​Defensive nightmare for Matlock at Gainsborough

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A poor defensive display from Matlock Town proved their undoing as they fell to a 5-3 defeat at Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday night.​

Three carbon copy goals conceded from corners were compounded by two other goals that came from individual errors, as Trinity gained revenge for their FA Cup exit at the hands of Matlock just a few weeks prior.

The Gladiators again had a threadbare squad from which to select a team, and despite the nature of the goals conceded did at least show some fight in the second-half and could well have scored more than the three they did, but ultimately it was a disappointing outcome as they continue to struggle for consistency during this campaign.

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Matlock were three down inside 20 minutes and never fully recovered.

Jonny Margetts was on target once again for Matlock.Jonny Margetts was on target once again for Matlock.
Jonny Margetts was on target once again for Matlock.

First, just six minutes in, an error from George Wilkinson allowed Javelle Clarke to steal in and go around goalkeeper Saul Deeney before rolling the ball into the net.

Then, on 13 minutes, Bobby Johnson swung in a corner from the left which was met at the near post by Ashley Jackson some 12 yards out and his header arrowed into the net.

Four minutes later came a very similar goal but from the other side, as this time Johnson’s corner was met by Dylan Cogill at the front post and his looping header also dropped in.

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The Gladiators were shell-shocked but soon pulled a goal back, as Jonny Margetts was fouled by Hamish Douglas in the penalty area and he picked himself up to stroke home the spot-kick.

Deeney then saved well from Dayle Southwell and despite plenty of possession, Matlock couldn’t find another goal.

Early in the second-half, there was a sense of deja vu about Trinity’s fourth as another Johnson corner was this time headed home by Douglas – again without a Matlock challenge to be seen.

Worse was to follow, as Deeney then lost control of a Joe West back pass and after the ball rolled against a post, his attempted clearance hit Declan Howe and rebounded into the net for a farcical fifth.

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Again, Matlock responded well and on 66 minutes the ball found Josh Barnes in the penalty area who saw his first shot blocked but then converted his second attempt.

A minute later, the visitors got a third as Reece Styche – one of three brought on in one go soon after Trinity’s fifth goal – got to the byline and pulled the ball across goal and Trinity defender Cogill could only divert the ball into his own net.

Matlock were suddenly spurred into life and had they been more convincing in the final third could have hauled themselves level, also seeing one or two penalty claims fall on deaf ears as they threw plenty at Trinity in the latter stages.

The hosts had chances to make it six on the breakaway but couldn’t convert them, which ultimately didn’t matter as Matlock failed to find another goal that might have created a grandstand finish.

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Attention now turns to the FA Trophy for Matlock on Saturday when they host SPL Division One Central high-flyers Bedford Town, whose manager Lee Bircham was in attendance at Gainsborough and will no doubt have been given food for thought given Matlock’s failings on the night.​