Matlock Town FC vs Atherton Collieries
Matlock Town FC3
The Proctor Cars StadiumNorthern Premier League
MATLOCK TOWN 3-0 ATHERTON COLLERIES
It took some time in coming, but the Gladiators broke their duck in terms of a league win at the fourth time of asking in an entertaining contest at the Proctor Cars Stadium on Tuesday night.
The smiles at the end were ones of joy but also relief, that first win had looked on at Morpeth three days earlier but the 3-1 lead was lost in a heartbreaking last ten minutes or so.
There were no such scares this time but plucky Atherton certainly caused the Gladiators some problems but lacked the cutting edge in the final third. By contrast on the whole, Matlock were more lethal, Olly Clark putting them in front midway through the first half with striker Jon Margetts finally getting off the mark as he added two more.
Joe West started in place of Jamie Sharman in the one change to the starting line up, with Sam Hooper replacing Karl Demidh among the substitutes.
Matlock initially started well and Atherton could not get out of their own half in the opening minutes, but then mysteriously the Gladiators lost their way.
Saul Deeney was forced to push a Harvey Gregson shot over the bar in the 5th minute and they had another chance when Jordan Scanlon cut in from the right, his effort taking a deflection for a fruitless corner.
At the other end, Nat Crofts, man of the match on Saturday, was again prominent, his shot being blocked before goalkeeper Nico Defreitas-Hanson clung on to Joe West’s driven cross from the left. Crofts would play a huge part in Matlock’s opener, his cross to the far post being met by OLLIE CLARK’s emphatic header. Crofts then teased full back Jack Evans before firing narrowly past the far post, the move emanating from sterling work from man mountain Kemy Agustien who fed John Johnston on the right for the winger to provides the ammunition.
George Wilkinson went into the book for a reckless tackle on Nathan Caine who drove the free kick directly at Deeney. It was the first of three yellow cards, the others going to Agustien and Colls’ Dylan Mooney.
West did well to shepherd away a probing centre from Josh Askew and Deeney was well placed to knock Scanlon’s stinging drive to safety but Matlock enjoyed a more profitable end to the opening half.
Crofts was on to an excellent pass from Margetts only to be crowded out when he was deep in the Colls’ penalty box. Then how Crofts missed a sitter from six yards only he will know! Penalty appeals when Margetts appeared to be tripped were ignored but the Gladiators would double their advantage on the stroke of half time, Colls failing to clear their lines and MARGETTS finish was not the best as he hit his shot into the turf but it was still good enough to beat Defreitas Hansen.
Johnston threaded a inviting ball across the six yard box as Matlock would have their half time refreshment with a nice two goals lead, Atherton probably feeling their efforts deserved more.
Matlock were slow out of the blocks after the interval, the visitors having a penalty appeal turned down when the ball hit West on the hand but the Matlock full back had his hands close to his body. Matlock would be relieved when Deeney came charging out to meet Mwiya Malumo who dinked his shot past him but wide of the far post. Scanlon trundled another effort wide but when Jordan Boon brought down Margetts in the box, their hopes of a comeback went with it, MARGETTS dusting himself down to make it three nil seventeen minutes into the half.
Substitute Harry Wakefield missed his header from a West corner on the right before a shot by Scanlon found the sidenetting, Ben Rydel and Pemberton then firing high off target.
Margetts and Wakefield in quick succession had late efforts charged down but the win had been long confirmed. There is still much work to do for manager Martin Carruthers to feel totally comfortable with things, but winning for the first time is massive. Now they must build on four out of six points in visits to Marine and Stafford Rangers over the bank holiday.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Saul Deeney 2 Robbie McNicholas 3 Joe West 4 Olly Clark (15 Sam Hooper 63) 5 Ioan Evans 6 George Wilkinson 7 John Johnston (16 Ewan Catt 72) 8 Andrew Wright (12 Harry Wakefield 68) 9 Kemi Augustien 10 Jonny Margetts 11 Nathaniel Crofts Other subs: 14 Reece Styche 17 Myles Wright
ATHERTON COLLERIES: 1 Nico Defreitas-Hanson 2 Jack Evans (15 Josh Solomon-Davies 71) 3 Josh Askew 4 Dylan Mooney 5 Jordan Fagboola 6 Jordan Boon 7 Harvey Gregson 8 Sidi Fofana 9 Mwiya Malumo (12 Ben Rydel 55) 10 Jordan Scanlon 11 Nathan Caine (16 Rio Pemberton 45) Other sub: 13 Jack Buckley
REFEREE: Chris Porter (Leyland) ATTENDANCE: 691 BEST GLADIATOR: Nat Crofts