Matlock Town 2-1 North Ferriby United
Ten-man Matlock edged out North Ferriby in a hard-fought, occasionally scrappy encounter between fourth and fifth places at Matlock's Reynolds Stadium, the Villagers' first defeat in four games.
In-form Ferriby were quickest out of the blocks and took the lead with the game's first attack on 6 minutes. Gary Bradshaw ran onto Chris Bolder's ball into the box, and after Matlock keeper Adam Sollitt pushed away his initial effort, the striker hooked the follow-up across the line from a narrow angle with help from the goalpost. Matlock winger Kris Bowler came close to drawing his side level, but his lob from the edge of the area landed on the roof of the net, and the hosts' equaliser would come on 20 minutes; Lee Morris latched onto a long ball to deliver a low cross into the box where his prolific strike partner Ross Hannah raced in to convert from point-blank range. Both sides had good opportunities to take the lead going into half time, Matlock centre half Adam Yates nearly steered Liam King's deflected free kick into the top corner, and Bradshaw's shot on the turn was just wide of the far post after he had been fed by Ben Turner.
After having a lucky escape early in the second half when Bradshaw's in-swinging free kick took a deflection off a defender's head and landed on top of the crossbar, Matlock's chances of claiming all three points looked to have been dealt a heavy blow on 57 minutes when defender Gareth Davies picked up a straight red card for headbutting Ferriby's Bolder in an off the ball altercation. However, the hosts would take the lead almost immediately afterwards; winger James Knowles broke into the box and crossed for Morris to head home at the far post. Ferriby enjoyed the majority of possession for the remainder of the half, but lack the final ball to make their man advantage count. Alex Davidson had by far the Villagers' best chance of an equaliser, his low drive from the edge of the area looked goalbound but Sollitt did well to turn it round the post for a corner. Hannah nearly increased Matlock's advantage from Morris' corner, but Sam Denton headed off the line. Ferriby nearly grabbed an equaliser in added time, when Sollitt punched away Alex Davidson's header from Bolder's corner, and Russell Fry had an effort cleared off the line in the ensuing scramble.
Man of the Match: Lee Morris (Matlock)
Ferriby: Steve Wilson (c), James Williams, Ben Turner, Sam Denton, Steve Burton, Ben Morley (Paul Foot, 78), Russell Fry, Chris Bolder, Alex Davidson, Gary Bradshaw, Chris White (Wayne Brooksby, 65) Subs not used: Peter Davidson, Adam Nicklin
Matlock: Adam Sollitt, Ben Turner, Lee Featherstone, Gareth Davies, Adam Yates, Liam King, James Knowles (Dene Cropper, 75), Steve Warne (c), Lee Morris (Nathan Joynes, 90), Ross Hannah, Chris Bowler Subs not used: Ben Algar, Kris Whitcombe, Nick Buxton
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