Four-goal Matlock earn a friendly victory

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by Ian Richardson

Friendly match

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Armthorpe Welfare 1-4 Matlock Town

Matlock Town: Jon Kennedy, Kris Witcombe, Micky Harcourt, Liam King, Trialist, James Lukic, Scott Bibby, Ben Algar, TJ Nightingale, Ben Hunter, Craig Nelthorpe

Subs: both used - Lee Morris, Trialist

Referee: M Walsh (Sheffield)

Four goals in the final 28 minutes saw Matlock recover from a first minute setback to emerge comfortable winners in Doncaster on Tuesday night.

Matlock boss Mark Atkins hastily arranged this friendly to pep up the fitness of players who had been out of the side recently in Ben Algar, Craig Nelthorpe and TJ Nightingale, but also to run the rule over a couple of trialists.

One was a tall central defender, the other, a striker, came on in the second half to grab two of the goals.

The Baris NCEL hosts scored following a free-kick as they attacked up their slope but then Matlock had much the greater share of possession, only to be let down by a poor final pass.

A familiar face was in goal for Armthorpe in the shape of Nick Buxton. He is still the Gladiators’ assistant boss but guested for Welfare who were without a specialist goalkeeper.

Buxton looked as if he would not be beaten, saving well from two efforts from Nightingale and another from Micky Harcourt before half-time.

At the start of the second half, two pieces of slack play could have seen Matlock two goals behind as Kennedy turned aside a spinning shot and the Welfare substitute found time and space to turn and fire wide from the edge of the box.

James Lukic’s free header from a corner skimmed wide before Nightingale shot low past Buxton on 62 minutes after Harcourt’s cross had been partially cut out.

It was then virtually a procession towards the home goal. Another fine Buxton save kept out Nightingale before on 82 minutes a trialist blasted home after Ben Hunter’s charged down strike found him in a great position.

Buxton got his hands to the trialist’s second goal but was beaten by power with three minutes left.

Then on 89 minutes, Scott Bibby’s back post header from Hunter’s cross completed the scoring.