Nantwich Town vs Matlock Town FC
The Weaver StadiumNorthern Premier League
Matlock Town FC1
NANTWICH TOWN 0-1 MATLOCK TOWN
A rocket from substitute Jorome Slew proved to be decisive as the Gladiators secured a second successive 1-0 win at the Swansway Stadium on Tuesday night.
In a fame where both sides showed plenty of endeavour it took one magical moment to decide the outcome, one which puts Nantwich deep in trouble near the bottom of the table and cements Matlock’s push for a top five spot. The Gladiators moved up a place to seventh, two points behind fifth in the table Radcliffe, but with a game in hand.
Boss Martin Carruthers was without the injured Karl Demidh so Jack Deakin led the attack while Jaz Goundry came in for skipper Adam Yates with Saul Deeney taking the captain’s armband. Robbie McNicholas and Saul Milovanovic who came on as substitutes in the win against FC United came into the starting eleven.
Nantwich came out of the blocks quickly with winger Ryan Morton shooting directly at Deeney within the opening couple of minutes.
But Matlock gradually settled for John Johnston to turn neatly on to Jamie Sharman’s throw on the right, his cross being superbly headed clear by home captain Troy Bourne with Deakin lying in wait at the back post.
Then Al Byrne who ran the show in the first half in particular, drove forward to fire narrowly too high from thirty yards. A Goundry header from a Byrne corner was too high before Byrne’s free kick was pushed aside by goalkeeper Tom Booth low to his left.
Fine defensive play from McNicholas when he stretched to clear an awkward ball just outside the six yard box thwarted Morton, the Dabbers maintaining their assault with a rapid cross drive from full back Perry Bircumshaw which flew wide.
Goundry, a tower of strength at both ends, had the ball in the net from a Byrne corner but referee Declan Brown quickly curtailed any celebrations ruling Booth had been impeded before the best chance of the half fell to the Dabbers and again Morton was involved, Deeney pulling off a point blank fabulous 29th minute block save to keep the scores level. It would prove to be a crucial intervention.
Seconds later Carruthers made his first change bringing on Alex Duhameau for Tyrone Cadeau, the rest of the half being mostly Matlock on top but without finding the killer touch in the final third. A low Milovanovic shot was gathered at the second attempt by Booth before the half time whistle sounded.
Carruthers appealed vociferously for a spot kick in the opening seconds of the second period when Duhameau went down before Deakin took a knock on the half way line to make way for Slew.
Ioan Evans, again looking as solid as a rock cut out a Cockerline cross but the game had developed into a midfield battle with few clear cut chances.
That was until the 65th minute when Duhameau slipped a peach of a through pass to the onrushing SLEW who steadied himself to crash an unstoppable diagonal shot past Booth from the edge of the box.
A double substitution from the Dabbers, one of them being former Matlock striker Curtis Morrison, gave the hosts increased attacking impetus but the visitors came close again on 75 minutes, Slew escaping down the right to pull the ball back from Duhameau who looked certain to score but Bircumshaw got in a telling tackle as Duhameau pulled the trigger, Matlock being astonished not to be awarded a corner.
Nantwich threw men forward in the closing stages as Morrison shot too high from eighteen yards, Adam Dawson having an effort deflected wide after Cockerline’s cross had penetrated the Matlock back line and Deeney easily collected a tame Morrison header.
It was just what Slew needed in a season where he has looked out of sorts, his confidence soaring after the goal. Equally the three points were just what the doctor ordered for Matlock with three incredibly tough games on the trot to come.
NANTWICH TOWN: 1 Tom Booth 2 Perry Bircumshaw 3 Sean Lawton (12 Mwiya Malumo 77) 4 Carl Dickenson 5 Troy Bourne 6 Tom Scully 7 Ryan Morton (17 George Caton 70) 8 Steven Hewitt 9 Dan Cockerline 10 Byron Harrison (14 Curtis Morrison 70) 11 Adam Dawson Other subs: 13 Tom Scott 16 Caspar Hughes
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Saul Deeney 2 Jamie Sharman 3 Robbie McNicholas 4 Ethan Cartwright 5 Jaz Goundry 6 Ioan Evans 7 Al Byrne 8 Tyrone Cadeau (12 Alex Duhameau 29) 9 Jack Deakin (15 Jorome Slew 50) 10 Saul Milovanovic 11 John Johnston Other subs: 14 Adam Yates 17 Jim Pollard
REFEREE: Declan Brown (Manchester) ATTENDANCE: 282 BEST GLADIATOR: Jaz Goundry