Matlock Town Reserves put the disappointment of consecutive away defeats behind them with a 5-1 win at Mickleover RBL FC.
The home team, in their second year in the CMFL South, were looking to improve on their mid-table finish last year within the fantastic setting of their home ground at Poppyfields Drive.
The away side had made two changes bringing in Andrews and Lavelle for Siddall and Witton, who were both missing due to injury and sickness, while Griffiths was moved to right back and the returning Bradshaw making the bench.
Matlock’s early pressure paid off on ten minutes when the young and talented Brown put through Edge to score his fifth goal of the season to make the score 1-0 and give the away team the perfect start.
Edge went close again on just two minutes later with a shot that was well saved before Andrews and captain Laister threatened to double the Gladiators’ advantage. Matlock were in complete control.
Further chances from Hewitt and Brown came and went before Mickleover finally started to push forward for an equaliser. First went close through winger Thompson followed by another good effort by midfielder Dolby, both dealt with by keeper Dewberry.
But the flow of Matlock attacks continued and Walden angled a shot just wide. Hewitt was influential in most attacks and he slotted through the perfect through ball to pick out Brown, who ran in to notch his first goal of the season.
The away team’s dominance and pressure continued and on 42 minutes it was Wilkinson who put through Andrews, who in-turn was brought down by the home team captain Poynter in the box for a penalty. Poynter was given his marching orders.
The resulting spot kick was dispatched in style by Hewitt and, with Mickleover down to ten men going into half time, the young Gladiators were confident and eager to push on in search of more goals.
They were caught cold, however, within minutes of the re-start and a defensive mistake let in Lamina to capitalise and reduce the arrears for the home side.
Matlock pushed to increase the lead and Edge went close on 50 minutes before Andrews was once again fouled seven minutes later in the box for the second penalty of the game. Once again Hewitt finished in style to make the score 4-1 and score his fourth of the season.
Bradshaw then came on for Walden who had run out of steam following his midweek five star performance against Lincoln City.
Holding midfielder Rogers came on for Edge and the FA Youth Cup midweek man of the match Cooper came on for Towndrow, with Griffiths moving to left back for the final 30 minutes of the game.
The game was controlled by the away side and Brown went close on 66 minutes before Wilkinson looking for a goal to celebrate his birthday hit wide from a good position on 75.
But the wait was short, as three minutes later it was Hewitt who once again played in Matt Wilkinson for his fourth of the season to make it 5-1 and celebrate his birthday in style.
Andrews went close on 90 minutes to cap a good returning performance but the impressive win was complete and the response to last week’s disappointment was done. Matlock look ahead to Tuesday night’s high profile CMFL cup game.
Matlock: Dewberry, Griffiths, Towndrow (Cooper), Laister (c), Lavelle, Hewitt, Wilkinson, Walden (Bradshaw), Edge (Rogers), Brown, Andrews. Subs not used: Bulheller