Matlock Town 4 Stourbridge 1

Matlock Town v Stourbridge, Danny Holland
Matlock Town v Stourbridge, Danny Holland

Matlock secured a second successive victory thanks to a strong second half display and some astute tactical changes at half time by joint interim bosses Dave Rushbury and Martin Foster.

With the match tied at 1-1 at the interval, Matlock made two substitutions, withdrawing Leon Osborne and Niall McManus and bringing on David Haggerty and Phil Roe.

Matlock Town v Stourbridge, Danny Holland

Matlock Town v Stourbridge, Danny Holland

Joe Leesley was pushed into attack to partner Danny Holland and the move worked a treat as the Gladiators dominated the second period to score three goals and a Stourbridge side which finished the contest with eight players, had no answer.

They lost midfielder Ben Billingham to a broken ankle midway through the opening half., had two players sent off and saw substitute Luke Benbow limp off with the Glassboys having used all three of their substitutes.

Matlock took an 18th minute lead when James Ashmore threaded in a free kick, this time past the Stourbridge wall and just inside goalkeeper Dean Coleman’s right hand post.

Two minutes later was Billingham stretchered off in a delay which took nine minutes.

The incident appeared to affect Matlock more than Stourbridge and some awful defending by the Gladiators allowed Stourbridge a soft equaliser just after the half hour.

Josh Meade, Lawrence Gorman and Ashmore could and should have done a great deal better as Ramsay-Dickson weaved his way across the penalty box and Fitzpatrick slotted home.

It might have been worse for Matlock three minutes later as Leesley was ideally positioned to knock a shot from Reece Hales off the line.

Matlock came out with renewed vigour after the break and needed just five minutes to regain their lead when Roe headed home after Ashmore’s cross caused confusion.

This time Matlock would turn the screw with devastating effect. They pressed Stourbridge at every opportunity and the visitors could simply not cope with Leesley’s direct running and strength.

Stourbridge became increasingly frustrated and that boiled over on 67 minutes when Fitzpatrick was sent off for a wild lunge on Meade.

The task was made a great deal easier for Matlock eight minutes from time when Richards tugged Holland’s shirt in the box leaving referee Astley no choice but too brandish his second red card of the day and point to the spot.

Holland did the rest, calmly sending Coleman the wrong way and with Stourbridge now having just the eight players on the field, it was a matter of how many Matlock would get.

In the event it was just the one when Roe unselfishly pulled back a cross from the right and Lavell White had the simple task of pushing his shot home from six yards.