Matlock Town 2
Retford United 0
Joe Leesley and Lewis McMahon scored inside a two-minute spell early in the second period as the Gladiators overcame Baris NCEL Premier Division Retford in Wednesday night’s friendly, writes Ian Richardson.
A shapeless opening half saw few chances of note, although trialist Jordan Thewlis was always lively and Matlock’s best attacking threat with his direct running at the visiting defence.
Thewlis struck a fine 25-yard effort which smacked off the Retford crossbar on 21 minutes to lift the sparse crowd from its slumber.
Shortly afterwards, Shaun Tuton had the ball in the net from Leesley’s pass but had been ruled offside while Will Dennis attacked from deep and his well-struck long-range effort was pushed away rather unconvincingly by the Badgers’ goalkeeper.
Liam Wilkin was in the Retford line-up and was given the first 45 minutes, after which both sides stepped up the pace.
Substitute Lee Ellington’s header was cleared before a fortunate ricochet brought the opening goal on 53 minutes. McMahon fired goalwards and the ball cannoned off a defender and on to Leesley before rebounding into the net.
The lead was soon doubled when Matthew Hamshaw was sent crashing in the box and who else but McMahon comprehensively blasted home the spotkick.
Retford struck the bar and the post and Nick Buxton in the Town goal made a smart save after a deflection had him moving the wrong way but Matlock had chances as well.
Kane Richards had a goal ruled out after fine play and an intelligent low cross from Ellington, before Hamshaw drove a whisker wide and Leesley’s shot was only half stopped by the Retford goalkeeper.
Dennis called the visiting custodian into action again with Hamshaw again going close in a far more entertaining second half.
Matlock Town: Nick Buxton, Micky Harcourt, Phil Roe, Kane Richards, Adam Yates, Lee Featherstone, Danny Deakin, Gareth Davies, Shaun Tuton, Joe Leesley, Jordan Thewlis. Subs: Lee Ellington, Lewis McMahon, Matthew Hamshaw, Will Dennis.