Thursday, August 23, 2007
Matlock Town 2 Lincoln United 1
Yes, I did note that League 1 basement club Leeds United, beat the mighty Shrimpers 4-1 last weekend, with a glut of goals in the last five minutes. 24,000 of West Yorkshire’s finest turned out: Was it 'Kids for a Quid?'
I’ve looked forward to visiting Causeway Lane, home of Unibond Premier League side Matlock Town for a while now; their fans have been very welcoming on the website message board.
The Inland Revenue has joined me tonight; he’s got the non-league bug. It’s a one hour journey, clogged up with speed cameras and speed restrictions. We’re in the chavomobile.
The ground is a stone’s throw from the town centre and it’s easy to park. It’s £7 admission and £1.50 for yet again another well produced programme.
Matlock is in the Derbyshire Dales and has a population of over 10,000. Former Blue Peter presenter Simon Groom is a resident. Mrs P’s favourite drama, Peak Practise was filmed here. She was often baffled why I watched such dross but I couldn’t tell her I fancied the pants off Amanda Burton.
Cult film director Shane Meadows based his classic Dead Man’s Shoes in Matlock. I recommend you watch it. I hid behind the settee at the end.
The Gladiators’ joint manager, Phil Brown, is a Lincoln City legend and his centre-forward, Dene Cropper, has graced the Millennium Stadium for The Imps.
Lincoln United manager, John Ramshaw, who lives in my village, has three players in his squad who have all played for my local team Keyworth United: Iain Screaton, Rob Norris and my favourite Tom Aldred.
The Taxman, typically, buys the cheapest round of the season at £4.20, as we sample a very fine Marston’s Smooth. The ground is delightful and has an olde worldy charm to it. The views looking out to nearby Riber Castle are breathtaking.
The game starts at a furious pace; there is no time on the ball. Matlock begin to find some width and former Magpie, Paul Riley, is causing problems down the left flank.
Warne and Holmes miss good chances for The Gladiators. Lincoln play like a team of strangers, which is exactly what they are, as manager Ramshaw has drafted in over 10 players into his squad. Another former Magpie and Keyworth boy, Iain Screaton, remains unflustered at the heart of The Whites’ defence.
On the hour Lincoln take a surprise lead, Matlock fail to clear a free-kick with Douglas bundling the ball home. Whites’ striker Justin Jenkins has the chance to put them two to the good, but fires wide. Matlock are soon back on level teams, Lincoln keeper Ben Scott fails to hold onto a shot, striker Ian Holmes is on hand to restore parity.
Paul Riley has terrorised Lincoln full back and former Gingerbread man Alex Rodman all evening and it’s his crazy push on Riley that results in a penalty. Simon Barraclough makes no mistake from the spot.
It’s only now that Lincoln up the tempo but it’s too late they’ve not worked hard enough, Matlock have too much class for them.
The Matlock bench and crowd have harangued referee Plowright of Mansfield all night but he has allowed the game to flow and (fans won’t agree) did a good job in my opinion.
His final act is to send off Gladiators’ substitute Hall following a bit of afters between him and Whites’ Ben Brown at the final whistle. It results in a 22 man melee, with both dugouts entering the field of play. It’s a shame, the game is played in a good spirit and the best team has won.
Matlock Town 2 Holmes and Barraclough Lincoln United 1 Douglas
Man of the Match: Paul Riley