REPORT: Matlock Town 2-0 Mickleover Sports

Niall McManus was on target for Matlock to set them on their way to a welcome three points.
Niall McManus was on target for Matlock to set them on their way to a welcome three points.

Although Tuesday night’s performance was not altogether convincing, Matlock still had enough to gain revenge for a 2-0 defeat by Sports in September and keep the Derby side in relegation trouble.

Goals in each half from Niall McManus and Laurie Wilson made for an unhappy return for former Matlock favourites Craig Hopkins and Glenn Kirkwood as Sports’ joint bosses brought their side to one of their old haunts.

Sports’ 3-5-2 line up initially caused Matlock headaches and Sheffield United loanee Jerome Slew was a handful on the left flank. A penetrating run in the eighth minute saw him cut through from deep far too easily for Hume and the home fans’ liking, his well struck drive whistling narrowly past a post into the sidenetting.

Yates did just enough to force Slew to fire wide again five minutes later before Slew turned provider, slipping a neat short pass to Reece Hales whose powerful low strike was well blocked by George Willis.

So it was against the run of the early play when Matlock took a 17th minute lead, a free-kick being played swiftly forward on the right, finding McManus in the penalty boxwho smashed a fierce low shot past goalkeeper Josh Barnes for his 11th goal of the season.

Matlock settled to their task more with the boost of a goal and Joel Purkiss twice going close and then the excellent Tom Burgin nodding a corner wide.

Liam Needham arrived late to lift an awkwardly bouncing cross over the bar from six yards in the opening moments of the second period, Mickleover responded with Willis holding a Dales strike after a neat interchange with Hales.

Burgin nodded a flicked on Wilson corner straight at Barnes before the second goal from yet another Wilson special in the 69th minute.

Battering ram Holland was fouled from behind some 25 yards from goal, and with free-kicks becoming his forte, Wilson again delivered the goods, curling a belter past Barnes for his ninth goal in Town colours.

Two free kicks, one lifted too high by Sam Finlaw and another well held by Willis were all Sports could muster as Matlock held out for a clean sheet and three points.

MATLOCK TOWN: George Willis, Adam Yates, Ben Algar, Laurie Wilson, Tom Burgin, Nicky Travis, Ted Cribley, Liam Needham, Joel Purkiss (Charlie Dawes 89), Danny Holland (Craig Nelthorpe 74), Niall McManus. Other subs: Jack Siddall, Scott Maxfield, Ryan Pugh

MICKLEOVER SPORTS: Josh Barnes, Jake Bennett, Jerome Slew (Jordan Edridge 85), Jack Broadhead, Dominic McGirr, Nico De Gerilamo, Andy Dales, Sam Finlaw (Kurtis Morley 74), Reece Hales (Simeon Oshoboke 84), John McGrath, Jake Green. Other subs: Murtaza Hardary, Jack Tolley

REF: D Plowright (Clipstone) ATT: 282

BEST GLADIATOR: Niall McManus .