Well-made goal for top-scorer Harrad in comfortable Gladiators’ victory

Matlock Town's Adam Yates.
Matlock Town's Adam Yates.

Goals in each half from Tyrell Waite and top scorer Shaun Harrad gave Matlock a deserved 2-0 victory in a mid-tableEvo-Stik battle against10-man Stafford Rangers.

By the time Rangers midfielder Richard Batchelor was dismissed in the 75th minute, the Gladiators were comfortably in control.

Despite Stafford looking sharp early on, it was Matlock who could have been in front.

A good move instigated by Micky Harcourt released Waite, who shot wide.

Good improvisation from Harrad on 11 minutes when he controlled a Dwayne Wiley ball saw him loft an excellent effort against the bar with goalkeeper Adam Whitehouse well beaten.

Two minutes later though the Gladiators took the lead.

Kieron Wallace was the creator with a fine through-pass along the ground that Waite tucked away with aplomb.

Whitehouse saved well from Harrad as Matlock, with the wind in their favour attacking the Town End, were dominant.

All Stafford had to show for their efforts in the first half were a shot from former Gladiator Niall Flint that went over and home keeper Phil Barnes having to punch clear with his defenders completing the mopping up operation by blocking Kieran Morris’ follow up.

Matlock threatened further as Jake Green fired over the bar. Ted Cribley then twisted and turned on the left to cross for Waite, who headed over as a satisfactory half for the hosts ended with the narrow lead.

Matlock had a purple patch at the start of the second period and only a great save by Whitehouse from Waite prevented them from doubling their advantage inside the opening minute.

Whitehouse was called into action again to keep out a well-struck shot from man-of-the-match Wallace, who was dictating proceedings in midfield.

There was a hat-trick of second half stops by Whitehouse in the 52nd minute as Cribley and Waite combined to set up Harrad, who was thwarted by the Rangers custodian.

But Whitehouse could not prevent the deserved second goal for Matlock on 56 minutes. Cribley clipped a pass to Harcourt on the right, whose cross was nodded back by Michael Williams for Harrad to convert easily for a beautifully-constructed goal.

Rangers made a hat-trick of substitutions but the moves had little effect as Matlock looked in no mood to relinquish their grip on the match.

Everyone in a blue shirt worked hard as Barnes was not seriously troubled.

Frustration grew for the visitors and Batchelor’s off-the-ball elbow on Adam Yates left the Matlock captain in a heap in the home penalty area.

Assistant referee Neil Richardson saw the offence and referee Andrew Smith dished out a deserved red card to Batchelor.

Yates lasted another six minutes before being replaced by Nico Degirolamo.

MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Micky Harcourt 3 Jake Green 4 Kieron Wallace 5 Adam Yates (12 Nico Degirolamo, 81mins) 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Rhys Sharpe 8 Michael Williams 9 Shaun Harrad 10 Tyrell Waite 11 Ted Cribley. Other subs: 14 Joe Doyle-Charles, 15 Nathan Whitehead, 16 Ethan Knowles.

STAFFORD RANGERS: 1 Adam Whitehouse 2 Sam Griffiths 3 Kai Davis 4Kieron Morris 5 Mat Bailey 6 Josh Craddock 7 Niall Flint (12 Joseph Thomas, 57mins) 8 Jack Sherratt (16 Alex Fletcher, 68mins) 9 Richard Gregory (14 Louis Briscoe, 71mins) 10 Isak Reid 11 Richard Batchelor.