Evo-Stik Premier Division
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Matlock Town 3
Ross Hannah 13, 67
Liam King 90 (+ 3)
Kendal Town 1
Rory Winters 7
Matlock Town: Nick Buxton, Ben Turner, Ben Algar, Liam King, Adam Yates, James Lukic, Lee Morris (Gareth Davies 61), Steve Warne, Anthony Wilson (Dene Cropper 82), Ross Hannah, James Knowles (Kris Witcombe 90) Other sub: Nathan Joynes
Referee: A Hull – Sheffield
Star man: Ross Hannah
Matlock gained a cracking victory and three precious points in their quest for the play-offs thanks to a fine all-round team performance.
In a game packed with entertaining football, and excellently refereed by Alan Hull, two more Ross Hannah strikes, to make it 36 for the season, and a late Liam King goal saw Matlock prevail.
The Gladiators were forced into a change in goal as Adam Sollitt was out with a back injury so assistant boss Nick Buxton deputised. Midfielder Gareth Davies had to be content with a seat on the bench after a three-match ban.
Buxton’s first task was to retrieve the ball from the net after Rory Winters’s downward header in the seventh minute.
It was far from the start Matlock, seeking to avenge an FA Trophy replay defeat in November, wanted but they were behind for just six minutes. King was the driving force and referee Hull also deserves praise for allowing play to continue as King kept his balance when fouled.
He released Hannah and the trusty left foot did the rest, the shot from the edge of the box nestling just inside the far post.
Adam Yates and James Lukic were again in top form against a Kendal side who, like Matlock, looked bright coming forward. Buxton saved a Mark Jackson shot with his feet, but if anything Matlock looked more potent up front.
The Anthony Wilson/Hannah partnership is blossoming. Wilson has a tremendous workrate and does a lot of unspectacular but needy work. However his back heel from a low cross was Brazilianesque. Had it beaten goalkeeper David Newnes, it would have been a fitting climax to a quality build-up.
A speculative cross from Hannah had Newnes backpedalling as it rebounded off the bar on 50 minutes. Soon, Kendal made ground down the right and Ceiran Donnelly’s shot was well gathered by Buxton.
Matlock made a change on 61 minutes as Davies came on for Lee Morris, who again had worked hard. The change worked six minutes later as Matlock were ahead when Davies delivered an excellent centre which Hannah glanced comfortably beyond Newnes.
The goal lifted Matlock, who might have stretched their advantage almost immediately but King ended a move by firing straight at Newnes.
The points were sealed when King got the goal he truly deserved. Hannah streaked away and unselfishly played the ball into King’s path. A well-controlled shot Newnes made it a slightly flattering 3-1 margin, but Matlock had taken their chances well when they arose.
It is difficult to pick a man of the match as they were so many good performances but Hannah, for his two goals and his part in the third, shaded it.