Report by Rod Hadley:
Tyrone Barnett hit a hat trick in the Pitmen’s 4-0 victory over Matlock Town whose evening was made even worse by the first half sending off of their centre back Ryan Laight.
Manager Dean Edwards made a few changes to the side which drew at Cammel Laird last Saturday. Danny Woodhall replaced Stuart Brock who is sidelined with a groin injury, Ant Maguire and Louis Briscoe were dropped onto the bench with Asa Charlton and Elliott Durrell replacing them in the starting line up.
In the opening seconds of the game the visitors broke quickly down the left and nearly scored from a ball hit firmly into the six yard box which was eventually cleared.
Charlton hit a cross from the left to Tyrone Barnett who chested the ball down and into the path of Elliott Durrell who hit a first time effort inches wide of the left hand post. Mark Briggs made a good run, he found Barnett on the edge of the penalty area but his effort was blocked.
In the 20th minute Matlock keeper Any Richmond hit a poor clearance straight to Ross Draper who saw the keeper off his line and hit the ball straight back from the half way. Unfortunately unlike David Beckhams effort a few years ago the ball on this occasion went wide of the right hand post.
Woodhall’s first test came in the 22nd minute when he had to make dive down to hold onto a firm cross from the right which he fortunately held onto as Matlock forwards raced in to pick up any loose ball.
Full Back Sean Platt found himself in the visitors penalty area and after good work on the right by Mark Briggs and Elliott Durrell the ball found Platt who hit a shot just wide of the right hand post. The ball came to him a little high which made the shot more difficult than it should have been.
If there were any questions about the new keepers aerial abilities they were answered when he punched clear a corner from the right, conceding another corner from the left.
Tom Marshall was cautioned in the 24th minute when he showed dissent after a free kick was awarded against him.
The opening goal came in the 30th minute when Gladiators keeper Andy Richmond failed to clear the ball past the half way line, Tom Marshall sent a firm forward header for Barnett who outpaced the covering defender to slot the ball past Richmond.
The Pitmen had a claim for a penalty turned down after Barnett flicked the ball forward with the ball hitting a defenders arm, with the fans still claiming the penalty Ross Draper made an attacking run into the penalty area where he was brought down by Ryan Laight just as he was about to shoot. The Referee had no hesitation in showing the Matlock defender a red card
Matlock began the second half very brightly and a inch perfect cross by Gary Webster found Liam King unmarked in the box from where he placed a header just over the crossbar.
Decio Gomes made a mistake in the 51st minute when he allowed the ball to bounce over him but again he showed his coolness under pressure when he forced Ross Hannah away from the danger area.
The two full backs got into action at the other end of the pitch in the 58th minute when Charlton crossed from the left to the back post where Sean Platt powered a header back across the goal and out of play for a goalkick.
Platt soon after hit a firm cross from the right into Barnett who was knocked over by the ball when the ball hit him in the chest.
In the 64th minute, new signing Asa Charlton played the ball forward for Ross Dyer who sent a first time square pass to Barnett to run onto. Barnet drew the keeper off his line then placed the ball into the far side of the net.
Matlock despite being a man down continued to press for a goal and they were nearly presented with one when Danny Harvey headed a clearance straight back into the six yard box. Debutant keeper Danny Woodhall punched the ball away but only straight to Simon Barrowclough. The Gladiators Captain hit a fierce shot but was denied a goal by a spectacular save as Woodhall somehow managed to recover sufficiently enough to deflect the ball over the crossbar.
The visitors went even closer minutes later when full back Liam King sent in a well flighted cross which substitute Dene Cropper headed just past the right hand post.
Elliott Durrell who was making his full debut scored the Pitmen’s third only minutes after seeing another effort evade all of the defenders and pass just by the left hand post. Barnett who was on the left played the ball infield to Mark Briggs who feinted to go one way, wrongly footing the defender which allowed Briggs to continue the move by passing the ball onto Durrell who from the edge of the box hit the ball into the back of the net.
Barnetts hat trick goal came in the 87th minute when Durrell took a left wing free kick which found Barnett at the back post and from six yards he headed home despite the close attention of a defender.