Match Report: Nantwich Town 0-2 Matlock Town

By Steve Sharman:

Two first half goals saw Nantwich Town suffer their sixth home defeat of the season as they were beaten 2-0 by Matlock Town at the Weaver Stadium.

Goals from Michael Williams and Ricardo German in the first period were enough for Matlock with Gladiators’ keeper Richard Walton making two late saves from Steve Jones & Toby Mullarkey to deny the Dabbers any consolation.

Dave Cooke made the once change from the win over Grantham Town as Myles Boney replaced Fabian Spiess in goal.

Both teams started brightly in the opening five minutes, but no clear chances were created although Boney needed to be alert to deny German who had sprung the offside trap.

It was Matlock though who opened the scoring on ten minutes after the Dabbers’ backline were unable to clear their lines leaving Shaun Harrod able to lay the ball on for Williams who shot into the bottom corner.

The goal had clearly inspired the visitors who were using every opportunity to put pressure on the home side with German again being denied by Boney who saved bravely at the feet of the big forward.

Having gone behind, the Dabbers struggled to create any clear openings as Sean Cooke’s 30-yard free kick flew over the bar after Joe Mwasile had been fouled.

Matt Bell then received the first booking of the game for a late challenge on Williams, as the visitors subsequently showed their unhappiness with the tackle by surrounding referee Mr Issawi.

Cooke then had a couple of half chances for the home side as his first effort was blocked by a Matlock defender following Mwasile’s low cross, before the midfielder could only direct Morgan’s cross wide with his left foot.

Up the other end and Boney needed to be alert again, blocking Curtis Morrison’s powerful effort from close range after the winger had found space at the far post.

Five minutes before the break and Matlock scored a second through German who slotted past Boney after being played in on goal down the right hand side.

The visitors could have easily been three up by the break as Joe Doyle-Charles fired narrowly wide of the post from range, before Joel Stair made a fine last ditch tackle to deny German who had beaten the offside trap.

Dave Cooke responded at the break with a change as he replaced David Forbes with Steve Jones as the Dabbers looked for a way back into the game.

Jones nearly created an opening with one of his first touches but his cross across goal was cleared by the Matlock backline with Harry Clayton lurking at the far post.

Cooke then saw his free kick from the edge of the box go over the bar, before Harrod nearly added a third on the counter attack but his shot was deflected over the crossbar by Stair.

As the half went on, the Dabbers were still struggling to create any clear chances of note as Matlock looked content with their two goal lead.

With 15 minutes of the game to go, Stair nearly found a way back but his header from Cooke’s free kick flashed narrowly past the post, before Morgan’s cross-shot flew over the bar.

As time was running out, the visitors needed goalkeeper Walton to be on top of his game as he did well to tip away Toby Mullarkey’s deflected effort around the post.

Walton then denied Jones in stoppage time as he palmed away the forward’s neat header before the former Northern Ireland man headed wide from Cooke’s free kick.

That was the last of the action of the game as Matlock saw out the rest of stoppage time and went back to Derbyshire with all three points.

The Dabbers have the chance to bounce back on Saturday as they travel to take on Buxton with a 3pm KO.

Nantwich Town: Boney, Morgan, Wildin (Cotterell 72′), Stair, Bourne, Bell (Mullarkey 62′), Mwasile, Hughes (c), Clayton, Cooke, Forbes (Jones 46′)

Subs not used: Spiess (GK), McDonald

Yellow cards: Bell 23′, Wildin 62′, Cooke 86′

Matlock Town: Walton, Green, Wallace, Yates, Wiley, Cribley (Limb 84′), Williams, Harrad, German (Jackson 78′), Morrison

Unused subs: Yeomans, Lee-Gascoigne

Yellow cards: Doyle-Charles 75′, Green 80′

Ref: Mr D Issawi

ATT: 186

Photo: Mark Welton

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