Trinity made a dream start on six minutes. Javelle Clarke showing great composure to round Saul Deeney & roll home after Ioan Evans misjudged the spin of the Bobby Johnson's ball around the corner from Ashley Jackson's throw in. Provider Johnson then tried his luck with a thumping effort from twenty yards that was deflected behind for another corner - this time from the right, Bobby picked out the run of Dylan Cogill who powered home another header from a Bobby Johnson set piece. Cogill making it two goals in his last two home games, since taking back the number six shirt!
Only six minutes later, Jonny Margetts had one back for the visitors. Slotting his spot kick straight down the middle after he had beaten the offside trap & tangled with unfortunate youngster, Hamish Douglas.
Bobby Johnson's set pieces were continuing to cause the visitors all sorts of problems, as just before the half hour mark a devilish set piece was somehow scrambled clear. Soon after, Moore-Billam pressed well. Charging down Saul Deeney, who cleared against the all action midfielder. The 40 year old stopper redeeming himself, as he was called upon to beat away Dayle Southwell's fierce strike from the edge of the box. Southwell, eager to add his name to the scores heat then bent one off target from the edge of the area, before a flowing move saw three Trinity players strung across the six yard line. Passing up the chance to shoot, not once, not twice, but three times, Wilcox implored his attackers to 'Pull the trigger!'
The Gladiators rallied just before half time, but Douglas and Cogill stood firm, ensuring the Holy Blues went in at the break with the two goal cushion. The least Russ Wilcox's side deserved.
Half time: Gainsborough Trinity 3 Matlock Town 1
The visitors started the second period like they had finished the first, looking to cause Trinity issues. But Luke Jackson's goal led a charmed life, as the ball fizzed across the face of his goal. Football is a game of fine margins however & Douglas popped up at the other end to once again profit from Bobby Johnson's deadball quality.
Declan Howe was next to open his Gainsborough account, when his work rate and endeavour was rewarded. Chasing down Deeney, Howe forced the 'keeper into an uncharacteristic error as he looked to turn away from the striker, but back towards his own goal... unrelentant, Howe disposed the 'keeper & finished from close range, Trinity leading 5-1 with half an hour to play!
Johnson then lofted a perfectly weighted ball over the top for Howe. The spin of the ball freeing the number ten. Howe went to lift the ball over the advancing Deeney, but he just couldn't get enough on the ball to profit from slack defending. Matlock then struck back with two of their own in two minutes.
First, Josh Barnes rifled home as Trinity failed to clear their defensive lines. Ninety seconds later, Gladiators' substitute Reece Styche fired a ball into the danger zone, which Cogill could only divert past his own 'keeper to set nerves jangling.
Nineteen minutes from time saw Luke Jackson knock some of the spirit out of the Gladiators fightback, when he denied Jonny Margetts from point blank range. Before Dec Howe appeared to have sprung the offside trap when a delightful ball over the visitor's back line, from Javelle Clarke found the forward clean through on goal. Only to see the promising chance cut short with the flag aloft. Much to the bemusement of the bench directly behind the decision.
Howe then turned provider as he got up brilliantly. Flicking on, Clarke raced in on goal - but leaning back, he couldn't keep his shot down. Trinity showed great character to see out the remainder of normal time & seven additional minutes of stoppage time with great resilience and little in the way of late drama to gain a valuable three points - leading in nicely to Saturday's Isuzu FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round match against.Guiseley on Saturday.
Kick off at 3pm, Russ Wilcox's men will be relishing the opportunity to start a cup run... and who knows how far the Holy Blues will be able to go in the competition? - Be sure to join us, as we take our first steps in this season's competition!
Gainsborough Trinity: Luke Jackson, George Hornshaw (Nat Wallace 80) Ashley Jackson, Bailey Conway, Hamish Douglas, Dylan Cogill, Jack Moore-Billam, Bobby Johnson, Dayle Southwell (Harrison Poulter 81) Declan Howe (Lewis Butroid 90) Javelle Clarke. Subs not used: Harry Lovick and Joel Holvey
Matlock Town: Saul Deeney, Robbie McNicholas, Joe West, Andrew Wright, Ioan Evans (Harry Wakefield 60) George Wilkinson, John Johnston (Reece Styche 60) Joshua Barnes, Ollie Clark, Jonathan Margetts, Nathaniel Crofts (Jamie Sharman 60)
Gainsborough Goals: Javelle Clarke 6, Ashley Jackson 13, Dylan Cogill 17, Hamish Douglas 52, Declan Howe 57
Matlock Goals: Jonathan Margetts 23, Joshua Barnes 66, Dylan Cogill (o.g) 68
Referee: Daniel Tracey