All square in local derby

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Matlock Gladiators u11s 1

Darley Panthers u11s 1

Old rivals, friends and classmates came together on the Cavendish to claim bragging rights in this highly anticipated fixture that in pre-season produced a 5-5 draw.

No quarter was given in this highly-charged, fast-paced, passionate encounter..

Darley were first out of the blocks, creating space down the left with neat passing and hard running from Darley’s man of the match Charlie Knowles, but the Matlock defence stayed firm. Robust tackles outnumbered flair and a scramble in the box brought a corner for Darley.

From the resulting kick, Ciaran Healy was first to react, lifting the ball over the keeper to nose Darley in front. Gladiators then took the game to their rivals and it was Darley’s turn to defend.

The second half saw no let up in the pace or passion. Matlock moved down the wing and found room to swing in a cross which deceived the defence and found the top corner to level. Pressure eventually brought a penalty for Matlock. Jack Coates was at his best to produce the save of the match to keep it level at the end.