Matlock comfortably progressed into the semi finals of the Derbyshire Senior Cup at a rain soaked Reynolds Stadium on Tuesday night.
East Midlands Counties League outfit Borrowash had beaten Evo-Stik First Division North promotion chasers New Mills in the previous round, but in spite of a battling performance, another shock was never on the cards.
The Gladiators fielded virtually a full strength line up making just the one change from the side that had beaten Grantham in their last game before the arctic blast with Martin Foster replacing the injured Adam Yates in midfield.
The Vics included former Town full back Steve Banks and former Gladiators under 19 player Andy Mottershead.
Matlock swarmed forward in search of an early goal with Lewis McMahon curling a free kick too high after a foul on Massiah McDonald in the opening minute. Borrowash were being pegged back and finally cracked in the 12th minute when McMahon turned in a low cross from McDonald from six yards.
The underdogs had scarcely recovered from that setback when the Gladiators doubled their lead ninety seconds later with man of the match Phil Roe bursting forward to crash an unstoppable 25-yarder which flew beyond the grasp of goalkeeper Steve Smith.
It looked as if it would be a long night for the visitors but when Micky Harcourt could only divert a cross from the right by Robert Harrison back across the penalty box, midfielder Tommy Leighton reacted quicker than anyone to stab fiercely past Jon Kennedy on 22 minutes.
It led to Matlock’s earlier fluency deserting them as the Derby side enjoyed their best spell of the game without seriously suggesting they would score again.
Matlock suffered a crushing blow when McMahon was stretchered off with an ankle injury in the 35th minute, Laurence Gaughan slotting into midfield with Joe Leesley partnering McDonald down the middle.
Borrowash were still in the tie with only a single goal half time deficit, but a determined Matlock set about regaining the initiative as the second half began.
Banks nodded a James Lukic header off the line and Smith held a well struck shot from Bradley Grayson, but a rush of blood from the Vics custodian killed any hope Borrowash might have had of fashioning a comeback.
He dashed out to send Grayson tumbling to the turf on the right hand edge of the penalty box, and with their usual spot kick taker McMahon off the field in pain, Leesley calmly thumped his shot home to restore the two goal lead in the 54th minute.
Vics midfielder Anthony Tansley was the game’s only booking for bringing down McDonald before Town substitute Anthony Griffiths-Junior forced Smith into a fine stop on 69 minutes, having replaced Leesley seven minutes earlier.
Striker David Hind shot across the face of goal following some clever footwork but it was soon the Gladiators threatening again when McDonald turned a Harcourt cross on to the bar.
Griffiths-Junior claimed his first Matlock goal with fourteen minutes left, firing a low left footer under Smith after being found by Grayson to end the scoring, but not the goalmouth action.
A 25-yard effort from Tansley was pushed aside by Kennedy within a further two minutes, but Matlock staged a grandstand finish in a bid to record a nap hand.
Grayson drove inches too high, a Griffiths-Junior overhead attempt dropped narrowly wide but it was Gaughan who came closest.
A rasping 35-yard thunderbolt shook Smith’s crossbar, with the goalkeeper being adjudged to have made the slightest of touches for a corner which dropped to Oscar Radford whose shot hit a defender and bounced a whisker wide.
A banana skin had been safely negotiated in front of a sparse 101 crowd,but McMahon’s injury put a further dampener on an already wet night.
MATLOCK TOWN: Jon Kennedy, Micky Harcourt, Phil Roe, Martin Foster, Oscar Radford, James Lukic, Bradley Grayson, James Ashmore, Massiah McDonald (Will Dennis 78), Lewis McMahon (Laurence Gaughan 35), Joe Leesley (Anthony Griffiths-Junior 62)
Subs not used: Nick Buxton
Referee: P Thompson (Chesterfield)
Star man: Phil Roe