Gladiators in a Hole after falling to injury-time FA Cup giantkilling shock

editorial image

Matlock Town were dumped out of the FA Cup at the opening stage after a stoppage time Steve Hole hat-trick goal gave underdogs Haughmond a shock 3-2 win.

The Gladiators, who play two divisions above their Shropshire hosts from the Midland Football League Premier Division, had fought back to level after conceding twice inthe opening 12 minutes.

Matlock gave a debut at full back to Burton Albion loanee Jeyden Cotterill and brought in Callum Lloyd and Luis Rose, but the visitors were off the pace and conceded in the third minute when the ball was played across the penalty area for Hole to fire past Phil Barnes.

A Shaun Harrad free kick and a Dwayne Wiley header from a Rhys Sharpe long throw were narrowly off target before Matlock were caught out again.

Barnes bundled into Hole and the striker emphatically scored from the penalty spot.

A slip by Adam Yates nearly let in Haughmond again as Matlock looked far from convincing in defence.

Things started to improve for Town as Harrad put two headers and a shot from the edge of the box narrowly wide before a Ryan Wilson effort whistled past a post and an overhead kick from Rose was caught by home goalkeeper Ash Spittlehouse.

Parry drove wide on 43 minutes as Matlock again failed to clear their lines effectively.

Harrad and Jack Griffiths were booked after confronting each other when Harrad appeared to be brought down by Griffiths with the free kick surprisingly going the other way.

A great save from Spittlehouse kept out a Sharpe header, but Matlock maintained the pressure and Rose hooked in a Ted Cribley cross with almost the final kick of the first half as Haughmond appealed for offside.

Matlock were back on the pitch early for the second half with, no doubt, the management’s words ringing in their ears.

They dominated the second half but could not finish off enough of the chances they created.

Harrad laid the ball off intelligently for Rose, who stabbed hurriedly wide before Spittlehouse comfortably held a Sharpe free kick.

But when Yateas was left unmarked to sidefoot in a Ryan Wilson free kick on 62 minutes, it appeared that the Gladiators had got out of jail.

Haughmond cleared a scramble on their goalline as Rose and Cribley sought to apply the finishing touch and Bailey-King’s cross drive was deflected narrowly too high.

Harrad was unlucky when his chip from the left beat Spittlehouse but bounced inches beyond the back post.

At the other end in a rare home attack, Parry miskicked when well placed.

That was the signal for the Gladiators to counter attack quickly and a Bailey-King low cross flashed across the box with just a touch needed.

Spittlehouse then pulled off a fantastic diving save from a Wilson piledriver destined for the top corner before Matlock crashed out.

Haughmond took a throw quickly on the left, the ball was played to the far post and pulled back for Hole to shoot into the roof of the net.

MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes, 2 Jeyden Cotterill, 3 Jake Green, 4 Callum Lloyd, 5 Adam Yates, 6 Dwayne Wiley, 7 Luis Rose, 8 Ryan Wilson, 9 Shaun Harrad, 10 Ryan Sharpe (16 Darnelle Bailey-King 72), 11 Ted Cribley. Other subs: 12 Marc Newsham, 14 Joe Doyle-Charles, 15 Nico Degirolamo, 17 Harry Wood.

REFEREE: J Shepherd (Dudley). ATTENDANCE: 236.