Missed opportunities see Gladiators go out of cup

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Derbyshire Senior Cup Third Round

New Mills 2

Anthony Field 79

Luke Horrocks 103

Matlock Town 1 (aet)

Tyeisse Nightingale 45

Matlock: Jon Kennedy, Gareth Davies, Will Kendall (Kris Bowler 94), Liam King, Adam Yates, James Lukic, Chris Bettney (Lee Whittington 81), Steve Warne, Danny Davidson (Nathan Joynes 78), Tyeisse Nightingale, Ian Holmes. Sub not used – James Whitfield.

Referee: A Pashley (North Wingfield)

Attendance: 84

Star Man: Tyeisse Nightingale

Matlock were made to pay for their generosity in front of goal as New Mills came from a goal down to equalise ten minutes from the end of the statutory 90 minutes and then snatch an extra-time victory in this Derbyshire Senior Cup third round clash.

After a lively start from both sides, it was the Gladiators who gained control to largely dominate the opening half as they kicked up the pronounced Church Lane slope.

Ian Holmes, back in the starting line-up which included Gareth Davies and Will Kendall in the full back slots, looked well placed on 12 minutes but poor control forced him wide. The move fizzled out when his low cross was cut out by goalkeeper James Coates.

Then Steve Warne burst through from midfield but with a shooting chance begging to be taken, an awful pass saw New Mills escape with a goalkick. Warne then fired narrowly wide after persistence from TJ Nightingale, with Holmes a whisker away from a Chris Bettney cross as the pressure was maintained.

Holmes stroked inches wide after great build-up play involving Bettney and Danny Davidson, before the lanky striker looked to be caught by Clive Brown but referee Alix Pashley denied Town’s penalty shouts.

On 23 minutes, Davidson controlled a Holmes cross well to feed Liam King whose shot was deflected wide, and ten minutes later Holmes, with time and space, fired yards wide. There was yet another opening for Holmes who cut in from the right but could only fire tamely at Coates when he could have burst the net.

But Holmes was involved when Matlock at last went in front on the stroke of half-time. Coates pulled off a tremendous save as Holmes met Nightingale’s low pull back, but Nightingale was alert to scramble in the loose ball at the second attempt for his fourth goal in the last three games.

That should have been the catalyst for the Gladiators to record a convincing win, but the plucky Millers rode their luck and showed tenacity to fight back. Play became scrappy on an energy sapping pitch and New Mills started to look more dangerous. The introduction of livewire substitute Anthony Field gave the Millers more energy.

But Adam Yates was left cursing his luck with 17 minutes left when he struck the foot of the post from the edge of the box after a surging run. The ball bounced along the goalline and out for a goal kick. Field then got goalside of Kendall to fire wide and Leon Grandison headed a corner too high.

Holmes had a gilt edged chance when through on goal in the 78th minute but again fluffed his lines, scuffing a weak shot at Coates in a one-on-one duel. Sixty seconds later, the hosts equalised when Field struck a glorious 25-yarder which ripped past Kennedy’s left hand.

This induced Matlock into dominating the closing stages of normal time and substitute Lee Whittington was denied by a fabulous diving save from Coates to push his low drive around a post. From the corner, a Lukic header was blocked and Nathan Joynes’s follow-up hit a defender.

Matlock simply ran out of steam in the extra 30 minutes. Kristian Cox’s low centre flashed across the goal and Grandison blasted over as New Mills now looked favourites to go through.

Nightingale fired at Coates from distance before the goalkeeper made a fine stop from Kris Bowler’s angled drive as Matlock tried to halt the assault, but two minutes before the break Horrocks’s luck changed. His cross from the left looped goalwards and found the target off the far upright.

Grandison was red carded for a second mistimed challenge with seconds left but it made no difference as the Millers stood firm.