Kendall and Hasani make it two wins from two for Matlock Town

Matlock Town 2 Hyde United 1

Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 7:15 am
Jonathan Wafula.

Matlock Town made it two wins out of two at home with a strong second half display against Hyde United.

Hyde had recovered from being on the back foot in the early exchanges to be more of a threat close to the interval, but the Gladiators claimed all three points.

Headers from Reece Kendall and substitute Lirak Hasani had put the Gladiators two goals in front before Liam Hardy netted a consolation for the Tigers deep into stoppage time.

It was Hardy’s seventh goal in his last three games at the Proctor Cars Stadium having grabbed hat-tricks for Buxton in his last two visits.

Illness ruled out Callum Chippendale with Jonathan Wafula coming in for the one change to the starting line up which beat Basford four days earlier.

Ashton Hall, whose return to Matlock was confirmed on Thursday night was named on the bench.

Matlock enjoyed by far the better of the opening exchanges with the ball spending most of its time in the Hyde half.

Kendall blasted over the bar when Hyde goalkeeper Joe Green misjudged the flight of a free kick.

An Alex Byrne cross caused flutters in the Hyde backline, Kendall’s header being deflected away from danger.

Within five more minutes, Matlock had threatened once again, Jesurun Ubechegulam cutting in from the right to see his strike deflected wide before Alex Wiles, from the opposite side saw his effort suffer a similar fate.

Hyde’s only opportunity early on was when Liam Tongue elected to burst through on his own, ignoring supporting colleagues to fire into Rowley’s arms.

Towards half time Tom Pratt was twice shut down due to stout home defending, quickly followed by Town custodian Shaun Rowley being well placed to fingertip a shot from the overlapping Kyle Brownhill over the bar.

Hyde had recovered with spirit from being on the back foot, Gladiators’ number two Jamie Sharman intervening to rob Pratt as Hyde broke quickly shortly before half time.

With the new half barely in motion, Rowley was in a pickle as Hardy closed him down but recovered sufficiently to avoid any embarrassment.

In the next breath though Jesurun Ubechegulam ran at the Hyde back line only to see his shot blocked before Hasani was introduced to the home crowd.

Matlock had upped the tempo and when Byrne hoisted the most inviting of centres from the right, Kendall was superbly placed to head over Green to give the Blues a 61st minute lead.

A corner from Byrne on the left soon caused consternation in the visiting defence, the referee eventually signalling for a further flag kick after the ball bounced off the crossbar.

Byrne was then in two minds whether to cross or shoot, his final effort flying yards wide, but eventually on 83 minutes Matlock stretched their lead.

Much of the credit has to go to ace marksman Ross Hannah who turned neatly to cross from the left for Hasani to glance a deft header beyond a static Green.

Matlock looked home and dry but for the second time in four days, they conceded a scruffy goal in injury time, bundled in by Hardy which again gave the final scoreline a much closer look than had been imagined.

Luckily for Matlock, two last gasp goals conceded have not been expensive in successive games, That will be particularly frustrating for manager Paul Phiillips and his staff.

TOWN: Shaun Rowley, Jamie Sharman, Reece Kendall, Sam Egerton, Ryan Qualter, Mark Lees, Alex Byrne, Alex Wiles (Declan Walker 77), Ross Hannah, Jesurun Ubechegulam (Ashton Hall 90), Jonathan Wafula (Lirak Hasani 55); Subs (not used): Kayde Coppin, Craig King.

REF: Luke Lazenby (Sheffield).

ATT: 446.