Handsworth 0, Matlock Town 2
A goal in each half from Laurence Gaughan and James Ashmore secured victory for a much changed Matlock line up against Sheffield County League side Handsworth.
But it was the hosts who would probably finish the more satisfied of the two teams.
Matlock were sloppy, particularly in the first half which led to loud stern words from manager Mark Atkins at the interval.
The second half was better but Matlock were terribly wasteful in front of goal, so they made their task far more difficult than it should have been.
The Gladiators struck the woodwork three times, the first time on six minutes when a poor clearance from the home goalkeeper fell to Joe Leesley but the keeper atoned for his mistake, tipping Leesley’s chip on to the bar before the ball was hacked clear.
Gaughan escaped the attention of his marker a minute before the break to convert an Algar cross from close range to open the scoring.
Atkins made changes bringing on 16 years old goalkeeper Matt Leese, James Travis from the U19s, a trialist, Kris Witcombe and Martin Foster.
Algar’s fierce strike thudded against the bar and Gaughan, who had supplied the fine pass for Algar, drove at the custodian.
Leesley’s shot was held at the second attempt by the number one who then pushed out a Witcombe shot and Leesley hit the post before the ball was scrambled out for an unproductive corner.
There was nearly a sting in the tail when a free kick was helped on to the post by Leese before Witcombe cleared the danger.
The Gladiators at last doubled their lead with eight minutes left, Ashmore threading a free kick around the wall and low into the corner.
Matlock: Buxton, Dennis, Featherstone, Bowler, Gaughan, Lukic, Hindley, Ashmore, Leesley, Algar, Roe. Second half substitutes: Leese (for Buxton), Witcombe (for Dennis) Foster (for Bowler), Travis (for Roe), Trialist (for Hindley)
Attendance: 50 est.