Ted Cribley’s late winner earned Matlock a 3-2 FA Trophy replay win at current holders FC Halifax Town on Tuesday night.
The hosts had fought back from trailing to two Marcus Dinanga goals at half-time, before Cribley’s 72nd minute winner earned Matlock a tie at National League side Solihull Moors in the next round.
Matlock started well but former Gladiator Liam King nearly put Halifax ahead early on with a low shot across goal, before Tom Denton headed an Alex Simmons cross too high.
Soon Matlock found the groove as Jake Green drove forward on a lung bursting run to fire narrowly wide from the edge of the box.
Then Dinanga fired high and wide from the edge of the box but he would do better on 22 minutes, as he was found by Curtis Morrison and drilled the ball low into the net.
When Dinanga netted again in the 34th minute, the shock was well and truly on. Once more it was the same combination, Morrison beating Nathan Hotte before finding Dinanga who couldn’t miss.
Immediately after the break the busy Cribley skipped past substitute Ross Barrows only to fire into the sidenetting at the near post.
Halifax had much to do and the mood changed on 57 minutes when following Denton’s head-down, Jack Hibbs smartly exchanged passes with Richard Peniket before calmy firing a ten yard shot past Phil Barnes.
Morrison’s strike was well blocked by Tom Nicholson at his near post and Cliff Moyo did remarkably well to foil Dinanga before the introduction of Matty Kosylo paid dividends for Halifax, the sub netting from a corner just three minutes later after Peniket’s header hit the crossbar.
Matlock were back in front in the 72nd minute with Morrison again in the mix, sweetly setting up Cribley who glided the calmest of finishes low into the corner from the left.
That would prove to be the winner, as despite good openings for Matlock that could have seen them get a fourth, there were no further goals and their work was done.
Halifax: Nicholson, Moyo, Wilde, King (Kosylo 64), Hotte (Barrows 37), Garner, MacDonald (Sinnott 55), Peniket, Denton, Hibbs, Simmons. Other subs: Lynch, Khan.
Matlock: Barnes, Marsden, Green, Doyle-Charles, A Yates, Wiley, McManus, Williams, Morrison, Dinanga, Cribley. Subs (none used): Newsham, J Yates, Pursehouse, Grocott, de Girolamo.
Ref: Paul Newhouse
Star Gladiator: Marcus Dinanga