By Phil Matthews
Mickleover Sports 2 0 Matlock Town
Sports: – Eastwood, Bennett, Turner, McGrath, Mills, Broadhead, Dales, Grocott, Morrison (Litchfield 60), Baskerville (Norcross 80), Schofield.
Subs: – Lansdowne, Tolley.
Matlock: – Barnes, Marsden, Green, Doyle-Charles (Wilson 86), A Yates, Wiley, McManus (J Yates 84), Williams, Newsham, Dinanga Degirolamo 70), Cribley.
Subs: – Travis, Jameson.
Referee D Watson.
Attn: – 291
Local derbies are always looked upon with anticipation by supporters and this game was no different.
There was an interesting sub-plot to this one with Matlock managerial duo Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins having jumped shift and left Mickleover in the summer, taking a number of their star players with them.
The hosts added one new face to their squad with the arrival of keeper Jake Eastwood on loan from Sheffield United.
The Gladiators had 5 players in their starting eleven who had played for Sports at some stage, and would have wished for a better start than the one that they got.
Jake Bennett, who is gaining a reputation as a real class act as a right sided wing back took the ball deep into Matlock territory before firing in a wicked low cross that Liam Marsden could only turn into his own net to give the home side a 14th minute lead.
The visitors were then given a gilt edged opportunity to pull level in the 22nd minute when referee Watson adjudged a coming together in the box between Edward Cribley and Jack Broadhead as worthy of a penalty.
Marc Newsham failed to even test the keeper however as he fired wide.
The game was effectively over as a contest with 44 minutes gone, when a spell of intricate interpassing orchestrated by Danny Schofield ended with Andy Dales lashing in a shot from the edge of the area.
Matlock rallied after the interval but failed to unduly extend Eastwood, who had few opportunities to show what he was capable of although his handling was competent on the few occasions that he was tested.
Mickleover finished strongly and were worthy winners on the day.