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Three loan signings unable to lift the Gladiators to away league victory

Shaun Harrad.
Shaun Harrad.

Matlock’s miserable record at Mickleover Sports continued with a 2-0 defeat, despite the presence of three new loan signings.

A goal in each half by Evan Garnett and Pablo Mills, the second a killer blow when Matlock showed signs of a recovery, did the damage.

The Gladiators included loan signings left back Jan Yeomans and midfielder Harry Vince from Boston United and striker Harry Limb from Premier League Burnley.

Matlock made a bright start and were unlucky not to go ahead in the fifth minute when smart interplay between Shaun Harrad and Ted Cribley released Kieran Wallace.

His diagonal shot was heading into the far corner of the net until former Matlock keeper Lewis King fingertipped the ball away for a corner.

Mickleover did not threaten until the 13th minute when the giant number nine, Alex Morris, headed over from a corner at the other end.

But Sports maintained their momentum with Andy Gales having a shot blocked before a fortunate run of the ball saw it drop to Garnett, who made the most of the deflection to fire past Phil Barnes.

A good challenge by Adam Yates on Dales gave Matlock the chance of an equaliser, but Limb fired wide when well placed.

Kieran Wallace went into the referee’s notebook for a late challenge on Jimmy Phillips and the resulting free kick from Ollie Mulders struck the post with Barnes unsighted.

Mickleover were then denied by the excellence of the keeper, who made two first-class saves to keep the Gladiators in contention.

Garnett raced into the box to find a short pass to Dales, whose effort was well blocked by the veteran goalkeeper.

Barnes produced an even better save to knock a six-yard strike from Garnett over the bar.

Dales drove wide from 25 yards as Mickleover ended the half in control after Matlock’s encouraging opening.

That trend was reversed as Matlock drove forward in the opening stages of the second period.

Yates saw an effort blocked before the Sports defence stood firm as a Harrad strike was deflected over the bar.

Cribley was giving Kevin Grocott a tough time, constantly skipping past him, and when a shooting chance was created on the hour, he fired yards over the bar when well placed.

Matlock’s hopes of a point took a nosedive three minutes later when Mills escaped the attention of Wallace, to thump a header past Barnes from a left wing corner.

Matlock nearly found an almost instant response as Limb’s shot from distance was narrowly wide, and they went even closer in the 73rd minute.

Vince, who along with Yeomans had an impressive debut, curled in a free kick that rebounded on to King off the post,before the keeper scrambled the ball behind.

Another Yates effort was charged down and claims for a penalty when Jackson went down in the box were waved away as another visit to the Don Amott Arena ended the way all the other competitive ones had done for Matlock — in a defeat.

MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Jake Green 3 Jan Yeomans 4 Kieran Wallace 5 Adam Yates 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Jamie Jackson 8 Harry Vince 9 Shaun Harrad 10 Harry Limb 11 Ted Cribley. Subs not used: 12 Joe Doyle-Charles 14 Max Hunt 15 Rhys Sharpe 16 Zak Brunt 17 Alfie Smith-Eccles.

REFEREE: R. Hathaway (Tamworth).

ATTENDANCE: 412.

BEST GLADIATOR: Phil Barnes .