Matlock Town Academy secured their first victory of the New Year with a 3-0 win over their Sutton Coldfield counterparts.
There were some great performances from the Matlock squad with Connor Gratton and Ewan Snow certainly taking deserved acclaim.
What impressed the crowd was some excellent football built on the solid foundations of the back two pairing of Piper Macneil and Keiran Blades.
Winger Elliot Hitchcock was a constant threat down the right, teasing and testing the Sutton defence.
And, on 25 minutes, he broke through the Sutton back line only to be cruelly felled in the box. The referee had no doubt and instantly pointed to the spot. Up stepped Hitchcock who placed the ball on the spot only to see his right foot shot saved by the keeper, but ‘coolly’ made no mistake with a left foot finish from the rebound.
The scoreline remained the same at the break and, from the start in the second half the home side were a constant threat but just couldn’t secure a second goal.
Bart Banks and Gratton continued to dominate the centre of the park and when Banks went on a surging run a lunging late challenge brought him down resulting in a forced change.
Further changes were made and the fresh legs made an immediate impact.
Ben Hallsworth threaded through an inch perfect pass to open up the Sutton defence and striker Jack Madin read it perfectly to produce a clinical finish to double score.
It was vitally important for the Matlock team to keep a clean sheet, but the home side went one better when Luke Keen made it three late on to secure this valuable victory.