After this point, Matlock’s only real chance came from a cross on the right-hand side, that came from no.9 Liam Hughes that found the head of Reece Kendall on the back posted but sadly he glanced his header wide. Matlock went in 2-1 up at the break.
Early into the second half Ashton United win a free-kick outside of the Matlock box that hits the wall, on the back of this Matlock launch a counter-attack that sends in no.10 Callum Dolon who works his way into the box, his eventual attempt on goal is hit straight at the Ashton United goalkeeper. After the ball is cleared a cross comes into the box but no.9 Liam Hughes’ effort is struck wide.
After 15 minutes of football in the second half the teams looking quite evenly matched with neither team having long periods of sustained pressure.
Around the 70-minute mark the ball falls kindly for Matlock’s no.7 Alex Byrne, on the right-hand side of the Ashton United penalty box, he cuts in to shoot with his left, his shot took what could be described as a lucky deflection and finds its way into the far corner of the net. This goal seemed to takes the wind out of Ashton United’s sails.
After this an exciting moment came for the Matlock Town crowd when no.15 Cesaire Lingouba came on to makes his debut for the club after moving from Whitton Albion, replacing no.8 Spencer Harris.
With only 10 minutes left in regular time, Matlock grabbed their 4th of the game after a long punt forward was chested down by no.9 Liam Hughes just inside the box, after a fantastic piece of close control Hughes’ strike found the back of the net. It can be argued that the Ashton United goalkeeper should’ve done better with the shot being quite close to him but Hughes won’t care about that one bit.
After going 4-1 up Matlock looked to be in complete control of the game with absolutely no way back into it for Ashton United.
Ashton United did come close to a consolation goal in the 90h minutes after their no.10 Ben Hardcastle turned and shot inside the penalty box, dragging his shot just wide.
Shortly after this, the referee blew the full-time whistle putting end to a magnificent day for Matlock down as they come away 4-1 winners. Over the course of the 90 minutes Matlock certainly looking the better of the two sides, being very clinical and taking their chances when they came, while keeping the opposition at bay.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Shaun Rowley 2 Adam Yates 3 Reece Kendall 4 Sam Egerton 5 Ryan Qualter 6 Mark Lees 7 Alex Byrne 8 Spencer Harris (15 Cesaire Lingouba 74) 9 Liam Hughes 10 Callum Dolan (18 Andre Johnson 55) 11 Declan Walker (12 Andrew Bond 87) Other subs: 14 Kade Coppin 16 Craig King
ASHTON UNITED: 1 Greg Hartley 2 John Lofudu 3 Stavros Tserpes (15 Sam Sheridan 65) 4 Chris Rowney 5 Michael Raynes 6 Joshua Wilson 7 Liam Tomsett (12 Millenic Ali 58) 8 Jake Cottrell 9 Louis Almond 10 Ben Hardcastle 11 Louis Walters Other subs: 14 Michael Brewster 16 Joel Bemba-Leta 13 Daniel Eccles
REFEREE: Anthony Tankard (Sheffield) ATTENDANCE: 532 BEST GLADIATOR: Declan Walker
Match report by Ben Bond