Gladiators fight back to reach cup quarter-finals

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Grantham Town 1 Matlock Town 2

Matlock Town recovered from going a goal down early on to overcome Grantham Town and make the last eight of the Doodson Sport Cup on Tuesday night.

Several key players missing meant a re-shuffle and a young bench, but after a shaky start, Matlock took control and should really have put the tie to bed in the second-half.

Gio Carchedi fired over the bar in the opening minute before Deon Meikle’s header was blocked on the line after a goalmouth scramble.

The Gingerbreads’ brighter start bore fruit in the 15th minute as Alex Troke threaded a killer pass through the heart of the Matlock defence to leave Kallum Smith one-on-one with Jon Kennedy and he finished well.

After Joe Leesley almost immediately shot too high, Matlock lost Will Dennis with a groin injury, so on came James Travis to slot in excellently at left-back with Gareth Davies moving to the right flank.

Matlock began to settle and another free-kick led to their 35th minute equaliser.

James Ashmore’s grasscutter was pushed away by Jake Turner, but from the resulting corner, referee Steve Meredith spotted a push by Rhys Lewis on Massiah McDonald in the area and, from the resultant penalty, Bradley Grayson sent Turner the wrong way.

Suddenly Matlock looked a real threat offensively and more composed defensively with Travis showing composure beyond his tender years.

The lead came when Grayson fed McDonald and he turned sweetly before guiding a low shot past Turner in the 43rd minute.

Matlock missed a host of opportunities in the second-half, McDonald and Anthony Griffith-Junior both going close in the opening minutes.

Turner dived full length to beat away an Ashmore free kick before easy chances were squandered by Grayson and Leesley.

The Gingerbreads suddenly woke up, Kennedy tipping over a good strike from Smith, while Matlock’s Grayson again should have netted as on 71 minutes he headed against the post after a forceful break and cross by Davies.

But the visitors saw out the rest of the match in relative comfort to earn a home tie with Farsley on March 19.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Grantham: 1 Jake Turner 2 Ryan Leggett (William Rawdon 59) 3 Liam Bray 4 Deon Meikle 5 Rhys Lewis 6 Emeka Nwadike (Jacob Pease) 7 Nathan Watson 8 Alex Troke 9 Gio Carchedi (William Drury 72) 10 TJ Nightingale 11 Kallum Smith

Matlock: 1 Jon Kennedy 2 Will Dennis (James Travis) 3 Gareth Davies 4 Martin Foster 5 Adam Yates 6 Laurence Gaughan 7 Bradley Grayson 8 James Ashmore 9 Massiah McDonald 10 Anthony Griffith-Jnr (Ryan Hindley 59) 11 Joe Leesley Other subs: Matt Wilkinson, Declan Jenkins, Nick Buxton.

Ref: S Meredith Att: 81

Star Gladiator: James Travis

by Ian Richardson