Poor display sees rivals dump Matlock out of cup

Shaun Tuton in action for Matlock on Tuesday night. Photo by Eric Gregory.
Shaun Tuton in action for Matlock on Tuesday night. Photo by Eric Gregory.
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FA Cup First Qual. Rnd Replay

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Belper Town 3

Matlock Town 0

MATLOCK’S FA Cup journey came to an abrupt and undignified end as the Nailers comfortably won the first qualifying round replay at Christ Church Meadow on Tuesday.

Three unanswered second-half goals sealed Matlock’s fate and like the two they conceded on Saturday, they were all down to bad defending.

There was little sign of what was to come during a poor quality opening half in which Belper had more of the play but the Gladiators looked solid at the back, without ever suggesting they would hurt the hosts at the other end.

In fact Belper’s giant goalkeeper Aaron Chapman scarcely had a shot to save all evening.

A Richard Stirrup 20-yarder swerved well wide inside two minutes before Matlock won a corner in reply and Chapman easily gathered Luke Foster’s header ahead of Lewis McMahon.

Kennedy held a header from Jordan Ball before a shot from the same player bounced awkwardly in front of him and he was forced to push it wide.

Kennedy was then harshly penalised after unwisely charging out of his box but the free-kick was cleared.

Matlock’s best attacking outlet appeared to be young winger Kane Richards, and when found by McMahon on the half hour his attempted lob proved to be an easy catch for Chapman.

Former Gladiator Ryan Mallon then teased Lee Featherstone before slamming over a low cross which beat everyone before Richards had another opportunity when again found by McMahon, but his shot was hurried and fell wide.

The half concluded with Hindley cutting in from the left, and his shot being deflected behind.

McMahon’s through pass for Lee Ellington saw Chapman advance swiftly to grab possession and a couple of Belper shots were way off the mark early in the second-half, but Matlock’s troubles were soon to start of their own making.

Adam Yates rashly challenged Ball when there was no need to and from the penalty Ball calmly slotted home for the first of two quickfire strikes in the 53rd minute.

Two minutes later Matlock could simply not clear their lines and the schoolboy defending was punished by Ball who netted again from close range.

Matlock could not cope with Belper’s direct style which in fairness suited the hosts, who were a far more burly and physical side than the Gladiators.

Joe Leesley and Shaun Tuton were introduced with just over half-an-hour left and at least then there was some added enthusiasm in the final third.

But Matlock’s nerve had gone at the back and with little assistance from the midfield area, Belper looked likely to add to their lead and nearly did when Kennedy could not hold a Mallon strike after wriggling his way to create the shooting chance and Yates scrambled the ball away.

Karl Colley sliced wide before Kennedy saved well from Ball but with ten minutes left, nobody in a blue shirt picked up Colley from a right wing corner and the giant centre-half powered in a header to complete the scoring and put Matlock out of the FA Cup with no prize money and barely a whimper.

Matlock Town: Jon Kennedy, Kris Witcombe (Phil Roe 70), Lee Featherstone, Martin Foster, Adam Yates, James Lukic, Kane Richards, Luke Foster (Joe Leesley 59), Lee Ellington (Shaun Tuton 59), Lewis McMahon, Ryan Hindley. Other subs: Danny Deakin, Will Dennis, Nick Buxton Ref: D Plowright Att: 341 Star Man: James Lukic