Two-goal lead blown as Whitby seal away point

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Matlock Town 2

Nathan Joynes 7

Lee Morris 30

Whitby Town 2

David McTiernan 40

Jimmy Beadle 45

Matlock Town: Adam Sollitt, Kris Witcombe, Lee Featherstone, Liam King, Adam Yates, James Lukic, Nathan Joynes (Gareth Davies 73, Dene Cropper 85), Steve Warne, John McAliskey, Lee Morris, Ryan Mallon. Other subs: James Knowles, Paul Sykes Nick Buxton

Referee: A P Barney (Leicester)

Attendance: 340

Star Man: Liam King

Matlock’s play-off hopes received another self-inflicted blow as poor defending saw them squander a two-goal lead over struggling Whitby at the Reynolds Stadium on Saturday.

It looked plain sailing for Matlock as Nathan Joynes scored early and by the half-hour Lee Morris had doubled the lead.

But Whitby were gifted a point as Dave McTiernan and then Jimmy Beadle profited from inept defending to have the Seasiders level by the interval.

Ross Hannah failed a late fitness test on his hamstring so John McAliskey was paired up front with Morris.

After a delay when James Lukic was flattened in an aerial challenge with Beadle that may have included a stray arm, Matlock took control by going in front early.

Veteran Whitby goalkeeper David Campbell could only parry a strike from Morris and Joynes was on hand to net from the rebound.

Whitby were having little joy at this stage from the Matlock defence as they tried to hit back. Tony Hackworth stroked a gentle shot well past Adam Sollitt’s right hand post and an off balance Beadle directed an effort harmlessly over the bar.

Matlock’s main threat on the day was from winger Mallon, who sadly from the Gladiators viewpoint, did not see enough of the ball to create serious problems for Whitby.

He floated in an excellent free-kick on 22 minutes which saw Lukic rise but head over at the back post.

Morris saw an effort deflected behind after good work by Mallon and Liam King, but a minute later the Matlock front man was celebrating a goal.

A free-kick was hoisted in from the left which saw big striker McAliskey’s header pushed out by Campbell. Morris was waiting like a predator and he lashed home the loose ball to seemingly put Matlock in the strongest of positions.

Whitby then got themselves into an almighty tangle at the back and Morris looked certain to score but didn’t, the ball falling to Mallon whose shot was blocked by Campbell’s large frame.

Then after a good break down the left Steve Warne should really have found the target but blasted over before on 37 minutes, Mallon met a cross from the right by Joynes and the winger’s shot had Campbell comfortably beaten but it rattled back off the crossbar.

Three minutes later though it all began to go wrong for Matlock.

Adam Yates failed to head away a cross from the left and McTiernan sneaked in unnoticed to prod a gentle shot out of Sollitt’s reach.

Then, after Beadle had first headed over the top, the same player had Whitby level at the break when from Ashley Lyth’s free-kick no Matlock defender picked him up and he glanced a header again well out of Sollitt’s reach and from a position of solidarity, the Gladiators were now in some jeopardy.

The lively Leon Scott tried his luck with a well struck shot which was comfortably saved by Sollitt two minutes after the resumption.

Then at the other end Morris saw a shot blocked but now it was a scrappy affair.

Sollitt saved well from Whitby’s Scott and McAliskey headed wide before Beadle and Hackworth both sliced wide for the visitors.

Sub Davies then only lasted 12 minutes before himself being replaced after injuring his arm.

But just before his exit Matlock had probably the best chance to earn their crucial three points when he combined well with Morris and King surged through but saw Campbell swiftly off his line to save.

The point was of more use to the Yorkshire side and Matlock can have few complaints about the final outcome.