Matlock are £4,500 richer after their 2-1 win over Basford United in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round.
The win was more comfortable than the narrow 2-1 scoreline would suggest as the Gladiators dominated virtually the whole of the contest.
Basford didn’t manage a shot at goal until they converted a 79th minute penalty which gave them a sniff of a hope of a replay.
By then though the Gladiators were two nil up and coasting into Monday’s draw. A second minute Spencer Harris penalty had set them om their way and the lead was eventually doubled when Jordan Sinnott fired home in the 61st minute.
Matlock probably expected a tougher challenge than the one sixth placed Basford gave the current NPL Premier Division leaders. But Town did what they had to in a solid, sound and commanding display.
Matlock made three changes to the starting line up from the midweek draw with Grantham. Harris replaced the injured Luke Dean in midfield and club captain Adam Yates was in central defence in place of Dwayne Wiley who broke his hand in the Grantham game. The third change was Sinnott, who took over from Andrew Wright in the hole behind striker Marcus Marshall.
The hosts made a dream start, Dan Bramall running at the Basford defence and being upended by Josh Law, Harris tucking away the spot kick with ease, netting his first goal in Matlock colours.
Their position might have been better as, on seven minute,s Sinnott latched on to a flick from Marshall to shoot narrowly wide. Sinnott’s free kick shortly afterwards was deflected kindly for goalkeeper Kieran Preston to gather before a great 16th minute move ought to have brought a second Matlock goal.
Bramall started the move off to feed Marshall who intelligently set up Sinnott who went for placement rather than power and Preston pulled off a fine save to keep his side in contention.
When Basford did venture into Matlock territory they came up against a determined Matlock defence in which Josh Lacey was outstanding at right back, confidently nullifying the threat from winger Jamie Walker and supporting the home attack with some accurate and positive distribution.
Matlock threatened again on 39 minutes, Bramall tormenting Basford again with a pacy run, his low cross from the left evading everyone.
Matlock took charge in the 61st minute thanks to the industry of Marshall who simply would not give up on an attack down the right, his foraging causing Basford to lose concentration. He pulled a short cross back from the by-line for Sinnott to net easily with a ten yard drive.
Lacey went close shortly afterwards and a thirty yarder from Harris was straight at Preston as the visitors, in spite of making three changes, still failed to offer a threat.
But they were handed a lifeline with 11 minutes to go as Matlock goalkeeper Jon Stewart was off his line quickly and in retrospect, a little hastily to meet a high ball and knocked Stefan Galinski to the floor. Liam Hearn netted from the spot and now Basford at least had hope.
The goal lifted them as Matlock dropped deeper but their only other strike towards goal of note came when Kane Richards shot into the side-netting in the 85th minute when a ball across the box might have been the better option.
Matlock defended well in the dying embers, their good work of earlier proving to be decisive as they were excellent value for their slot in Monday’s draw.
It was a second win this season for Matlock over their Nottingham based rivals, having won in the league at Greenwich Avenue in August.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Jon Stewart 2 Josh Lacey 3 Ben Gordon 4 Jack Rea 5 Adam Yates 6 James Williamson 7 Piteu Crouz (14 Luke Hinsley 57) 8 Spencer Harris 9 Marcus Marshall (12 Andrew Wright 82) 10 Jordan Sinnott (16 Luke Rawson 75) 11 Dan Bramall Other subs: 15 James Tague 17 Ben Morris
BASFORD UNITED: 1 Kieran Preston 2 Josh Law 3 Dom Roma (15 Courey Grantham 59) 4 Lewis Carr (12 Jack Thomas 68) 5 Brad Gascoigne 6 Stefan Galinski 7 Kane Richards 8 Callum Chettle 9 Nathan Watson 10 Matt Thornhill (14 Liam Hearn 68) 11 Jamie Walker Other subs: 16 Ryan Wilson 17 Dennell Stokes 18 Liam Bateman 19 James Carnell
REFEREE: Matthew Tyers (Sheffield) ATTENDANCE: 431 BEST Gladiator: Josh Lacey