Hello Gladiator Nation and welcome back to my weekly column, in a week that saw Frosty the snowman wave his goodbyes for now, football returned with some Derbyshire Senior Challenge Cup and Evo Stik NPL action!
We start with Tuesday’s match against Borrowash Victoria, the East Midlands Counties League Premier Division side boasting a great run in the FA Vase at the time came to Matlock in a confident manner ready to cause an upset.
But the Gladiators would break Vic’s hearts and within 12 minutes the goal machine himself Lewis McMahon would pop up to put Matlock ahead after fine work down the wing by Massiah McDonald.
And after Phil Roe scored one of the goals of the season, I expected us to go on and rout the frankly poor Borrowash side. They grabbed a goal back but Joe Leesley’s penalty and Anthony Griffiths-Junior’s fierce shot secured a 4-1 win.
The one sour note was the sad news of McMahon’s injury that could potentially sideline the player for up to four months.
The semi-final clash looks to be one of epic proportions as Chesterfield FC are now set to visit Causeway Lane on February 19, as the road to Pride Park continues!
Saturday was a much more sedate affair with notorious bogey team Ashton United visiting. Most supporters before the game claimed they’d be happy with a point, but after a Bradley Grayson penalty put us ahead emotions were heightened and we had a quality game on our hands that was only spoilt by a very whistle happy referee.
Ashton levelled but the Gladiator’s lead would return on the 84th minute. At this point I thought that victory was ours, but after a clear foul on striker Joe Leesley by the Ashton goalkeeper it would lead to a break, and the rather wonderfully named Dennis Sheriff, scoring.
Laurence Gaughan got sent off to round off a game that the Gladiators showed plenty of bite and passion.
By James Griffiths