Matlock Town FC vs Chesterfield FC
Matlock Town FC1
The Proctor Cars StadiumPre Season Friendly
Matlock Town 1-3 Chesterfield
James Rowe’s Spireites earned their first pre season victory and inflicted Matlock’s first pre season defeat in front of a bumper 1614 crowd at the Proctor Cars Stadium on a sweltering evening.
Three of the four goals were of the highest quality highlighting what fans have missed during the frustration of the pandemic.
Chesterfield were ahead within 4 minutes through Liam Mandeville, Alex Byrne replying for the hosts on 37 minutes. Seconds before half time Danny Rowe smashed in a goal of the season candidate with the Spireites making sure of victory late on through Nathan Tyson.
Before kick off there was an exhiliarating, emotional and heart warming minute’s applause for the late Ernie Moss, Spireites legend and successful Gladiators manager, both teams, match officials and the huge crowd joining in with Ernie’s family who were special guests of the Gladiators on the night. One of Ernie’s former team mates and highly respected former Matlock captain and manager, Tom Fenoughty was also in the crowd.
As Matlock boss Paul Phillips remarked afterwards, Chesterfield were the best side Matlock have faced in the warm up games but also agreeing that his side probably showed them too much respect in the opening exchanges.
The National League side were in front from virtually their first attack of note after a rare sloppy moment in the home defence saw Stefan Payne find LIAM MANDEVILLE on the right for the number ten to thread a low cross drive beyond goalkeeper Shaun Rowley.
Rowe blasted a fierce free kick narrowly over the bar in the 11th minute before shortly afterwards Payne hooked wide when well placed. Payne went close again in the 23rd minute with Rowley grabbing his well struck shot at the second attempt.
Out of the blue though Matlock suddenly threatened as Jesurun Ubechegulam was in behind the Spireites back line and his first time twenty five yards blast was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Scott Loach.
In the next minute, an acrobatic scissor kick by Matlock skipper fell wide after Byrne had crossed from the right.
A Hughes flick was straight at Loach but the goalkeeper was left grasping thin air when from a free kick 22 yards out, BYRNE expertly beat the defensive wall and found the net just inside the goalkeeper’s left hand upright to pull Matlock level.
Rowe powered a header wide following a ball in from the right as Chesterfield were forced to increase the tempo and it was ROWE who would have made his namesake of a manager’s team talk that little bit easier with a peach of a strike on the stroke of half time.
Payne was again involved feeding the former Bradford City man who unleashed an unstoppable rising drive from thirty yards that Rowley could scarcely have seen as it skimmed the bar on its way to goal.
An even second period followed with little to choose between the teams.
Callum Chippendale’s intense work rate, tenacity and persistence saw him engineer a 54th minute chance for himself as he worried the Spireites defence and the trialist goalkeeper who was hopelessly out of position, Chippendale’s lob being a touch too high.
Reece Kendall’s volley was deflected wide before the visiting goalkeeper saved his side from being pegged back with a point blank stop to keep out a close range Sam Egerton header.
Rowley was well placed to hold a downward header from substitute Tom Debton as Matlock defended well to restrict scoring chances for the men in blue, Matlock wearing their white and navy away kit for the tie.
Laurence Maguire did well to clear up from a Kendall ball that could have created a shooting chance for Craig Carney. It was at the expense of a corner which worked well for Chesterfield who cleared their lines and broke at pace, Saidou Khan’s lung busting run ending with a ball inside to TYSON who whipped a rising shot off the underside of the bar with five minutes left.
The two goal winning margin in the end flattered Chesterfield a little, Matlock recovering from an uncertain start to compete on an even keel with their near neighbours.
It was once again an enjoyable night with not a hint of trouble. One thing’s for sure, Ernie Moss, a regular attender at the fixture, would have loved the atmosphere, the quality of the goals and the industry shown by both teams.
MATLOCK TOWN: Shaun Rowley, Trialist, Reece Kendall, Sam Egerton, Ryan Qualter, Mark Lees, Alex Byrne, Declan Walker, Liam Hughes, Callum Chippendale, Jesurun Ubechegulam. Subs used; Craig Carney, Jonathan Wafula, John Pritchard. Unused: Ross Hannah, Kade Coppin
CHESTERFIELD: Scott Loach, Laurence Maguire, James Grimes, Gavin Gunning, Alex Whittle, Jeff King, Jack McCourt, Emmanuel Oyeleke, Liam Mandeville, Danny Rowe, Stefan Payne Subs-used Calvin Miller, Nathan Tyson, Curtis Weston, Trialist, Trialist, Saidou Khan, Joe Rowley, Tom Denton. Unused: Fraser Kerr
REFEREE: Jamie O’Connor (Chesterfield) ATTENDANCE: 1,614