MATCH REPORT: Matlock Town 0 Workington 1 - Goal two minutes from time denies Gladiators a point
The scruffiest of goals just two minutes from time broke Matlock hearts and denied them a hard earned and well deserved draw.
A seventh successive defeat ensued and keeps Matlock in the relegation picture on a day when at least the majority of results went their way with every club below them except Colwyn Bay dropping points.
Matty Tymon was on hand to apply the finishing touch as his initial header from an awkwardly bouncing ball was blocked following a long throw from the right.
Whether he knew much about it is open to question, but he was clearly delighted with it maintaining their play off challenge.
A draw would have been a fair outcome for there was little to choose between a struggling Matlock and the fifth placed Reds.
Commitment wise Matlock could not be faulted, it was a pity though that the cutting edge was missing as it has been for much of the campaign. One goal from open play in these seven successive defeats tells its own story.
The defeat was especially hard on Adam Yates who returned after missing the previous two matches with back spasms.
He was a tower of strength at the back alongside Tom Burgin. Laurie Wilson was out injured after struggling through the two Easter matches but was named as a substitute with Nicky Travis returning after suspension.
Matlock made a bright start with Craig Nelthorpe feeding Niall McManus whose low shot was well kept out by goalkeeper Jonnie Jamieson inside the opening two minutes.
Then Travis saw a well struck drive charged down and it was 17 minutes before Workington threatened when George Willis pushed away a long range strike from Scott Allison and Joe McGee pulled his resulting shot across the face of the goal.
McGee would be hopelessly off target with two further efforts before Matlock’s best chance came in the 38th minute, Micky Harcourt heading a high ball into McManus who was denied by Jamieson who bundled his volley high and wide for a fruitless corner.
The Reds then wasted their best chance as Connor Tinnion blazed wide from a good position on the left as a tightly contested opening half ended.
Matlock were soon on the attack after the resumption, Jamieson doing well to claw away a well struck shot from Jason Paling. Later the tall Reds custodian was out swiftly to thwart McManus before Cribley and McManus sweetly exchanged passes only for Cribley to shoot wide from twelve yards.
Workington had more of the possession towards the end without unduly troubling Willis. A header from Connor Hammell was held by Willis before Tinnion shot high over the bar as the defensive excellence of Yates and also Burgin kept the play off chasers at bay.
One block by Yates, despite suffering from cramp, was particularly memorable. Unfortunately Yates had to leave the arena, but to a wonderful reception, and Workington struck their decisive blow shortly afterwards.
There was little time for the hosts to respond but there was more positivity in the defeat than there had been in the ones during Easter.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 George Willis 2 Micky Harcourt 3 Jason Paling 4 Nicky Travis (12 Joel Purkiss 77) 5 Adam Yates (17 Laurie Wilson 84), 6 Tom Burgin 7 Ted Cribley 8 Liam Needham 9 Niall McManus 10 Danny Holland 11 Craig Nelthorpe Other subs: 14 Jordan Ball 15 Liam Gaughan 16 Charlie Dawes.
WORKINGTON: 1 Jonnie Jamieson 2 Jacob Simpson 3 Gari Rowntree 4 Kyle May 5 Sam Smith 6 Robert Wilson 7 Scott Allison 8 Connor Hammell (15 Robbie Hebson 84) 9 Matty Tymon (14 Robert McCartney 90) 10 Joe McGee 11 Connor Tinnion Other subs: 12 Gareth Arnison 16 Liam Studholme 17 Alex Mitchell.
REFEREE: Ian Johnston (Leeds).
BEST GLADIATOR: Adam Yates.