Crucial wins for Rowsley and Cromford keep both in Premier Division title hunt

Matlock Town CFA

Matlock Town CFA

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Midlands Regional Alliance Round-up

Rowsley 86 left it late against Woolley Moor United but goals from Will Fletcher and Andrew Roome were enough to secure a 2-1 victory which takes them back to the summit of the Midlands Regional Alliance Premier Division table.

Also keeping their championship hopes alive are Cromford who beat Allestree 5-0 thanks to goals from Scott Gascoyne (2), Danny Wildgoose, Adam Kay and Scott Spencer.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Wirksworth Ivanhoe’s Mick Green hit the only goal of the game as his side won at Newhall United.

In Division One, Rowsley 86 Reserves climbed to fifth after goals from Billy Lester (2), Daniel Maskrey and subs Matthew Dennis and Jason Williams saw them beat AFC Rocester 5-1.

In Division Two, Shirebrook Rangers Reserves took a solid three points with a 2-1 home victory against Ambergate.

Matlock Town CFA, meanwhile, suffered a blow to their title hopes as they lost 3-2 at Melbourne Dynamo Reserves.

Man of the match was goalkeeper Sam Duffin who produced a full repertoire of great saves as the CFA were beaten for only the fourth time this season.

Within two minutes Duffin was called into action producing a fingertip save to push the ball over the upright.

The home side looked a well-organised outfit and on the tight pitch their game plan certainly proved a tough test for the CFA who just couldn’t get into their own passing game.

The score remained level until just before the break, then with two minutes remaining the ball was nodded into the bottom corner from a crossed ball into the box.

The second half saw more Melbourne pressure and Duffin again made some crucial stops and blocks to keep the CFA in with a shout.

The Melboune strike force were on fire and proved a tough test for the CFA back line and after a melee in the CFA box down went the Melbourne player and the referee pointed instantly to the spot.

The penalty was hit well only for the outstretched Duffin to make a great save to applause from all.

Changes were made as on came Elliott Hughes and Jack Yeomans who both made an impact on the game.

But whilst on a foray up front the CFA were caught on the break and a neat finish gave Melbourne a two-goal cushion.

The CFA rallied and got into their stride and Hughes showed a touch of class on the right and scored his debut goal to keep the CFA in the game.

The quick tempo continued for both teams, but again Melbourne broke one-on-one and the striker took his chance in some style to make it three.

Despite this setback there was still plenty of time and the CFA refused to accept defeat, Duffin pulling off a couple more excellent saves and Alex Lacey converting a late penalty to reduce the arrears to 3-2.

A late equaliser was in sight only for the final whistle to blow and defeat for the visitors was confirmed.

Meanwhile, a thrilling Challenge Cup quarter-final saw Division One outfit Matlock United shock Premier Division Sandiacre Town, winning 5-3 at Cavendish Fields.

Callum Gill (2), Daniel Bridge (2) and Ben Chamberlain got the vital goals for hosts Matlock with Joe Turner (2) and Bradley Mellors scoring for the visitors.

Also booking a semi-final spot were Melbourne Dynamo after Ben Blackburn (2), Matt Brian, and Dave Brough netted in their 4-0 quarter-final win at Wirksworth Town.