Kyle May’s equaliser midway through the second half means the Matlock and Workington will have to do it all over again at Borough Park.
Marc Newsham had put the Gladiators in front shortly before the interval in a cracking FA Cup tie which saw open attacking football from both sides. The tie attracted Matlock’s best crowd of the season so far, including a good following from the visitors, and they will surely want to come back for more after watching an enthralling tie which was in the balance throughout the ninety or so minutes.
Jake Green and Laurie Wilson were in the starting line up for Matlock as Alex Pursehouse and Marcus Dinanga dropped to the bench, which also included latest loan signing Curtis Morrison, a young striker from Chesterfield.
Workington went immediately forward with Joe McGee heading wide at the near post inside the first minute before the action quickly switched to the other end when Michael Williams, partnering Newsham in attack, was crowded out after a penetrating run. It would be this sort of game.
An Adam Yates header from a corner was swiftly cleared by goalkeeper Aaron Taylor whose huge punt nearly caught Matlock out, Mcgee finishing the move with a comfortable lob into Phil Barnes’ hands. Then Matlock had to defend again, the dominant Dwayne Wiley mopping up after Scott Allison had nodded a Sam Smith centre back across the penalty box.Green intervened well to stop another Cumbrian attack, all this happening in the opening eight minutes in what had been a 100 mph start.
Wiley showed some neat skill out on the left to nutmeg a defender and deliver a teasing 13th minute cross, Adam Yates seeing his header deflected over the bar and from the corner, Wiley sliced harmlessly wide.
After Barnes held a long range attempt from David Symington, Matlock had their best spell with five successive corners, one of which producing a brilliant tip over the bar by Taylor from a Williams header.
There was a rare lull in the attacking theme although on 35 minutes, Wilson’s free kick was narrowly out of the range of the oncoming Yates. Ninety seconds later substitute Tom Kilifin who had replaced the injured Scott Allison, looked suspiciously offside as he shot across goal when well placed. Matlock’s quick response was a twenty five yarder from Wilson that lacked the venom to beat Taylor and a Newsham acrobatic effort which sailed over the bar but the Matlock number nine would draw first blood two minutes before the interval.
Matlock won a free kick on the left which Wilson floated in and NEWSHAM dived forward to head in for a beautifully taken goal. It was just the lift Matlock needed.
As the second half unfolded, Matthew Douglas nodded a corner wide on 51 minutes before Matlock broke at pace down the right through Niall McManus and then Williams and it needed smart work by Taylor to cut out Williams’ cross as Joe Doyle Charles was sliding in to potentially double the hosts’ advantage,
Then on 64 minutes Newsham drove inches wide from a Williams flick on but Workington were still very much alive.
Within a further two minutes, Barnes superbly flicked a long range strike from Robert Wilson over the bar but from the corner, KYLE MAY headed into the top corner, the ball actually striking the stantion to level the score.
Six minutes later the visitors should have been in front as Conor Tinnion found himself clear with only Barnes to beat but the winger badly scuffed his shot allowing Barnes a relatively easy save.
Matlock went for the win as Newsham and Wilson were replaced by Dinanga and Morrison and Dinanga might have made a sensational impact as he ran clear just a minute after coming on, shooting past Taylor only for the ball to rebound to safety off the foot of a post.
A thirty yard strike by Robert Wilson dipped narrowly over the bar before it was Morrison’s turn to come close, his electric pace taking him clear before Taylor smothered the ball with a fine save.
A pulsating cup tie ended on an unsavoury note as Workington midfielder James Earl stamped on Doyle -Charles and received a red card, for which he could have no complaint.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Liam Marsden 3 Jake Green 4 Joe Doyle-Charles 5 Adam Yates 6 Dwayne Wiley 7 Niall Mc Manus (17 Jamie Yates 81) 8 Laurie Wilson (16 Curtis Morrison 75) 9 Marc Newsham (15 Marcus Dinanga 75), 10 Michael Williams 11 Ted Cribley Other subs: 12 Alex Pursehouse 14 Nico de Girolamo 18 Arron Jameson
WORKINGTON: 1 Aaron Taylor 2 Jacob Simpson 3 Sam Smith 4 Kyle May 5 Matthew Douglas 6 James Earl 7 David Symington 8 Robert Wilson 9 Scott Allison (14 Tom Kilifin 27) 10 Joe McGee 11 Conor Tinnion Other subs: 12 Nathan Waterston 15 Callum Henderson 16 Jamie Bethwaite 17 Thomas Fowler
REFEREE: Scott Simpson (Stoke on Trent).
BEST GLADIATOR: Dwayne Wiley.