Hucknall Town 0, Matlock Town 5
The Gladiators comprehensively saw off their Evo-Stik NPL First Division South hosts in their latest pre-season friendly at Watnall Road.
Apart from a 20 minute period in the first half when Hucknall threatened to cancel out Lee Ellington’s opener, Matlock controlled the game and thoroughly deserved their victory.
James Lukic made a surprise start alongside Ryan Laight in central defence while Joe Leesley started in attack alongside Bradley Grayson with Ryan Hindley on the right flank.
Lukic headed a Hindley free kick wide before Grayson had to be carried off with damaged ankle ligaments after falling in a heap.
That brought on Ellington whose first touch was a golden one, glancing in another Hindley free kick in the 12th minute.
The Gladiators showed their opponents just how to finish when they doubled their lead on 41 minutes as Phil Roe scampered down the left and his cross had Fisher stretching who could only palm the ball out to Hindley who belted the ball emphatically home.
Leesley then did well on the right and Ellington’s header bounced inches wide as Matlock nearly made it three by the interval.
Matlock went further in front with a route one goal in 61 minutes.
Jon Kennedy’s huge clearance was nodded on by Leesley and with the Hucknall defence in disarray, Ellington nipped in to guide a calm finish into the bottom corner.
An outstanding individual goal from Ben Algar arrived with a quarter of an hour left as the winger took on seemingly the whole of the Hucknall defence, mesmerising at least three players before stroking a low shot beyond Fisher.
Leesley hit the bar but with nine minutes to go he got the goal he deserved, and it was a cracker!
Found by Hindley he cut inside and left Fisher helpless with a terrific blast into the top corner to rival Algar’s earlier effort as goal of the game.
Matlock: Kennedy, Witcombe (Dennis 58), Roe, Foster (Algar 62), Laight, Lukic (Gaughan 55), Hindley, Ashmore, Leesley, Grayson (Ellington 10), Davies.