Photo by Jonathan White

Nantwich Town and Matlock Town played out an entertaining goalless draw in Derbyshire on Saturday.

On a day which was more suited to sun glasses and shorts, these two sides met to try and get the three points.

The sun was out, and it was about twenty degrees centigrade at kick-off, and the players were ready for the game to start.

From the off Matlock looked to showcase their talents that have taken them to the verge of the play-offs with Callum Chippendale looking to test Matthew Gould, of which he was able to deal with the chance on this occasion.

Luke Daly was next to test Gould’s reflexes, as the Nantwich goalkeeper was just about able to tip his shot from the edge of the area over the bar.

Next up, in this one way traffic affair, was Liam Hughes, who saw his shot from close range thankfully for the away sides’ fans hit the bar.

The Dabbers were living a charmed life at this point the game.

A key point in the game came just after the seventeenth minute, when after jumping for a high ball, Josh Langley caught Jesrun Uchegbulam with an elbow for which he received a booking, but the home crowd thought the foul was in the area, the referee decided the infraction happened mere centimetres outside of it, the resulting free-kick hit the wall and was cleared by the Nantwich defence.

The first chance for the away side came in the twenty second minute when Matt Bell saw his shot deflected over Paul Cooper’s bar.

From there, the game was fairly open, with both sides having chances to score in the sunshine.

Alex Byrne tried for Matlock, and then Sean Cooke for Nantwich, but the sides remained deadlocked.

Just after half an hour Jacob Bickerstaff who was working very hard had a chance to open the scoring, but his shot went just over the bar, and the sides went in level and goalless at the break.

The heat from the sun must have played its part in the second half, as that was a much more sedate affair, with defences firmly on top, with the home sides fans in particular getting hot under their collars in more sense than one.

The lively Bickerstaff had what was probably the games best chance, in the second half, but his shot went just wide of Cooper’s far post.

As Matlock tried to find Jesrun Uchegbulam with balls over the top due to his fast pace, and cleaver ballwork, he just couldn’t find a way through the wall that was the Nantwich defence.

Akiel Raffie who was having a very good game was subbed off for Connor Heath, late on, and it was Heath that helped to preserve his sides clean sheet, as despite a late goal mouth scramble in the Nantwich penalty box, neither side could find the back of the net, and the game finished goalless.

Nantwich can be very happy with the point, and it sets them up for nicely for the Bank Holiday Monday game at home to Stafford Rangers at the Optimum Pay Stadium.

Teams

Matlock Town: Paul Cooper, Jamie Sharman, Reece Kendall, Ioan Evans, Ryan Qualter, Mark Lees, Alex Byrne, Callum Chippendale (Osebi Abadaki, 54), Liam Hughes ©, Luke Daly (Daniel Greenfield, 53), Jesrun Uchegbulam (Ross Hannah, 78)

Substitutes not used: Alex Wiles, Reece Webb-Foster

Nantwich Town: Matty Gould, Joel Stair (C), Jamie Morgan (Matty Devine, 72), Troy Bourne, Josh Langley, Matt Bell, Akiel Raffie (Connor Heath, 83), Joe Robbins, Jake Bickerstaff, Sean Cooke, Kole Hall

Substitutes not used: Joe Malkin, Luke Nock, Jon Moran

Attendance: 633