The Dolly Blues return to the Giant Axe results in 3 points, as they played brilliantly throughout to ensure they secured the win against Matlock Town. The goal coming early on in the first half for City as Paul Dawson scored a brilliant effort from outside of the box to score the only goal of the game in an impressive victory for City.
City had most of the early attacks, as they looked to pressure Matlock early on. The first big chance of the game came as the ball was played into Norris who found Roache but he couldn’t get a clear shot off and the ball was cleared.
Almost immediately after, City looked to suffer a huge blow. After a clash in the air for the ball, the captain, Norris, landed awkwardly and needed lengthy treatment.
After some great attention by the physio, Norris was able to come back on and continue up-front for the Dolly Blues.
The game was a slow starter but City were clearly on top of the game and that was rewarded on the 17th minute as City converted the first real chance of the game.
Paul Dawson picked the ball up just inside the opposition half and ran forward excellently, where he struck a beautiful effort from outside the box into the bottom left corner.
From the goal, the visitors looked to perk up and start attacking some more. They were awarded a free kick in a dangerous area, which was dealt with expertly by City’s defence.
Matlock seemed to have a sense of confidence from this point as the ball was played down the right hand side and crossed across the box to Scrivens who couldn’t get his shot off. City’s defence dealt with the attack brilliantly, with Wilson making the key challenge to halt the attack.
City responded well to the pressure from Matlock, turning it round onto Matlock and causing them problems.
The ball was well won in midfield by Cowperthwaite and then brought the ball forward, where he tried to find Roache but he was judged to be just offside.
City continued the pressure as Norris played Roache in down the right but the cross was cleared by Matlock. The ball only went as far as Sam Bailey, who played a lovely one-two with Wilson but the chance ends up with the goalkeeper.
On the 37th minute mark, Jack Rea headed a ball over the City defence to Scrivens who had made the United in behind. Scrivens looked offside and the City defence had stopped expecting the flag and needed Ashton to make a crucial save to keep it at 1-0.
City responded brilliantly and it was Sam Bailey this time doing the crucial defending for City. He stole the ball from the Matlock left back and played a beautiful bass through to Roache in the middle.
The young striker set himself brilliantly, but the on rushing Stewart in the Matlock goal applied the pressure and forced Roache to put his shot just wide of the post.
The second half started quickly with Matlock going down the right side with Marshall almost straight from kick off. In trying to win the ball, Charlie Bailey and Jack Armer both took a massive kick and look to be struggling.
Armer came off a lot worse, with him having to be carried off by the physio due to the injury he picked up. He was replaced by Glenn Steel, with the left back in no condition to continue.
Almost immediately after the change, Bailey went down before the game could get back underway and he was replaced by Simon Wills. The challenge has been devastating for City early in the second half.
The change in players didn’t effect City’s first half mentality, as Sam Bailey picked out Norris in the box with a lovely diagonal ball but he was given as offside by the assistant referee.
Dawson then found himself with space as he chased a ball over the top, but the Matlock defender, Wiley, jumped on his back and hurt himself in the process.
A huge chance then for City on the 56th minute mark, as some beautiful football from the City midfield creates a great chance to double the lead.
Roache starting the move plays it inside where Wilson and Norris both have great touches before unleashing Dawson who takes his time and plays Bailey on the left. The winger takes his time and forces a good save from Stewart to prevent the City goal.
The Dolly Blues were the team in form, in which they proved with the number of brilliant chances.
The next one was a Sam Bailey corner whipped in brilliantly and found the head of Hudson, but his effort was cleared off the line at the very last second to deny City another chance at extending their lead.
It was all City as they continued to force the Matlock defence to work hard, this time Norris laced it off for Dawson who could only manage to drag a left foot shot wide of the post.
The Matlock side were trying to get back into the game, as they brought off Jack Rea for Spencer Harris.
The change looked to work, as they pressed immediately from the restart in play. A few wild shots from the visitors were at the Lancaster goal, but the defence continued to be a brick wall in front of the goal for City.
Matlock continued to have more of the ball and managed to work the ball to the right and win a corner. The corner was met by Bailey Gooda but he didn’t get the best connection and the effort was cleared by City.
Ashton has been quiet in the City goal but he was forced into a save as Scrivens had a tame effort at goal.
Two changes made for both sides as Jordan Sinnott comes off for Pietu Crouz for Matlock and City bring on Matty Blinkhorn for Rob Wilson.
Roache is the man causing problems up front for the Matlock defence, this time forcing a save from Stewart and the loose ball was cleared away by the visitors.
Roache again with the chance to extend City’s lead as he finds himself almost through on goal, but the ball bounces between him and Blinkhorn and neither can get it under control completely.
Sam Bailey picked up the first card of the game in the 81st minute as he got a yellow card fro bringing down Crouz as he looked to break on the counter attack.
Bailey now ends up on the attacking end as he whipped a cross in from the left. His right footed cross caused more problems as a shot, going over Stewart but also over the crossbar.
Down the other end and Matlock had a huge chnace, as Crouz broke down the left wing and forced the City defence into action as they had to concede a corner. The corner led to a quick succession of corners which were defended well by the Dolly Blues to prevent any clear chnace for Matlock.
The City defence has been incredible throughout the game and this time it was Ashton to show his ability. Matlock created another chnace late on in this game, but Ashton made an incredible save to prevent the visitors grabbing a goal back.
Just before added time, the game brought about an altercation which came from what looked like nothing. Quickly resolving itself, it saw Luke Dean picking up a yellow card for his part in the incident.
City playing some clever football deep in stoppage time, playing the ball up to Blinkhorn deep into the Matlock half, making sure the ball is as far away from the City goal as possible.
With a free kick for City deep into the opposition’s half, the referee blows for full time as the ball is played forward by the Matlock keeper.
Next up for the victorious City is a trip to Warrington on Tuesday 8th October for a 7:45pm kick off.
By Tomos Berry