Matlock Town FC vs Mansfield Town
Matlock Town FC1
The Proctor Cars StadiumPre Season Friendly
Matlock Town 1-0 Mansfield Town
Callum Chippendale’s strike after 14 minutes proved to be the difference as once again Matlock Town shocked the Stags after two cup shocks they produced in days gone by.
The Gladiators deserved the win on the night as they created the better chances with neither of their two goalkeepers on show being seriously extended.
The game though would be useful for both sides as Mansfield faced a physical and tough challenge from the hosts while the Gladiators had some stern defending to do when Mansfield greatly improved after the interval.
On a beautiful summers evening, a large crowd basked in the sun and paid their respect to former Matlock boss Ernie Moss in an impeccably observed minute’s silence prior to the kick off.
Matlock’s Alex Wiles’ game lasted barely three minutes as he had to be helped off with a head injury to be replaced with Declan Walker. Matlock then pressurised the Stags as they pushed the League Two outfit back only for Nigel Clough’s men to retaliate with The Gladiators’ trialist goalkeeper doing well to advance off his line at pace to poach the ball off Rhys Oates’ toes.
The trialist then was well placed to hold a fierce strike from distance by George Lapslie before a faulty pass back towards goalkeeper Owen Mason nearly let in Jonathan Wafula but Mansfield’s defenders shut up shop to avert any damage.
CHIPPENDALE though broke the deadlock when Liam Hughes did well to knock a short pass into his path and he found the onion bag with a low drive from ten yards.
Mansfield had problems penetrating a well drilled Gladiators defence and their attempts were mainly from long range .Lapslie and Steven McLaughlin could not profit and the Stags would have breathed a huge sigh of relief not to have been two goals down when Wafula was through on his own but Mason saved the shot with his legs with half time fast approaching.
Ollie Clarke’s header from one of numerous Stags’ corners dropped wide with Ollie Hawkins nodding wide from another flag kick. In between though substitute Ross Hannah broke down the right from a Hughes flick, his low cross towards Walker being cut out at the expense of a corner which Hughes headed too high.
Mansfield at last put the hosts under some concerted pressure but Matlock stood firm showing a resilience they will require to prosper in the NPL Premier Division this season.
The Gladiators looked dangerous on the break, their industry being emphasised when Jesurun Ubechegulam pinched possession deep in Stags’ territory to feed Hannah whose shot was blocked.
Ryan Qualter blocked brilliantly from Corey O’ Keefe before on 80 minutes a Matlock trialist received the second of two yellow cards for a foul on Nathan Caine. Stags boss Nigel Clough though made it ten versus ten as he withdrew Elliott Hewitt in a marvellous gesture of sportsmanship.
Matlock stood firm to see out the game and earn a highly impressive win on a night when everyone in a blue shirt contributed. Mansfield will be disappointed with the result but will have the consolation of a good work out ahead of the 2021/22 campqign.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Trialist 2 Trialist 3 Jonathan Wafula 4 Ryan Qualter 5 Reece Kendall 6 Mark Lees 7 Alex Byrne 8 Alex Wiles 9 Liam Hughes 10 Callum Chippendale 11 Jesurun Ubechegulam Subs-all used : John Pritchard, Ross Hannah, Craig Carney, Declan Walker, Kade Coppin, Shaun Rowley
MANSFIELD TOWN: 1 Owen Mason 2 Kellem Gordon 21 James Charles 4 Elliott Hewitt 3 Stephen McLaughlin, 32 George Lapslie 7 Henry Charsley 8 Ollie Clarke 23 Rhys Oates 12 Ollie Hawkins 11 Danny Johnson Subs used: 15 Corey O’Keefe 24 George Cooper 20 Jaden Charles 19 Keeton Ward 26 George Scott 17 Tyrese Sinclair 25 Nathan Caine Not used: Jimmy Knowles
REFEREE: Jamie O’Connor (Chesterfield) ATTENDANCE: 971