Gladiators enjoy a top hat-trick of victories

The damage was done in the first half as Matlock deserved their third league win in a week after beating Ilkeston at the New Manor Ground on Saturday.

Matlock won comfortably and although the Robins did put up an improved second-half showing, the two goal margin proved too much.

Pictured shielding the ball is Matlock Town FC's Shaun Tuton who scored the third goal against Ilkeston.

Pictured shielding the ball is Matlock Town FC's Shaun Tuton who scored the third goal against Ilkeston.

The Gladiators made just one change from the team which had beaten Grantham with Martin Foster replacing Lavell White.

It was Matlock who established a grip, creating a chance through skipper Liam Needham who found top scorer Danny Holland, but Ilkeston managed to clear their lines. Then in the 12th minute Holland tried his luck from twenty-five yards with his shot flying narrowly wide.

Ilkeston created little and looked brittle in defence, especially when Shaun Tuton’s persistence led to Matlock’s opening goal on 25 minutes. He kept hold of the ball and a fine turn saw him feed Holland who poked a ten yard shot inside the near post.

By the half-hour mark David Haggerty swivelled to fire in a loose ball from close range after an Ilkeston clearance from a left wing corner rebounded to him off the unfortunate Ryan Wilson.

Ilkeston had a glimmer of hope three minutes later when nobody picked up Kane Richards from a quickly taken throw on the right and he was able to slide a low diagonal shot into the far corner.

The two goal margin was regained when in the 41st minute Tuton, pictured by Robert Stephenson, scored. The move began from a pass by Gary Ricketts who was being pressured by Foster. The midfielder released Tuton with a pass which was finished with a superbly executed chip. Matlock are still targeting the play-off places.