Matlock Town FC vs Bedford Town
Matlock Town FC1
The Proctor Cars StadiumFA Trophy
MATLOCK TOWN 1-0 BEDFORD TOWN
Top scorer Jonny Margetts again came up with the goods as his stoppage time strike proved to be decisive to settle a scrappy shapeless tussle at the Proctor Cars Stadium on Saturday.
Bedford arrived with an unblemished league record in Southern League Central First Division to be top of the table so it was never going to be a straightforward passage for the Gladiators into the next round and so it proved.
Matlock had to restructure their line up when Robbie McNicholas pulled out with illness on the morning of the match, in fact two changes were made from the team beaten at Gainsborough with Jamie Sharman earning a recall and Karl Demidh back in for Nat Crofts. Alex Duhameau was named as a substitute, featuring in a matchday squad for the first time this season, goalkeeper Alex Akers making up the sixteen man squad.
There was little to ignite a 595 crowd early on and it was a pattern that would continue for large spells of the contest. The main talking point early on was a stoppage in play due to a leak from a burst pipe with the pitch having to be brushed clear, stopping proceedings for around ten minutes.
In the main it was a midfield battle, the only early danger coming from Margetts who scuffed his shot meaning an easy claim for giant goalkeeper Mark Smith. The next action wasn’t until the 37th minute, a long range strike from Margetts which was gathered comfortably by Smith. A similar strike from Demidh met the same fate, the game badly needing a spark and that looked to have arrived when Olly Clark was fouled in the box but Margetts saw his spot kick brilliantly kept out low to his left by Smith to keep the scores level.
Then in the next breath Bedford could have taken the lead as they broke at pace down the left, Louis Walsh crossing for Ryan Blake who could find little power in a free header allowing Deeney a reasonably comfortable save. In time added on there was still the chance for Demidh to plant a free kick too high and for Bedford’s Louis Green to fire into the arms of Deeney.
Josh Barnes shot wide soon after the restart with the fans obviously hoping for an improvement in what had been a tepid affair so far. At least there were more strikes on goal in the second half which like the first period was edged by the hosts.
Adam Watkins cleverly chested the ball down to strike a dipping shot which cleared the bar and then Blake broke down the right for the Eagles,
but Walsh made a hash of receiving the pass and a promising opportunity had passed Bedford by.
A fierce strike from Clark flashed past Smith’s left hand post before Watkins had a carbon copy of his earlier effort, this time the ball dropping on to the top of the net.
Matlock were enjoying the lion’s share of possession but struggling to create clear cut chances as both defences were still dominating and it was getting to squeaky bum time as a mistake would probably be crucial in the final analysis.
As it was it was a brilliant finish by MARGETTS that saw Matlock through three minutes into stoppage time. A corner was only half cleared and when the ball was put back in the mixer, the Gladiators top scorer brought it down beautifully before firing home off a post from fifteen yards to see Matlock through.
Full credit to Margetts who had been unwell in the lead up to the game but still provided the key moment, reacting brilliantly to a rare spot kick miss.
So a poor game overall, but the important thing for Matlock is the victory and Bedford had virtually no time to force a penalty shoot out and it proved to be a good end to a challenging few days for Martin Carruthers and his men.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Saul Deeney 2 Jamie Sharman 3 Joe West 4 Andrew Wright 5 Ioan Evans 6 George Wilkinson 7 John Johnston 8 Josh Barnes 9 Karl Demidh (12 Harry Wakefield 90+4) 10 Jonny Margetts 11 Olly Clark Other subs: 14 Ewan Catt 15 Nat Crofts 16 Alex Duhameau 17 Alex Akers
BEDFORD TOWN: 1 Mark Smith 2 Louis Green 3 Ben Walsler (14 Jack Green 74) 4 Shane Bush (15 Emmanuel Dahie 58) 5 Alex Collard 6 Ben Spaul 7 Ryan Blake 8 Adam Watkins 9 Jesse Akubine 10 Dom Morgan-Griffiths 11 Louis Walsh (16 Adam Cunnington 58)
REFEREE: George Eaton (Stockport) ATTENDANCE: 595 BEST GLADIATOR: George Wilkinson