Hawks fly high in fine cup victory

Matlock Town Gladiators U14s 0

Matlock Town Hawks U14s 3

The Hawks met the Gladiators in a local derby thrown up by the cup draw and it was the Division Two side that walked away with all the honours, having maintained their unbeaten start to the season with another fantastic all-round display

A changed line-up saw Matt Harwood in goals, a back line of Levi Maslauskas-Nicholson, Sam Hewitt, Oliver Brocklehurst and Aiden Frazer, a midfield of Connor Peacock, James Reynolds, Jacob Poole, Mike Kimpton and Kieran Clark all supporting Morgan Miles in his role upfront.

Straight from the start, the Hawks signalled their intent not to let the Division One Gladiators settle, and a strong midfield game ensued with both teams looking to claim the advantage.

It was the Hawks who soon established supremacy as Kimpton went close, soon followed up by Peacock raiding down the wing, setting up a strike on target for Reynolds as the ball was pushed out for a corner.

The ball was delivered in with accuracy for Miles to hammer the ball into the roof of the net to make it 1-0 to the Hawks.

The restart saw more of the same as the Hawks’ backline, led by Hewitt and Frazer in the centre, stifled the Gladiators and strong back play by Maslauskas-Nicholson and Brocklehurst released the wings to attack down both flanks as Poole and Miles showed their speed.

Just as half time approached, Kimpton set up Miles to break free and deliver a searching ball into the area, flicked into the net with a deft finish by Poole to make it 2-0 at half time.

The restart saw Charlie Horridge, Oliver Swale, William Rayson and Callum Musgrave all join the match as a series of substitutions followed. Clark took over in goals, following an injury to Harwood. More of the same followed as the Hawks defended in numbers and controlled the play. Musgrave’s first touch nearly resulted in a goal with a great glancing header just flashing wide.

This before Kimpton burst into the box only to be bought down. He then calmly stepped up to bury the resulting penalty to make it 3-0 to a Hawks team in control and believing in themselves.

The fresh legs of Swale and Rayson were paying dividends down the flanks as they attacked and defended with vigour while Horridge in the centre of the park ensured the ball was held.

The Hawks continued to probe and only a couple of fine saves denied them a fourth as they closed the match out at 3-0, giving the Hawks another fine victory.

Man of the match was again impossible to pick, such was the team performance where everyone played their part in ensuring a clean sheet and progression into the next round of the cup, along with a benchmark victory against a team from a higher division.