Matlock Town return to action after death of Jordan Sinnott

Matlock town players warm up wearing do it for Jordan Tshirts.
Matlock town players warm up wearing do it for Jordan Tshirts.

On a highly emotional afternoon at the Proctor Cars Stadium on Saturday, Matlock Town and Hyde United shared the points in a 1-1 draw in a day of firsts.

It was Matlock’s first match since the tragic passing of Jordan Sinnott and also new manager Paul Phillips’ first game in charge. It was obviously going to be a testing afternoon both on and off the pitch.

Apart from not getting the two extra points their second half dominance deserved, the day progressed as well as all could have hoped.

Both sides paid Jordan a fitting tribute, Matlock players turning up to the game in football shirts with Sinnott 25 on them, Hyde warming up in red tops with Sinnott 25 on the back and Matlock wearing T shirts with a slogan “Do if for Jordan” with his photograph on them. All of the players and the three match officials wore black armbands and as the teams emerged ahead of a minute’s applause, Jordan’s great friend, Hyde goalkeeper Lloyd Allinson placed a wreath in the centre circle with Matlock making a similar gesture with a spray of blue and white flowers.

A few tears were undoubtedly shed amongst the 543 crowd before the action got under way on a bitterly cold, windy day.

Matlock were without top scorer Marcus Marshall through suspension while fellow striker Luke Hinsley aggravated an injury at training on Thursday. Chib Chilaka led the attack against one of his former clubs while Phillips named wingers Dan Bramall and Piteu Crouz in the starting line up.

Phillips’ era did not get off to the best of starts as they fell behind in the 9th minute after what had been a promising opening. Bramall collected a Crouz cross from the right to fire fiercely wide as Matlock attacked the Town End with the conditions against them.

The Hyde goal came from a free kick blasted low and hard by Liam Tongue which Jon Stewart could only parry and Tom Pratt was on hand to pick up the pieces and fire in the loose ball.

Matlock won a free kick of their own four minutes later, Allinson holding the shot from Crouz before Bramall was again off target from twenty yards.

Following head tennis in the Hyde box, Crouz hooked a 23rd minute volley wide, Hyde replying with Iliman Ndiaye sawing his long range effort deflected past Stewart’s right hand upright.

The 25th minute saw applause ring around the stadium as another mark of respect for Jordan Sinnott, the referee allowing a break in play as the ball had gone dead.

Soon afterwards another former Hyde man Spencer Harris saw his header knocked off the line from a left wing corner before a worrying moment came for Matlock when Adam Yates launched into a bone crunching tackle on Chris Sutherland and was maybe a touch fortunate to escape with a yellow card to join Harris in referee Olly Mackey’s notebook.

Stewart got down quickly to tip another Tongue free kick to safety before James Tague’s shot was blocked for a corner which Hyde cleared and broke at pace. Hyde, with men forward wasted a gilt edged chance as Pratt’s misplaced pass eluded Paddy Lane and bobbled out for a throw when Matlock could easily have found themselves two goals down.

Whatever Phillips said to his troops at the interval certainly seemed to have the desired effect.

Matlock had not played badly by any stretch of the imagination in the opening half, but after the interval it was all one way traffic towards the visitors’ goal.

Within two minutes of the restart, Hyde were reduced to ten men, Kyle Brownhill receiving a second yellow card after bringing down Crouz inches outside the penalty box. Crouz took the free kick and was left lamenting his ill fortune as the shot smacked against the junction of bar and post with Allinson well beaten.

Chilaka slid a near post effort wide after a throw had been flicked on but when Dwayne Wiley, superb in defence and also as an attacking left back, flung in another throw it led to a 52nd minute equaliser.

The throw was helped on by Yates, Crouz initially having his shot blocked but being quickest to react to slide in and tuck a low close range shot into the net. The Gladiators players raced to the dug out where a Sinnott 25 shirt was raised in celebration and honour of their midfielder.

Matlock now had thirty eight minutes to win the game but try as they did, the winner would just not come.

A rattled Hyde outfit resorted to foul tactics, Tongue and Lane being booked in quick succession, Tongue being fortunate to stay on as there appeared to be a follow up kick on Nathan Valentine who then tested Allinson with an on target twenty yarder.

But fortune eluded Matlock again in the 71st minute when Crouz found Chilaka whose rasping effort clipped the bar. Harris volleyed too high before Matlock had two big penalty shouts turned down at the end with Hyde hanging on grimly. Firstly Chilaka looked to be fouled and then in stoppage time Bradley Roscoe handled much to the dismay and anger of players and crowd alike.

Despite their dominance, Matlock had to settle for a point which is a start on the road to recovery. A frustrated Stewart was booked after the final whistle for offering his thoughts to the referee but the final thoughts were with Jordan Sinnott.

The fans sang “there’s only one Jordan Sinnott” as the Matlock team left the pitch to applause holding aloft Sinnott 25 shirts.

The tributes continued afterwards in the Shorts Lounge as Jordan’s mother made a heart rendering speech of thanks and fans, officials and Jordan’s family raised their glasses in a toast to a young life ended in such tragic circumstances.

Football on the day was secondary.

MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Jon Stewart 2 Adam Yates 3 Dwayne Wiley 4 Luke Dean 5 Spencer Harris 6 Bailey Gooda 7 Piteu Crouz 8 Nathan Valentine 9 Chib Chilaka (16 Ben Morris 90) 10 James Tague (14 Sam Scrivens 76) 11 Dan Bramall (12 Tomas Poole 61) Other sub: Ben Gordon

HYDE UNITED: 1 Lloyd Allinson 2 Bradley Roscoe 3 Kyle Brownhill 4 Ashley Young 5 John McCombe 6 Jordan Fagboola 7 Chris Sutherland (12 Tom Dean 48) 8 Liam Tongue 9 Tom Pratt 10 Iliman Ndiaye (15 Chris Sharp 90) 11 Paddy Lane(17 Reece York 65) Other subs: 14 Dan Turner 16 Alex Starcenko

REFEREE: Olly Mackey (Leicester) ATTENDANCE: 543 BEST GLADIATOR: Dwayne Wiley