Town back to winning ways with cup victory

Both sets of players clash after a strong challenge on Matlock Town's Michael Knowles leaves the midfielder on the ground in last night's League Cup clash against Barwell.

Both sets of players clash after a strong challenge on Matlock Town's Michael Knowles leaves the midfielder on the ground in last night's League Cup clash against Barwell.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Evo-Stik League Cup

Matlock Town 3

Liam King 31

Ross Hannah 46

Anthony Wilson 76

Barwell 0

Matlock stopped their run of defeats by comfortably moving into the last eight of the League Cup against runaway First Division South table-toppers Barwell at the Reynolds Stadium on Tuesday.

Liam King, top scorer Ross Hannah and debutant Anthony Wilson found the target and now the Gladiators will be hoping to continue where they left off and earn valuable league points to reignite their play-off challenge.

Former Belper strikers Wilson and Hannah saw their partnership reincarnated, and although Wilson is only on loan, Matlock fans will be excited by what is to come this month.

Wilson led the line well, his pace and strength giving the visitors countless headaches. Although both strikers suffered from offsides, particularly in the first half, Barwell were playing a dangerous game and paid dearly for it when the duo struck later on.

Barwell deserve credit for battling on, and in gangly winger Jamie Towers, they had a real threat, but, sadly for the Canaries, Towers’s attacking colleagues were not up to the mark.

The visitors’ challenge was not helped by a rash and reckless two-footed lunge by Scott Rickards on James Knowles in the 25th minute which saw Rickards sent off, but even with 11 men it is doubtful as to whether Barwell would have changed the result.

Matlock needed just six more minutes after Rickards’ departure to seize the initiative when Knowles played a corner short and low to King lurking on the edge of the box, who steered an intelligent low shot just inside Liam Castle’s post. Ben Turner did well to nod away a teasing Adam Wykes corner which deceived Adam Sollitt, who then launched a gigantic clearance into Hannah’s path. The lob from Hannah beat Castle but the bar as well.

But Hannah struck with the new half less than 90 seconds old.

A slick passing move ended with Lee Morris threading through a beautifully weighted pass to Hannah. A neat sidestep and a rolled finish had Matlock well in command.

Seconds later, Wilson burst clear but this time the offside flag was up and Francis then did superbly well to cut out Hannah’s cross.

Barwell came close for virtually the last time when Towers breezed past Ben Algar but shot against a stantion.

Francis headed a free-kick powerfully but well off target but with 14 minutes remaining Wilson got the goal he deserved. He strode through the heart of the back four and nonchalantly stroked his finish into the opposite corner of the goal.

Substitute Cropper volleyed off target after chesting a cross down before he set up Wilson who cracked fiercely but inches past the post.

Matlock were more like their old selves and played well, having got their passing game back, which at times was too much for Barwell.

Matlock Town: Adam Sollitt, Ben Turner, Ben Algar, Liam King, Adam Yates, James Lukic, Lee Morris (Dene Cropper 70), Steve Warne (James Naylor 53), Anthony Wilson, Ross Hannah (Kris Witcombe 76), James Knowles. Other sub: Nick Buxton

Referee: R P Newman – Barnsley

Attendance: 171

Star Man: Liam King