A draw was just about right from an even contest that never properly caught fire at a sunny Autoworld Arena on Saturday.
Colwyn Bay arrived with a host of injury problems and Matlock introduced all three of their Friday signings in Laurie Wilson, Jordan Deacey and Jason Paling. It was perhaps understandable, therefore, that the play was a little disjointed at times.
Matlock started without an out and out striker in their line-up but with four on the bench. Ted Cribley, who wore the captain’s armband, partnered Niall McManus up front and Cribley was soon featuring, nodding a cross wide in the third minute with McManus unable to finish off another promising situation shortly afterwards.
The visitors responded with centre forward Chris Sharp looking a handful with some direct running at the Matlock defence which meant Adam Yates and Harry Coates needed to be in top form.
It was Sharp though that broke the deadlock on 16 minutes, finding space at the far post to head in an excellent long cross from Shaun Dowling.
It had Town chief Mark Hume complaining about his side’s defending from the dugout.
Thankfully from the Matlock viewpoint, they were not behind for long - nine minutes in fact.
Again it was a header, Cribley finding space to nod home Deacey’s right wing cross beyond goalkeeper Chris Sanna.
The remainder of the first half fizzled out and was scrappy and shapeless with few noteworthy moments.
Danger man Sharp shotspeculatively wide from 30 yards on 34 minutes, and then three minutes from the break Bay’s Archie Love was booked for fouling Cribley.
Both Coates and Cribley sustained injuries in quick succession as the second-half unfolded. Cribley had to be withdrawn on the hour, which was a blow for the Gladiators as he looked to be their likely match-winner.
Shortly afterwards McManus shot high over the bar before at the other end Coates did well to block Sharp’s shot and John Marsden pulled his shot wide from the edge of the box.
Substitute Joel Purkiss came closer than anyone to finding a winner, his 20 yard strike thudding against a post with Sanna beaten in the 70th minute.
Another substitute, Danny Holland saw his header clear the bar before in a late spell of pressure, the Seagulls forced a couple of corners.
From the second one Ben Algar managed to scramble clear a scuffed Robbie Booth effort before proceedings were brought to a halt and honours finished even.
Saturday, September 19, 2015:
Matlock: 1 George Willis 2 Jason Paling 3 Ben Algar 4 Nicky Travis (Danny Holland 75) 5 Adam Yates 6 Harry Coates 7 Ted Cribley (Joel Purkiss 60) 8 Liam Needham 9 Niall McManus 10 Jordan Deacey 11 Laurie Wilson. Subs not used: Scott Maxfield, Nathan Forbes, Jack Siddall
Colwyn Bay: 1 Chris Sanna 2 Shaun Dowling 3 Michael Lea 4 Michael Brewster (Carl Rodgers 85) 5 Jordan Fagbola 6 Archie Love 7 Robbie Booth 8 John Marsden 9 Chris Sharp 10 Rob Hopley 11 Glen Matthews (Cory Williams 69). Subs not used: Kevin Holsgrove, John Dillon, Zac Corbett
Att: 302 Ref: R Price (Birmingham)
Star Gladiator: Adam Yates