By James Brown:
Nantwich Town’s unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday afternoon after a second-half collapse saw Matlock Town take advantage and come away with a 4-1 win from the Weaver Stadium.
The Dabbers had the opportunity to take the lead 13 minutes in from the penalty spot after a good spell of possession led to Jamie Morgan beating his man before being taken down however a poorly taken spot kick from Sean Cooke was parried away by Matlock keeper Ross Durrant.
An opening goal came just over ten minutes later following a brilliant Nantwich move. Cooke found Craig Lindfield who played a well weighted cross into the box which was slotted home first time by Steve Jones to give the Dabbers a half-time lead.
The second half performance was one to quickly forget for Nantwich as Matlock were the much better side. The equaliser came ten minutes in Dabbers defenders didn’t stick tight enough to Craig King who took advantage and drilled a shot past Fabian Spiess.
After Morgan had cleared off the line just before the hour mark, the visitors eventually got themselves in front when Cleveland Taylor curled an effort into the top left corner as Nantwich fell asleep once more at the back.
A stunning save from Durrant to keep out a James Lawrie free-kick summed up the second half from a Dabbers point of view as down the other end Matlock made it 3-1 with ten minutes to go when King netted his second of the afternoon sliding a shot past Spiess into the right hand corner.
Heading into stoppage time the visitors wrapped up the points from a corner, as Spiess failed to make contact with a punch and Bradley Beatson was free at the back post to head into an empty net.
Nantwich will now have to dust themselves down and provide a reaction to the defeat next Saturday when they make the trip to North Ferriby United (3pm kick-off).
On a windy day in South Cheshire, an early chance for the visitors inside the opening minute from Luke Hinsley was well saved by Spiess. The Dabbers opening period of pressure in the Matlock half resulted in a penalty being awarded after Jamie Morgan was bundled over in the box after beating his man. Unfortunately, Cooke’s effort was poor and Ross Durrant parried it away for a corner which was cleared.
Following a phase of play which resulted in neither side testing the keepers, Nantwich went in front through what was the best move of the first half. Cooke’s switch to the left found Lindfield who held off a defender before delivering low towards the edge of the box into Jones who showed his class by slotting home first time into the bottom corner. With five minutes to go before half-time, Toby Mullarkey overplayed at the back which allowed Hinsley to nick it off the defender but shanked his effort wide of Spiess’ goal, a major let off for the Dabbers.
The final chance of the first half fell to Matlock who could easily have equalised when Craig Westcarr picked up possession just outside the area, and his well-taken effort was lobbed over Spiess but came back off the base of the post.
Despite a good opening five minutes of the second half, with some really nice work from Nantwich as Jones sprinted down the left, absorbed a challenge, before laying it off to James Lawrie whose effort went narrowly past the post, Matlock were quickly back on level terms on 55 minutes when Dabbers defenders were slack with their marking and allowed Craig King to drill an effort past Spiess.
A double change for Nantwich who brought Danny Glover and Callum Saunders on for Jones and Lindfield immediately after the goal didn’t have the desired effect which manager Dave Cooke was hoping as Matlock continued to press, with an effort being cleared off the line by Morgan.
The Gladiators took the lead on 68 minutes when out of nowhere, Cleveland Taylor curled an effort from distance which found the top left corner as the Dabbers fell asleep once more at the back and allowed the midfielder far too much time on the ball. One of the stars for Matlock, goalkeeper Durrant was on hand to prevent Nantwich from answering back two minutes later when Joe Mwasile did well to play in Cooke, whose effort was saved well.
After Cooke was taken down just outside the box, a fantastic effort from Lawrie which curled towards the top left corner was somehow tipped around the post by the flying Durrant with 15 minutes to go. That save proved to be crucial as three minutes later Matlock gave Nantwich a mountain to climb when King found space inside the box and slid his shot past the diving Spiess.
The game was put to bed heading into added time when Bradley Beatson headed in at the far post after Spiess failed to clear a corner. A Lawrie free-kick which was blazed over the bar and another Durrant save to deny Cooke then Saunders summed up the half for Nantwich who will have to come back fighting next weekend.
Next up for the Dabbers is an away trip to North Ferriby Utd next Saturday with a 3pm KO.
Nantwich Town: Fabian Spiess, Jake Phillips (Nathan Cotterell 75’), Jamie Morgan, Joel Stair (c), Toby Mullarkey, Matt Bell, Joe Mwasile, James Lawrie, Steve Jones (Danny Glover 56’), Sean Cooke, Craig Lindfield (Callum Saunders 56’)
Subs not used: Troy Bourne, Joe Malkin
Matlock Town: Ross Durrant, Taron Hare, Bradley Beatson, Cleveland Taylor, Ashton Hall, Adam Yates (c), Jordan Chapell (Terry Fleming 89’), Harry Vince (Jake Green 53’), Luke Hinsley, Craig Westcarr, Craig King
Subs not used: Nathan Whitehead, Nathan Clarke, Jordan Pierrepont (GK)
Referee: Mr Conor Brown« Back to all news