Matlock Town FC vs Warrington Rylands
Matlock Town FC4
The Proctor Cars StadiumNorthern Premier League
MATLOCK TOWN 4-2 WARRINGTON RYLANDS
The Gladiators scored four in a home fixture for the first time in over a year to send NPL Premier Division newcomers Warrington Rylands back to Cheshire empty handed on Saturday.
It was a fitting result for new manager Craig Elliott’s first home game in charge and it did much to erase the memory of that heartbreaking last gasp defeat in midweek at FC United of Manchester.
A strong last twelve minutes saw Matlock score twice after they had been pegged back to 2-2 and in the end as manager Elliott remarked, “we deserved the win 100%, we were the better side.”
Town named an unchanged starting line up from the FC United match but there were changes on the bench with new signing Shaun Tuton accompanying Reon Benjamin Potts, and Callum Chippendale, Leigh Whelan , Jorome Slew and Sean Higgins standing down.
After a minute’s silence in memory of the Queen, both sides set out to entertain in the late summer sunshine, Matlock whipping in a number of teasing crosses from the flanks by Al Byrne and Jordan Barnett that were not exploited. For Rylands former Chesterfield midfielder Jay McCourt dropped his free kick wide and a strike from former Matlock striker Callum Dolan was saved by Jim Pollard.
Barnett struck a free kick against the Rylands wall shortly after Pollard had done well with an unconventional block with his chest from an awkwardly bouncing ball before he eventually pumped his clearance deep into Rylands territory .
But Rylands went in front just after the half hour when Alex Wiles was adjudged to have tripped Dolan and DOLAN himself stepped up to fire the ball past Pollard from the spot.
So not for the first time this season, the Gladiators found themselves behind at home, but once again the response was positive.
Rylands had to soak up some intense pressure with another former Gladiator, Sam Egerton playing his part at the heart of the visiting defence.
Kallan Murphy got on the end of a useful Reece Kendall cross only to heads straight at goalkeeper Will Appleyard but crucially just seconds before the half time whistle, MURPHY was undeterred as he powered in a fantastic header from an equally excellent cross by Barnett from the left. What a time to score!
Murphy would make a less happy start to the new half, catching one where no man likes to be hit and was understandably groggy for a while.
Rylands would fashion the first chance though, Pollard making an impressive save to deny Ryan Brooke in a scramble but the first half pattern of Matlock delivering penetrating balls in from the wings and no-one being there to convert was repeated.
Byrne’s corner from the left shaved the bar with Appleyard completing the mop up but in the 63rd minute another excellent delivery at last found its reward. Barnett’s corner from the right was expertly headed in at the far post by REECE KENDALL for his first goal of the season. Credit to Wiles for forcing the flag kick with a now typical storming run from midfield.
Appleyard picked up a knock in keeping out two shots from Murphy following more great work by Byrne, who then broke clear but Appleyard kept Rylands in contention with a good save from the number seven’s volleyed strike..
The visitors brought on veteran striker Kevin Ellison who nearly made an immediate impact forcing Pollard into a fine block but Rylands thought they had rescued a point when BROOKE shot low into the corner.
Their joy though was shortlived.
Matlock broke forward again to force a corner on the right which was played quickly to Byrne to float in another teasing ball which IOAN EVANS rose to meet with a solid header that was adjudged to have gone over the line by assistant referee Justice Abaka-Jacobs despite the visitors’ best attempts to clear. Rylands protested but the goal stood and now Matlock needed to be solid and also maintain the pressure on a shaky Rylands back line.
The three points were confirmed as staying in the Derbyshire Dales when six minutes from time, Murphy fed BYRNE who completed the job with an exquisitely struck lob over the advancing Appleyard, the ball dropping sweetly into the far corner.
Fine entertainment, some excellent goals, what more could a fan hope for on a fine Saturday afternoon on an idyllic ground?
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Jim Pollard 2 Kallum Mantack 3 Reece Kendall 4 Ioan Evans 5 Ryan Qualter 6 Mark Lees 7 Al Byrne (16 Reon Benjamin-Potts 88) 8 Simon Njaria 9 Kallan Murphy (14 Shaun Tuton 85) 10 Alex Wiles (12 Callum Chippendale 85) 11 Jordan Barnett Other subs: 15 Jamie Sharman 17 Jake Day
WARRINGTON RYLANDS: 1 Will Appleyard 2 James Nield (14 Steven Irwin 81) 3 John Hunt 4 Sam Egerton 5 Josh Langley 6 Dean Furman 7 Kane Drummond 8 Jak McCourt 9 Ryan Brooke 10 Andrew Scarisbrick (17 Kevin Ellison 68) 11 Callum Dolan Other subs: 12 Warren Gerrard 15 Kyle Hayde 16 Adam Buxton
REFEREE: Barry Lamb (Eccles) ATTENDANCE: 569 BEST GLADIATOR: Al Byrne