Matlock Town exit NPL Cup after penalty drama

.
.

Matlock exited the NPL Integro League Cup on Tuesday night on penalties to Division One South side Basford United.

Matlock made ten changes from the side which started out against Workington last weekend whilst Basford fielded virtually a full strength line-up.

In the end penalties settled things, Curtis Morrison and Kevin Grocott seeing efforts crucially saved by Jake Wood in a 20-kick shoot-out.

As well as naming keeper Jordan Pierrpont, Matlock also included 16-year-old Harry Wood and academy prospect Jordan Lee in their starting eleven.

It was Kieran Wells who put Basford in front in the 12th minute, hanging in the air to loop his header from a right wing cross past Pierrpont who then stopped Courey Grantham’s header at the second attempt.

Matlock recovered from a nervous start for Morrison to force Wood to dive to his right and claw away his shot, Anthony Dwyer then seeing a shot deflected wide as Matlock trailed at the break.

The second-half saw Jamie Yates soon come close to a leveller when his low shot forced Wood into a save, Morrison’s bicycle kick from the corner just too high.

Genc Acar thought he had equalised when his 54th minute shot was tipped on to the bar by Wood, Grocott nodding the corner which followed wide.

Pierrpont, growing in confidence, pulled off a great save from Wells as Basford looked dangerous on the counter attack but it was all square on 66 minutes as Morrison, from virtually nothing, unleashed a fierce low strike which Wood got a hand to but could not keep out.

Grantham though restored the Basford lead, rolling a low diagonal shot beyond Pierrpont just ninety seconds later.

But Matlock would not lie down and after a corner from the left was ineffectively dealt with, Alex Pursehouse shot through a crowded penalty area to equalise again in the 73rd minute.

It was all set for a storming finale as Acar took on the Basford defence almost singlehandedly, his finish being a tame shot straight at Wood. Matlock’s Wood was impressing too, showing maturity beyond his tender years in flashes, being high with two efforts and netting in the spot kick shoot out but to no avail as Basford emerged winners.

Matlock: Pierrpont, J Yates, Pursehouse, Doyle-Charles, Grocott, A Yates, Lee (Lavelle 46), Wood, Dwyer, Morrison, Acar. Not used: Savage, Cooper, Wells, Whitehead.

Basford: Wood, McNicholas (Bennett 61), Walker, Smith, Carr, Meikle, Grantham (Hutchinson 87), Nixon, Wells, Smith (Grayson 61), Howell. Not used: Bertram, Shannon-Lewis.

Ref: Wade Smith (Manchester

Att: 185

Best Gladiator: Jamie Yates