Matlock Town FC vs Radcliffe FC
Matlock Town FC4
The Proctor Cars StadiumNorthern Premier League
MATLOCK TOWN 4-0 RADCLIFFE
Jonny Margetts provided the early Bonfire weekend fireworks as his incredible scoring spree continued against runaway league leaders Radcliffe on Saturday.
Margetts netted all four goals to take his season’s tally to a whirlwind twenty four, as the Gladiators upset the odds by thrashing the visitors who had won twelve out of their previous league games. Margetts and every player in the home ranks were simply magnificent as Matlock provided not only the shock of the day in the NPL, but possibly the shock of the season.
They did it without the services of central defender Ioan Evans who was getting married so Nathan Whitehead partnered Adam Yates at the heart of the back four, Finlay Armond being recalled in midfield in the one change to the Gladiators starting line up which had won 3-0 at North Ferriby in the FA Trophy seven days earlier.
It was a sign of things to come as Matlock pushed the leaders back in the opening exchanges, John Johnston’s free kick dropping narrowly wide and Alex Duhameau’s effort from distance being a fraction too high.
But their excellent pressing game paid dividends as Radcliffe got themselves into a calamitous mess on 12 minutes, Rick Smith lobbing a back pass over the head of his goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt and MARGETTS being the predator that he is calmly slotted the ball home for the opening goal of the contest.
The lead could have been doubled eight minutes later when Margetts broke clear of the trailing Borough defence only to see Hewelt pull off a fine stop to deny Margetts in a one on one.
The respite would only be brief though. Johnston twice forced Hewelt into excellent saves as Matlock searched for a second goal which came from the spot on 29 minutes.
Smith was again culpable as Joe West delivered a low ball from the left, Margetts riding the initial challenge before a rush of blood from Smith saw him bundle Margetts to the turf. Referee Dan England had no doubts about the award and MARGETTS did the rest easily beating Hewelt from twelve yards.
Radcliffe badly needed a response and Jude Oyibu nearly gave them it only a minute later. Free on the left his fiercely hit shot was well blocked by Matlock custodian Saul Deeney who made himself large at the near post.
Deeney was then on hand to deal with a free kick from Josh Hancock but Matlock were soon back on the offensive and Smith gave the Gladiators a helping hand once again as he stretched to intercept a through pass but could only scoop the ball into the path of Anthony Dwyer. The number eleven fed Johnston who cut in to shoot, the strike being cleared off the line by Luke Joyce only for MARGETTS to pick up the pieces to complete a first half hat-trick from close range eight minutes from the interval.
Matlock were in dreamland but they would be conscious of having to withstand an expected Radcliffe response in the early second half exchanges. A Radcliffe goal might have changed the game’s complexion but it was the Gladiators who struck again nine minutes after the restart.
A throw from the right somehow made its way to Dwyer who neatly laid the ball off to MARGETTS who netted his fourth with a precision low strike into the corner.
The pitch was becoming increasingly heavy through the steady rain which had fallen throughout the day and it was becoming a test of stamina for the players who nevertheless continued to provide the 661 crowd with excellent entertainment.
Radcliffe looked for some form of consolation, Hancock seeing a deflected long range shot caught comfortably by Deeney, their day probably being summed up when Luis Maynard’s shot towards goal might have gone in but for Jordan Hulme intervening and knocking the ball over the bar from close range.
But Matlock might have scored more as a Radcliffe defender turned the ball on to his own post and Dwyer’s stinging drive was well kept out by Hewelt in what was a thoroughly miserable day for the table toppers, but a memorable one for Martin Carruthers’ charges who given the standing of the opposition, put in their best performance for many months .
Margetts will steal the headlines and rightfully so, but it was a great team performance. Carruthers had asked in his pre-match build-up, “why can’t we beat Radcliffe?”
Matlock could and they did, in exhilarating fashion!
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Saul Deeney 2 George Wilkinson 3 Joe West 4 Nathan Whitehead 5 Adam Yates 6 Finlay Armond (15 Olly Clark 84) 7 John Johnston (14 Andrew Wright 73) 8 Harry Wood 9 Alex Duhameau (12 Karl Demidh 79) 10 Jonny Margetts 11 Anthony Dwyer Other subs: 16 Jamie Sharman 17 Nat Crofts
RADCLIFFE: 1 Mateusz Hewelt 2 Jamie Morgan (14 Jake Thompson 67) 3 Luke Joyce 4 Rick Smith 5 Oliver Thornley 6 Luis Maynard 7 Josh Hancock 8 Nicky Adams 9 Jordan Hulme 10 Anthony Dudley (17 Ewan Bange 72) 11 Jude Oyibu Other subs: 12 Abs Obasato 15 Sean Tse 16 Gareth Evans
REFEREE: Daniel England (Peterborough) ATTENDANCE: 661 BEST GLADIATOR: Jonathan Margetts