Six of the normal squad were out for this must-win game against Bedford Athletic due either to injury or work commitments and the problem worsened with the news influential number eight Mike Brookes would not be playing.
But these changes were not enough to prevent Matlock claiming a l 24-17 win in the Midlands One East.
From the kick-off, Matlock had the bigger Bedfordshire side on the back foot.
The first score came from an attack deep in the Bedford half. The ball was driven close to the line before being spun out to Luke Crofts, whose strong run took him through would-be tacklers to crash over. Chris Young converted.
Soon after came the try of the match. Matlock won a scrum on halfway, Lane picked up and slipped the ball on the blind side to Morton who in turn passed to Chris Young to draw the winger .
He then passed to Powell to race down the touchline, commit the full-back and pass inside to the supporting Lane who put Noble over for a superb score.
With Chris Young again putting in some searching kicks, Matlock were soon adding to their score. From a lineout close to Bedford’s line, the forwards drove their opponents back over with Jonny Bunting claiming the try. Chris Young added the conversion.
Into the second half, Bedford scored a try when a loose pass came off the Bedford centre’s head and resulted in a hotly-contested try. The conversion was added. Matlock then lost the destructive Crofts to injury, which resulted in Bedford gaining more possession.
Bedford then scored a second try. The conversion was missed and the score was now 19-12.
Matlock regrouped and went all out for the next score. Just inside the Bedford half, the ball was moved to Dan Hooton who chipped the ball forward to run into touch inside the Bedford 22 area. Bedford won the lineout but a poor clearance gave Matlock the opportunity for a catch and drive which broke down short of the line.
From the resulting scrum, Matlock’s forwards pushed their larger opponents back over the line for scrum half Tom Morton to touch down. Bedford did manage another score but thankfully this wasn’t enough to deny the home side a well-earned victory at 24-17.
The win means Matlock have now won seven of their last ten matches, gaining 35 points, and they move up to eighth.
Next week, Matlock entertain Ilkeston, who narrowly came out on top in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. It promises to be an interesting and entertaining match. Kick off is at 2.15pm.