Matlock Town lifted the Marcus Beddoe Memorial Trophy on Tuesday evening after beating Clipstone 4-1 at The Lido Ground. Goals from Ross Hannah, Alex Byrne, John Pritchard and Craig Carney sealed the victory for the Gladiators to make it six wins from seven pre-season friendlies so far.

The trophy that both teams played for is in memory of former Clipstone player and former Matlock Town academy talent Marcus Beddoe. Beddoe tragically passed away in April this year at the age of just 25.

The Gladiators took the lead early on when Ross Hannah found himself one on one with the Cobras keeper and he cleverly chipped the ball over him and into the back of net after just eight minutes.

Matlock almost doubled their lead ten minutes later when Jesurun Uchegbulam’s 20 yard effort was well kept out by the Clipstone goalkeeper.

It looked at this point that a victory for Matlock would be a formality but the Gladiators seemed to take the foot off the pedal and Clipstone were allowed to work their way back into the game. In the 23rd minute, the Cobras had an excellent chance to equalise when their forward found himself one on one with Shaun Rowley but he slipped on the wet surface at the crucial moment as he was just about to strike the ball, and Rowley was able to claim possession easily. Just a minute afterwards, a header flashed narrowly wide of the post from 12 yards out with Shaun Rowley well beaten.

Clipstone’s pressure was rewarded with an equaliser in the 36th minute through Jack Warwick. It was a poor goal to concede from Matlock, as a mix-up between Alex Byrne and Sam Egerton left Egerton marking two players when he was the last line of defence. Warwick was able to take full advantage of the error in communication and calmly slotted the ball past an oncoming Rowley from the edge of the penalty area.

The Cobras almost took the lead just three minutes before the interval when Warwick’s effort from close range was tipped around the post smartly by Rowley. It’s fair to say that Gladiators boss Paul Phillips was not happy with the first half performance and let his players know bluntly that performances had to improve from everyone in the second half.

The half time team talk did the trick as the Gladiators stepped it up a gear in the second half and ended up comfortably winning the game.

Matlock regained the lead in the 54th minute thanks to yet another pre-season goal from Alex Byrne. The in-form winger netted his fifth goal of the pre-season schedule when he drilled home a loose ball in off the post from 12 yards out.

The Gladiators took full control of the game on the hour mark when substitute John Pritchard found himself one on one with the Cobras keeper following a defence-splitting through ball. Matlock’s summer signing wrong-footed the keeper and easily stroked the ball home to make it 3-1.

From this point, it was all one way traffic and Clipstone spent the vast majority of the second half camped in their own half.

Substitute Kade Coppin almost extended Matlock’s lead in the 74th minute when his stinging effort from just inside the penalty area was tipped over the bar superbly by Clipstone’s goalkeeper.

Matlock only had to wait another minute for their fourth goal to arrive and it came via another substitute. This time it was Craig Carney who added his name to the score sheet, as he met an excellent right wing cross from Trialist C to drill the ball home from close range to make it 4-1.

The Derbyshire outfit came extremely close to adding even more goals in the final ten minutes. In the 80th minute, Craig Carney almost secured a brace when his half-volley from 15 yards out flashed just wide of the post. In the 88th minute, Uchegbulam was left frustrated by Clipstone’s goalkeeper again as he superbly tipped his curling 20 yard effort around the post.

Matlock’s attention is now focused on Saturday afternoon when they travel to play the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield FC.

Matlock Town team: Rowley, Walker, Trialist A, Egerton, Qualter, Lees, Byrne (c), Trialist B, Hannah, Chippendale, Uchegbulam. Used substitutes: Carney, Trialist C, Pritchard, Coppin.

Paul Phillips Quotes

“I thought we were a disgrace in the first half. I thought Clipstone were the best team in the first half. Our attitude was totally wrong. We gave the ball away numerous times in areas that we didn’t have to. We looked like we were just playing the occasion and not giving them the respect they deserve. I think some of the lads thought this wasn’t a Mansfield, or a Derby team, or a Chesterfield and that wasn’t acceptable to me and I made sure, in no uncertain terms, that the players knew that from me at half time.”

“I think we dominated the second half. We could have scored even more goals. It was a good work out, I think Clipstone are a good team and I wish them very well for the season ahead.”

“I wouldn’t say we were complacent at the start of the match…but I have noticed that we didn’t start well against Brighouse Town either and some of our other starts to games in pre-season have been a bit flat. We will need to have a look at, have a look at what we’re doing in terms of preparation on the day of the game and in warm-ups. So we’ll analyse that.”

“I think all three trialists we had tonight did reasonably well…it’s hard to bring trialists in and just have one look at them. They need at least a little bit of time to acclimatise and get to know how much hard work is expected from them.”

“We’re hoping to bring a loan striker in soon from a Championship team. That deal is 90% there. That will be a big plus for us if that comes through.”

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