REPORT: Gladiators tame the Tigers to reach Integro League Cup Quarter-Finals

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

A quick-fire brace from Sam Scrivens after an early goal conceded gave the Gladiators a place in the Quarter-Finals of the Integro League Cup on Wednesday night at the Windsor Food Service Stadium as Matlock Town defeated Worksop Town 2-1.

The win means that Paul Phillips continues his unbeaten streak as Matlock Town’s manager and also ensures that the Gladiators still have a chance of winning two trophies by the end of this season.

It was a frantic opening to this chilly cup tie in Nottinghamshire. The Tigers took the lead with the very first chance of the match after only five minutes when Freddy Tracey drilled in an effort from 12-yards out which was out of debutant Jake Greatorex’s reach and found itself rippling the back of the net.

The Gladiators responded immediately. Sam Scrivens found himself with a little bit of space just a minute after the opening goal and let fly with an ambitious 25 yard effort. It was a superb strike and the ball was shot like an arrow out of Zac Walker’s reach and hit the back of the net to make it 1-1 after only six minutes played.

Matlock Town soon found themselves in the lead with Sam Scrivens once again hitting the target. In the 12th minute, Marcus Marshall’s close-range shot after a corner kick was blocked by Zac Walker’s chest but Sam Scrivens was able to immediately pounce on the rebound and fired home from around only four yards to put the Gladiators 2-1 ahead.

Drama occurred in the 21st minute when the Tigers went down to ten-men. In an off the ball incident, the referee adjudged Craig Mitchell to have elbowed Marcus Marshall in the face and the Worksop Town striker was promptly shown a straight red card leaving the Tigers with a huge mountain to climb with one man less against a team one tier above team. The Gladiators absolutely dominated the rest of the first half and really should have gone in at the interval with at least a two-goal lead.

In the 34th minute, James Tague’s 20-yard effort just squeaked wide of the post while three minutes afterwards, Ben Gordon’s attempt from 18-yards out was well saved by the impressive Zac Walker. The pressure continued to mount and Marcus Marshall really should have extended Matlock’s lead in the 40th minute. Firstly, Marshall met a lovely pass from the by-line by Dan Bramall but squandered an excellent opportunity by firing his ten-yard effort high and wide.

Marshall almost immediately had a chance to redeem himself in the same minute of the match, when he managed to round Worksop’s goalkeeper at the edge of the penalty area but he somehow scuffed his shot with an open goal at his mercy and a Worksop defender was able to clear away his wayward attempt at goal.

The second half was a strange affair in the sense that Matlock were not able to take advantage of the extra man and very little action actually took place. Worksop Town, to their credit, battled hard with ten men and whilst not having many chances at goal, they didn’t make life easy for the Gladiators and pushed them all the way towards the very end of this cup tie.

Matlock’s best chance in the second half fell in the 76th minute when Dwayne Wiley met an excellent corner kick with a header from ten yards out but his effort just sailed over the bar.

Substitute Chib Chilaka almost found the back of the net in the 88th minute when his ambitious twenty yard effort went narrowly wide of the post. There was a late scare for the Gladiators at the start of additional time when Worksop Town won a free kick in a very dangerous area. The opportunity to equalise right at the death was completely wasted though as the free kick was blasted comfortably over the bar.

Shortly afterwards the referee blew the whistle for full time and Matlock Town now find themselves in the latter stages of the Integro League Cup as well as the Derbyshire Senior Cup.

Matlock Town: Greatorex, Yates (c), Gordon, Wilson, Wiley, Gooda, Bramall (Valentine 80), Goldthorp, Marshall, Tague (Chilaka 59), Scrivens (Crouz 67).

Unused Substitutes: Dean, Poole.

Attendance: 251


Paul Phillips Quotes

“I thought we huffed and puffed to be honest, it was a game that had no ebb and flow, I thought we were poor in possession…we made the wrong decisions in the wrong areas…there were standards that I didn’t think we kept to, that we had done in the last two games, but getting to winning habits is a very good habit and we did enough to win the game. We scored two good goals and now we move onto Saturday.”

“Maybe three or four of the players that came in tonight didn’t give me the selection headache that I wanted. The second half was a non-event. They sat behind the ball and we didn’t have the guile, imagination or end product in the final third of the pitch. That happened the other week against Hyde when they had ten men and we’ve got to break them down, we’ve got to do that and use that extra man to our advantage. We’ve got to show a bit more imagination, a bit more movement and not let standards drop which I think one or two did tonight.”

“The problem we have going forward is finding the right balance…we’re asking the lads to take a big workload on. It’s hard for them and that’s why I made lots of changes tonight to still try and win the game which proved well…but the standards that we’ve set can’t now falter.”

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