Bradley Jackson put the visitors ahead on 28 minutes in front of a near capacity crowd of 2155.
But the match swung two minutes later when midfielder James Hurst was sent off for two yellow cards in the space of a minute.
Ross Hannah levelled on 62 minutes before Reece Kendall headed home a winner.
In a tentative start by both sides, Buxton had the first attempt on goal, Hurst's strike from 25 yards drifting high and wide on six minutes.
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Buxton began to gain the upper hand as they made that pressure count when Jackson chipped home after Matlock failed to clear their lines.
But Hurst pressed self destruct - picked up a booking for dissent before a poor tackle on Liam King seconds later saw him red-carded.
Matlock took charge with Ioan Evans heading wide before Hannah had a goal ruled out for offside.
Jesurun Uchegbulam sliced over after the break before Callum Chippendale had a shot saved and Hannah fired over.
Hannah had another goal ruled out for offside, before the veteran striker finally bagged a legal goal to level the contest.
The Gladiators went close when Hannah flicked a header wide from a fine cross from Alex Byrne,
But Kendall showed him how to do it when he headed home from Byrne’s corner with 13 minutes to go.
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Dan Wallis 2 Liam King (15 Ross Hannah 42) 3 Reece Kendall 4 Ioan Evans 5 Ryan Qualter 6 Mark Lees 7 Alex Byrne 8 Alex Wiles (14 Jamie Sharman 58) 9 Liam Hughes 10 Callum Chippendale 11 Jesurun Uchegbulam (16 Nathan Okome 81) Other subs: 12 Luke Daly 17 Jerome Greaves.
BUXTON: 1 Theo Richardson 2 Matt Curley 3 Nathan Fox (16 Ash Chambers 830 4 Ben Turner (12 Ben Middleton 43) 5 Josh Granite 6 James Hurst 7 Bradley Jackson (15 Dom Tear 64) 8 Chris Dawson 9 Jason Gilchrist 10 Tommy Elliott 11 Warren Clarke Other subs: 14 Ben Milnes 17 Akeem Hinds.
REFEREE: Ruebyn Ricardo (Leicester).
BEST GLADIATOR: Ryan Qualter. BEST BUCK: Tommy Elliott.