Matlock Town Academy beaten in NPLFA Final at Britannia Stadium

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Matlock Town Academy lost 1-0 to Warrington Town in a tense NPLFA Cup Final at Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium.

The game was close throughout the 90 minutes and either team could have got themselves the win.

The Gladiators came the closest to opening the scoring in the first 45 through Billy Whitehead.

The forward attempted to lob the keeper but his effort was parried wide. Whitehead had the chance at the rebound but the Warrington defender cleared his effort.

Matlock continued to pressure the Warrington defence throughout the half but were struggling to create clear goalscoring opportunities.

Warrington began to find their feet in the second half as they began to take the game to Matlock.

And, in the 57th minute, Warrington broke the deadlock through Euan Woods. A ball over the top put Woods through one on one and he coolly slotted home to put his side ahead.

Matlock were not preared to give up as they pushed to find an equaliser instantly.

Just 10 minutes after conceding, the Gladiators received a free kick on the edge of the box. Jordan Lee put in an excellent ball but his cross was smashed against the woodwork from a Matlock head.

Second half substitute Ethan Knowles began to make some impressive runs and was looking dangerous for Matlock.

He put a low cross into the box that was deflected by a Warrington defender. This looked as if it was going into the back of the net but the Warrington keeper pulled off a spectacular one handed save to keep his side in front.

They continued pushing late on and it was Knowles again who found an opportunity, he danced past a Warrington defender before shooting but his effort was held well by the keeper.

Despite the brave efforts from the Gladiators, they could not find themselves a breakthrough as Warrington went on to lift the trophy.

The opportunity to play at a Premier League venue will be one that the Matlock players will remember and treasure for the rest of their lives, and despite not leaving with the trophy, they can certainly hold their heads high and be proud of their acheviements.