Eagles lose but push champions-elect all the way

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Matlock Town Eagles 0

FALLING to their first Under 18s League One defeat in over four months, Eagles should certainly not feel deflated, having battled heroically against champions-elect CCDMW.

In a swirling wind, early exchanges suggested a closely-fought contest with Thomas Evans shooting narrowly over following a corner, while Jack Johnson’s last-ditch tackle was both timely and pivotal in terms of avoiding an early concession.

Goalkeeper Harry Westnedge made the first of a string of fine saves.

Against a tightly-packed midfield, however, Matlock struggled to utilise their passing game, with players muscled off the ball.

Both Ben Harrison and Jack Wilson harried effectively, but it was CCDMW who made a significant breakthrough.

Jack Crossley put in a strong challenge, but the ball ricocheted from side to side, and fell for an onrushing midfielder to lash the ball home.

Although the visitors refused to wilt, a second goal ten minutes later created something of a mountain for Eagles to climb with Scott Lester’s long-range effort really all that they had to show for some concentrated efforts as the teams reached half-time.

With the gale bellowing against them, Matlock tried to stem the tide.

Wilson combined well with Jacob Gunton but the ensuing corner proved fruitless.

At the other end, exceptional work from Charlie Britner kept the hosts at bay.

A 2-0 defeat may have brought the long unbeaten run to an end, but the Eagles should gain strength for the way in which they held an expertly organised and confident outfit at bay for long periods of an entertaining encounter.