Matlock Town Reserves progress into the next round of the Floodlit Cup after beating Sherwood Colliery Reserves 3-1 at Causeway Lane on Wednesday night.
Two goals from Billy Whitehead and a goal from Ethan Knowles was enough to see Matlock progress. Whitehead, fresh off the back of his goal for the first team against Grantham Town, continued to shine for the reserves as he fired them to a well-deserved win.
The game started off rather lethargically as both sides struggled to get in to rhythm as chances were few and far between.
Sherwood Colliery had the first real chance of the game in the 10th minute as the captain Jordan Pickering headed just over the bar from a corner keeping the game 0-0.
A few half opportunities for both sides occurred but nothing substantial as both teams were trying to figure each other out causing the game to lack pace.
As half time approached Matlock had a great chance to go ahead as Billy Whitehead attempted a lofted chip to catch out Sherwood goalkeeper Gary Doncaster but it was cleared.
Matlock started the second period very brightly and looked to take the game to Sherwood by pressing high and chasing down loose balls. But the game didn’t seem to travel in any direction until the 59th-minute which saw Billy Whitehead break the deadlock and strike fiercely past Doncaster and put the Gladiators up a goal to the good.
Matlock looked confident in attack and were forcing a second goal and they would be quickly rewarded as on the 62nd-minute Whitehead doubled his tally with a calm finish.
Sherwood reacted quickly and pulled a goal back as a result of high pressure from Mike Taylor who shot in to an empty net following Jordan Pierrepont’s underpowered headed clearance.
It wouldn’t take long for Matlock to extend their lead again as intricate play from Billy Whitehead and Ethan Knowles in the box made it 3-1 restoring the two-goal lead.
On the 72nd-minute a poor tackle from Ross Richmond on Lucas Brough gave the referee no choice but to send him off leaving Sherwood Colliery on 10 men.
Matlock weren’t looking to keep the score as it was, they pushed on looking for more goals and would have got one if it wasn’t for Gary Doncaster turning a close range shot on to the post magnificently.
It was a game of two halves, the second much better than the first. A win which saw Matlock Town Reserves progress in to the next round.