Warrington Rylands vs Matlock Town FC
Gorsey LaneNorthern Premier League
Matlock Town FC2
WARRINGTON RYLANDS 1-2 MATLOCK TOWN
Matlock recovered from going behind early on to record their third away win of the campaign and their first league double of the campaign.
Going behind in the 8th minute was certainly not part of manager Craig Elliott’s masterplan, the Gladiators conceding yet another penalty, their fifth of the campaign from which their former striker CALLUM DOLAN dispatched down the middle. Rylands would probably look back with anger that Town goalkeeper Jim Pollard was not red carded for bringing down Dylan Vassallo, Wigan official Alan Bennett showing Pollard a yellow while the healthy Matlock following stood with their hearts in their mouths awaiting the decision.
Matlock had made a bright start creating the first opportunity on 5 minutes when debutant Bartosz Cybulski linked neatly with Al Byrne on the right, Byrne’s inviting cross being just out of Alex Wiles’ radar.
Shortly after the goal Kane Drummond broke free on the right to fire straight at Pollard and in an entertaining tussle, Cybulski missed his header from a Jordan Barnett cross, the move petering out as the ball ran out for a goal kick.
Rylands looked dangerous once again as Dolan cut in from the left only to blaze high and wide before Pollard pushed away an effort from Harry Pratt, the resulting corner being an unproductive one.
But Matlock were level on 33 minutes and it showed the value of having a big target man as the 6’5” Cybulski glanced in Byrne’s cross from the right. Little by little, Matlock were gaining an increasing foothold in the match and Wiles drove narrowly wide just three minutes after the equaliser.
The final chance of the half went Rylands way though, Dean Furman’s shot from the edge of the box whistling a couple of feet wide after some neat play in the build up.
So 1-1 was a fair reflection at the interval but both sides were desperate for the three points in what could be termed as a promotion battle. Neither side would fade away although for the opening part of the second period clear cut chances were at a premium.
Vassallo had a sniff of an opportunity early on shooting off target while Matlock were temporarily down to ten men with Brad Abbott lying injured.
The Gladiators brought on Kallan Murphy for Cybulski midway through the half to present a different challenge to Rylands but it was Rylands who went close to regaining the lead when Dolan cut in from the left to force Pollard into an outstanding diving save from his rasping shot.
The Gladiators won a 77th minute free kick which saw Byrne extend goalkeeper Joel Torrance, the ball being flicked away for a corner, Murphy’s shot being gathered by Torrance as Matlock looked to step out of Warrington with three valuable points.
Byrne tried his luck again firing inches over from twenty two yards but Pollard again kept Matlock level with a fine save from Vassallo with ten minutes remaining.
The importance of that intervention was emphasised when Matlock struck to win the game just four minutes later. A corner was only half cleared and the ball fell to JOHN JOHNSTON fifteen yards out and his shot bounced into the ground and up into the roof of the net, the number seven celebrating wildly with the Matlock fans behind the goal.
That proved to be the final action on a cold and wet Warrington afternoon. Some might say that Rylands deserved a point from the game but Matlock were prepared to soldier on and work tirelessly to gain their win.
WARRINGTON RYLANDS: 1 Joel Torrance 2 James Nield 3 John Hunt 4 Jordan Mustoe 5 Sam Egerton 6 Jak McCourt 7 Callum Dolan 8 Dean Furman (16 Sean Cooke 90) 9 Harry Pratt (17 Kelly N’Mai 78) 10 Dylan Vassallo 11 Kane Drummond Other subs: 12 Kyle Hayde 14 Miah Payne 15 Steven Irwin
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Jim Pollard 2 Jamie Sharman 3 Jordan Barnett 4 Mark Lees 5 Reece Kendall 6 Ryan Qualter 7 John Johnston 8 Brad Abbott 9 Bartosz Cybulski (12 Kallan Murphy 68) 10 Al Byrne 11 Alex Wiles (15 Akeem Hinds 80) Other subs: 14 Simon Njiara 16 Shaun Tuton 17 Jorome Slew
REFEREE: Alan Bennett (Wigan) ATTENDANCE: 346 BEST GLADIATOR: Al Byrne