Matlock Town scored a last-gasp winner on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon to hold onto their 100% record for this season.
A calamitous error from Gainsborough Trinity’s goalkeeper, Joe Green, gifted the Gladiators a 90th minute winner to make it 2-1 to Matlock and extend their stay at the top of the Northern Premier Division.
Matlock’s biggest crowd of the season were treated to a highly entertaining game with plenty of chances from both teams in a pulsating encounter at the Proctor Cars Stadium.
It was also a match that fitted the cliché of a game of two halves in where Matlock dominated proceedings in the first half while Gainsborough missed a host of gilt-edged opportunities in the second before a final flurry of chances right at the end for the Gladiators.
Matlock took the lead early on in the match when Trinity’s captain, Nathan Hotte, headed the ball inadvertently into his own net after Trinity failed to deal properly with an excellent in-swinging corner from Matlock and panicked with a rushed attempted headed clearance. It was no less than the Gladiators deserved after a lightning start to the match from the home team.
Matlock came extremely close to doubling their lead ten minutes later after Dan Bramall hit the post following a lovely surge into the penalty area from the left wing.
Bramall was unlucky to find himself not on the scoresheet after this match as he was the best player on the pitch by some distance. Bramall’s work ethic, pace and confidence when dribbling with the ball caused Trinity huge problems throughout the match.
Andrew Wright had a huge chance to extend Matlock’s lead in the 44th minute after capitalising on a defensive error from Trinity and finding himself one-on-one with Joe Green in the net. Wright had plenty of time and space to stroke the ball home but instead a lack of composure lead to a rushed effort and the ball found itself rolling past the outside of the post. A 2-0 lead would have been thoroughly deserved as the referee blew the whistle for half time.
Trinity really took the game to Matlock in the second half however. Ashley Worsfold had a glorious opportunity to head an equaliser in when unmarked inside the penalty area in the 48th minute.
Worsfold somehow managed to guide his header past the post when it would have been far easier to have scored. Trinity maintained their intensity with a great chance in the 55th minute when a header from a corner was just cleared off the line.
Gainsborough then managed to squander a huge opportunity in the 70th minute when the ball found itself smacking off the bar instead of bulging the back of the net after Matlock keeper Jon Stewart found himself stranded while attempting to claim a cross and left an unguarded net.
Trinity finally found their equaliser when Ashley Worsfold converted an 83rd minute penalty sending Stewart the wrong way. The action certainly didn’t stop there though as both teams maintained their impressive fast-paced tempos right till the end of the match in search of a late winner.
It was Matlock who managed to find a winner in the 90th minute as a cross from Dwayne Wiley close to the by-line looked to be heading safely towards Joe Green who had nobody else in close proximity.
Green looked to have routinely caught the looping ball right on the goal-line but incredibly Green lost his grip on the ball and comically ended up fumbling it past the line. It certainly won’t go down as goal of the season but the Gladiators fans couldn’t have cared less.
Matlock survived the rest of injury time to defeat Gainsborough 2-1 and make it a very impressive four wins from the first four games of this season’s league campaign.
Matlock Town: Stewart, Yates (c), Gordon, Whitehead (Lacey 18), Williamson, Wiley, Smith (Crouz 49), Rea, Marshall, Wright (Sinnott 72), Bramall.
Unused subs: Cooke, Tague.