​Gladiators and Tigers fight out a stalemate

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​Matlock Town and Worksop Town couldn’t be separated on Saturday as they played out a 0-0 draw at the Proctor Cars Stadium.

​As scoreless draws go this was an excellent one, chances from start to finish at regular intervals, the destination of the points remaining in doubt until the final whistle.

The Gladiators and the Tigers served up a fascinating local derby played in front of an impressive 1,023 crowd with the draw being the right result.

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Matlock will probably be the happier of the two teams with a point, certainly Worksop would have preferred all three as they seek a play-off spot.

Adam Yates goes up for a header in the draw with Worksop. Photo: Michael South Photography.Adam Yates goes up for a header in the draw with Worksop. Photo: Michael South Photography.
Adam Yates goes up for a header in the draw with Worksop. Photo: Michael South Photography.

Worksop could have gone in front inside the opening 15 seconds, a flowing move from their kick-off eventually releasing Jay Rollins down the right who pulled his shot beyond the back post,

The Tigers swarmed all over Matlock in the opening exchanges, Jordan Burrow’s header looked to be dropping just under the bar until Saul Deeney reacted to push the ball over the bar.

Matlock responded with a tame John Johnston shot at goalkeeper Seb Malkowski before on seven minutes, Johnston set up a well placed Boden to fire disappointingly wide in what looked to be a golden opportunity to break the deadlock.

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Worksop could have done just that in bizarre circumstances as Hughes charged down a Deeney clearance, the ball looping up to glance the bar before a grateful Deeney grabbed possession virtually on the goal line.

Hughes fired a fierce shot goalwards which was only a couple of feet wide, while Ioan Evans, up for a corner at the other end, directed his header straight at Malkowski, the goalkeeper then keeping out a Johnston strike with his legs.

Then it was Worksop’s turn to threaten, Broadhead’s well struck effort being blocked by his own player Burrow.

The hosts had a fine chance to go in front seven minutes after the resumption, Boden miskicking after a Johnston pull back, a corner still being earned as Hamza Bencherif deflected the ball behind.

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As the game wore on Matlock grew in confidence and Johnston, after being found by Joe West, scooped his shot a yard too high.

A Hamza Bencherif header comfortably cleared the bar before in an enthralling finale, both sides could have snatched the winner.

Matlock looked the more likely with Malkowski earning his corn, pulling off a fine stop to deny Johnston from Alex Duhameau’s flick.

A better save followed as he kept out a Boden strike from point blank range and in the Gladiators’ best spell of the contest, Malkowski made it a hat-trick of vital saves as his legs again came to the Tigers rescue from Duhameau.

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At the other end, Deeney stayed steadfast and firm to beat away substitute Alex Starcenko’s strike, the climax at the end also seeing penalty appeals ignored when Williams appeared to be held down in the Tigers penalty box.

As the players shook hands at the final whistle there was a feeling of respect for the opposition in both camps.

Matlock could be proud of their afternoon’s work, it was a pity they could not take one of their excellent chances.