Gladiators end the season with a whimper at relegated Kendal

Kendal Town 4 Matlock Town 1

Poor defending and missed chances cost Matlock in their final match of the season on Saturday as Kendal signed off from the Premier Division with a third straight victory.

The Mintcakes needed a 27-0 win against Matlock and also Stocksbridge to beat Grantham to be able to keep their Premier Division status.

And with the first scenario highly unlikely to work out for them and Grantham winning 3-0 anyway, it was therefore very much a dead rubber in the general scheme of things.

Again it was a depleted Matlock line up that had made the long trek up the M6 with reserve team striker Dave Edge getting a first start.

Matlock could have been in front inside the opening minute when an attack up the right saw Will Dennis burst through to cross to the near post where Lavell White was foiled by goalkeeper Ryan Robinson.

White then fired over the bar on four minutes from 25 yards as the visitors’ bright start continued.

Kendal needed a full 12 minutes to get anywhere near the Matlock goal and the Gladiators scrambled the ball away from Simon Rawnsley who was waiting to pounce on any error .

But five minutes later the hosts were in front when James Travis lost possession in midfield and the ball was easily slipped through to Danny Mitchley who tucked his shot comfortably past Nick Buxton.

Buxton saved well from Mitchley to prevent more immediate damage before a fine chance for Matlock to equalise went begging in the 29th minute.

Massiah McDonald beat a clutch of defenders in a weaving run to bear down on Robinson as the last obstacle, but the striker lost all of his composure as he blasted over the bar.

Edge brought a fine save out of Robinson in the 34th minute to tip away his header from a James Ashmore corner which had come about when Aaron Helliwell put in a marvellous challenge on Edge from Martin Foster’s pass.

But Matlock went to sleep at the back again to concede an awful second goal on 37, when nobody picked up Zach Clark from a free-kick and the winger had time and space to side-step Buxton and roll a gentle shot into the net.

The second-half saw appearances for Dominic Witton and Matt Andrews but initially no more luck for Matlock, McDonald lobbing on to the roof of the net on 55 minutes. Three minutes later more calamitous defending from the visitors gifted Kendal a three-goal lead. A corner was poorly dealt with and again a home player was left free, Mitchley nodding in from two yards.

Edge then netted his second Matlock goal in the 65th minute, carrying on when everyone else had stopped for a simple finish, and then Matlock had chances to pull level as from a Ben Algar cross, McDonald’s shot hit Adam Freeland on the line before Robinson saved from the Gladiators number nine who had broken clear.

Edge drove narrowly past the far post before predictably Kendal finished off the scoring in the last minute, Clark bursting beyond the defence to calmly steer a low shot past Buxton.

So Matlock finish in a disappointing 17th spot with a lot of work to do to spark an improvement next term.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kendal: 1 Ryan Robinson 2 Danny Maghan 3 Jonathan MacDonald 4 Corry Vickers (Liam Shields 53) 5 Reiss Lee 6 Adam Freeland 7 Zach Clark 8 Aaron Helliwell (Martin Grundy 64) 9 Danny Mitchley 10 Simon Rawnsley (Martin Rushton 64) 11 Callum Hoctor Other subs: Mason McGeechan, Ryan Close

Matlock: 1 Nick Buxton 2 Will Dennis (Matt Andrews 53) 3 James Travis (Dominic Witton 46) 4 Martin Foster 5 Adam Yates 6 Oscar Radford 7 Ben Algar 8 James Ashmore 9 Massiah McDonald 10 Dave Edge (Tom Laister 88) 11 Lavell White Other subs: Matt Wilkinson, Matt Leese

Ref: G Hilton Att: 134 Star Gladiator: Dave Edge

by Ian Richardson