By Ryan Batty:
Goals from Harry Clayton and a double from David Forbes secured a much-needed three points for Nantwich as they beat Matlock 3-0 at the DCJ Group Insurance Arena.
Harry Clayton opened the scoring on the seven minute mark as he was played through by Troy Bourne on the right, and Clayton popped it through a defender’s legs before firing home into the bottom corner.
David Forbes doubled Nantwich’s lead five minutes after the interval as Matt Bell’s free-kick missed the diving head of Joel Stair, falling to Forbes to head into an open goal. Forbes finished the job with eight minutes to go as Steve Jones hit one on the turn which hit the post, and with no goalkeeper in sight, Forbes was there to tap home and to send Nantwich back to Cheshire with a return to winning ways.
Nantwich had the first clear-cut chance of the afternoon as, after six minutes, Joe Mwasile hit one low towards goal, but Barnes’ parry was only as far as Forbes who almost opened the scoring, but could only fire wide from close range.
However the Dabbers didn’t have long to wait for their next chance as Matt Bell found space in the middle, before playing in Troy Bourne on the right. Clayton’s run was excellent, and Bourne found him in plenty of space. Clayton put the ball through the defender’s legs, before firing home past Barnes’ outstretched right hand into the bottom-left hand corner.
Nantwich simply dominated the first half, and their second chance came just five minutes later as Bourne drove a low cross into the box looking for Forbes, who was just too late to the ball to net The Dabbers’ second.
Just before the fifteen minute mark, Nantwich had another chance as Forbes hunted down a lone defender in the back, and almost got away from his man, but wasn’t able to gain full control of the ball.
The first real chance for the hosts came after twenty-five minutes as Kieron Wallace hit an excellently-struck first time volley that dipped over the crossbar.
The hosts began to get back into the game before the conclusion of the first half, as their second clear chance came with ten minutes to go to the interval. Cribley weaved his way through the Dabbers defence, but took a touch too many and Jaaskelainen was able to simply dive on top of the ball.
However, Nantwich had some tremendous chances, and one of them may have been pinched from the Premier League. Casper Hughes flicked the ball over the head of a midfielder, and found Forbes behind the defence. However, Forbes’ shot hit the side netting to prevent a goal that may have been plucked from the top-flight.
Hughes had a great game in central midfield, and almost got on the scoresheet himself as, with three minutes to go in the first half, the ball dropped to him, and he ripped one towards goal that surely would have troubled Barnes had it not been for a deflection in defence, that made the ball roll out for a corner.
The two sides went into the break with Nantwich ahead, but Matlock were slowly getting back into the game, so the second half was shaping up to be a treat!
Michael Williams had picked up a first-half injury, so was replaced at the break by Callum Lloyd.
Matlock applied some early pressure in the second period, but Nantwich doubled their lead early in the second half. A free-kick on the left-hand side of the field was whipped into the box towards Stair, who missed the ball on the diving effort, yet Forbes was there at the back stick to head home into an open goal.
Just a minute later, Toby Mullarkey and Callum Lloyd went into a challenge, Lloyd with a studs-up tackle that went into the lower leg of Mullarkey, who had to be brought off, suffering an injury that required stitches. Lloyd was shown a red card almost instantly by the referee for the horror tackle and Matlock were down to ten men – Lloyd seeing the field for just six minutes. Jamie Morgan replaced the injured Mullarkey.
After sixty-four minutes, Nathan Cotterell and Mwasile linked up well on the right-hand side, before Mwasile nailed a low cross towards Clayton. Unfortunately, Clayton was caught up in possession of the ball amidst oncoming traffic in the box and wasn’t able to get the shot away.
The hosts, trying to cut into Nantwich’s two-goal lead, made a double substitution as Rhys Sharpe and Shaun Harrad were replaced by fresh legs in Noel Burdett and Nathan Whitehead.
With fifteen minutes to go, Nantwich made a change as Nathan Cotterell came off for Steve Jones.
Two minutes later, there was another goalmouth scramble as Nantwich found space on the left, Wildin drove a low cross towards Jones, but a defender almost put it into his own net.
With ten minutes left, Nantwich made their final change as Clayton McDonald came on for Joe Mwasile.
On eighty-two minutes, Steve Jones found space in front of goal, and on the turn, hit one low. The ball ricocheted off the post but only as far as Forbes, who netted his second with no goalkeeper in sight.
Despite five minutes of added time, Matlock weren’t able to create any real chances, and Nantwich headed back to South Cheshire with a return to winning ways – exactly the job that Dave Cooke set out to do at three o’clock.
Nantwich: Jaaskelainen, Bourne, Wildin, Stair, Mullarkey (Morgan 51′), Bell (C), Mwasile (McDonald 79′), Hughes, Clayton, Forbes, Cotterell (S. Jones 75′)
Subs not used: Burzynski, Webster
Matlock: Barnes, Degirolamo, Green, Wallace, Yates (C), Wiley, Sharpe (Burdett 67′), Williams (Lloyd 45′), Harrad (Whitehead 67′), German, Cribley
Subs not used: Hunt
All photos courtesy of Jonathan White« Back to all news