Ross equals record to cap a stirring fightback

Ross Hannah v Nantwich
Ross Hannah v Nantwich

Tuesday, April 20, 2011

Evo-Stik League Premier Division

Matlock Town 4

Jake Sedgemore (og) 45

John McAliskey 46, 55

Ross Hannah 90

Nantwich Town 2

Jason Oswell 34

Michael Lennon 37

Matlock Town: Nick Buxton, Ben Turner, Lee Featherstone, Liam King, Adam Yates, James Lukic, Gareth Davies, Steve Warne, Lee Morris (Ryan Mallon 21), Ross Hannah, John McAliskey (Nathan Joynes 68). Other subs: James Knowles, Paul Sykes.

Referee: M Walsh (Sheffield)

Attendance: 328

Star Man: John McAliskey

Matlock staged a tremendous fightback from two goals down to secure their first league win in ten outings.

Another miserable night looked to be on the cards as the relegation-threatened Dabbers dominated the opening half and it came as no surprise when Jason Oswell and then Michael Lennon netted in the space of three minutes.

But Matlock got a huge slice of luck from a Jake Sedgemore own goal seconds before half-time and, a minute after the break, they were level from the first of John McAliskey’s brace. The giant striker’s second followed nine minutes later before Ross Hannah’s stoppage time strike confirmed a morale boosting victory and equalled Bobby Mountain’s club record goal tally from 1982-83.

The early signs were worrying with Lennon, rated by Matlock boss Mark Atkins as the best striker in the division apart from Hannah, twisting past Lee Featherstone to force a corner from which Oswell headed too high.

Matlock then changed formation to 4-4-2 when Lee Morris limped off with a season-ending hamstring strain and Ryan Mallon was brought on.

After Lennon glanced a Michael Carr cross beyond the back post, Nantwich took a grip on the game. On 34 minutes, Lennon’s excellent centre from the left set up Oswell who nodded accurately past Buxton and then three minutes later Carter’s left wing cross firstly beat everyone but was kept alive by Carr whose low return ball was thumped home by Lennon.

Matlock were second best but got an unexpected late lifeline. Credit goes to McAliskey for worrying Sedgemore into inexplicably hooking the ball beyond Daniel Plant from 20 yards. That error changed the course of the game.

McAliskey wasted little time in notching his first Matlock goal, profiting from Hannah’s industry and never-say-die attitude. The goal machine squeezed a low pass along the six-yard box and McAliskey smashed home.

Nine minutes later, McAliskey turned from nearly man to a player on top of his game.

Found by a clinical but exquisite cross from Gareth Davies, the big man’s control was exemplary before finding the confidence to blast home.

Nantwich were now restricted mainly to long distance efforts. Certainly their threat had diminished.

Matlock finished strongly with gaps appearing in the Dabbers’ defence.

Hannah’s shot whistled narrowly wide late on, but there was still time for him to make his mark.

In the second of five minutes of added time, he was clean through, and although the onrushing Platt caught him with his mistimed challenge, the stumble was only temporary as the division’s leading marksman rifled into an empty net to draw level with another Matlock legend’s goals-in-a-season total.