Beaten but unbowed. That was the message from Matlock Baileans after their first team had suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Stourport in their opening competitive match of the new season.
The defeat meant an early exit for Matlock from the Investec English Women’s Cup but considering they were taking on a team who play in a higher division, they could still holds their heads high. They fought hard and should be able to take plenty of confidence into their initial Midlands Women’s League, Premier Division match against Boots I this Saturday morning.
Stirred by a rousing team-talk before the tie by coach Joffrey Longdon, Matlock started well, with quick passing from Leyanne Beacham and Dani Bacon in midfield and tireless running from Nina Smedley and Sarah Wain up front. However, despite excellent defending by player-of-the-match Niamh Vallack, Stourport were awarded a penalty corner, which was perfectly slotted in to open the scoring towards the end of the first half.
Matlock refused to be downhearted and came out strongly for the second half. They threatened the visitors’ goal, but to no avail and, against the run of play, Stourport scored another well-executed goal.
Resolute defending and terrific saves by the athletic Chris Poyser, along with some stunning tackles by centre-back Joanne Carson, encouraged Matlock to attack again, buoyed by tremendous work by Alice Sellars on the right.
Meanwhile Matlock 5th were on the receiving end of an 8-0 thumping against Woodlands in Division Two of the Derbyshire Women’s League.
Woodlands, who were playing in Division One last season, were well drilled and experienced and after scoring early, it soon became clear that they would be tricky to contain. The goals kept coming, but Matlock remained positive throughout and are sure they will continue to improve. Player-of-the-match was Charlotte Clayton, although the defence worked well as a unit, the midfield kept battling and new striker Sam Hall looked good.