Chesterfield comfortably won the Vertu Toyota Cup 4-0 in their second pre-season friendly and Matlock’s opening one before an impressive 1274 crowd.
The Gladiators were left deflated after a promising start as former Woking striker Gozie Ugwu struck twice in three minutes before the quarter hour mark to leave the Spireites bossing proceedings.
Goals from Reece Mitchell and Ricky German on 61 and 71 minutes added to Chesterfield’s tally, the visitors also having a first half effort ruled out and the Gladiators suffering the same fate on two occasions.
Matlock included new signings Luis Rose and Rory Coleman plus two trialists in their starting line up but were missing Ted Cribley and Nico de Girolamo through holiday commitments.
Ambitious early strikes from Michael Williams and Rose passed wide and goalkeeper Joe Anyon nicked the ball off Rose’s toe before Chesterfield were gifted an opportunity when Jake Rowley robbed Joe Doyle-Charles who had been given an unwise pass by Adam Yates, Rowley finding Delial Brewster whose firm strike was well saved by Phil Barnes.
But Ugwu struck when a corner from the right was helped on and the striker found room on the edge of the six yard box to nod home.
The hosts had scarcely recovered from that setback when they were hit again as a break from Jerome Binnom-Williams led to Ugwu finishing calmly, precisely steering his shot past an unprotected Barnes.
The offside flag saved Matlock further pain in the 18th minute when Brewster drove home.
Matlock badly needed a foothold in the game but Chesterfield kept them at arms length, being quick to close the hosts down and denying them possession through their intelligent movement.
“We couldn’t get near them but I’ve learned a lot tonight” said Gladiators joint boss Glenn Kirkwood afterwards.
Brewster got the better of Jake Green from a quickly taken free kick to fire narrowly wide in the 26th minute before Matlock came back into the game.
Their centre forward trialist had a shot blocked and would later have a cracking finish chalked off for offside following a smart turn in the box. Williams also shot straight at Anyon from wide on the left.
Chesterfield fielded a completely different eleven in the second half while the Gladiators made four changes at half time.
Rose produced a fine header into the top corner from a cross on the right by a substitute trialist, but the offside flag was up for the third time.
After two more changes which included the introduction of academy defender Max Hunt, Chesterfield made it three when a faulty clearance fell to Mitchell who beat Liam Marsden before firing firmly into the far corner.
German was then allowed a free downward header which Barnes could only help over the line to give Chesterfield a four goal tally for the second time this week.
Rose put a difficult header over the top but a more clear cut chance fell to Marc Newsham who glanced wide from two yards after Adam Yates had headed a corner back across the goal.
Cleveland Taylor forced Dylan Parkin into a low save to his right, Newsham and Adam Yates getting in each others way from the corner and the opportunity was gone.
German’s header was turned superbly on to the bar by Barnes who grabbed the ball as it looked like crossing the line to prevent a nap hand.
Chesterfield were worthy winners although Matlock had their moments with Luis Rose in particular looking impressive in attack.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Phil Barnes 2 Liam Marsden (Trialist 84) 3 Jake Green 4 Joe Doyle-Charles (16 Callum Lloyd 46) 5 Adam Yates 6 Dwayne Wiley (Max Hunt 59) 7 Trialist (Trialist 46) 8 Michael Williams (Cleveland Taylor 46) 9 Trialist (12 Marc Newsham 46) 10 Luis Rose (Billy Whitehead 84) 11 Rory Coleman (Jamie Yates 46)
CHESTERFIELD: First half—Joe Anyon Scott Wiseman, Bradley Barry, Jordan Sinnott , Laurence Maguire , Sam Hird, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Joe Rowley, Dion Donohue, Gozie Ugwu, Delial Brewster.
Second Half: Dylan Parkin, Jay Smith (Hand 70), Ian Evatt, Paul McGinn, Iffy Ofeogba (Holmes 70), Jack Brownhill, Reece Mitchell, Charlie Wakefield, Connor Dimaio, Ricky German, Kristian Dennis.
REFEREE: Nick Hopton (Derby).