Tom Cursons was returned to the starting line up, as Dylan Cogill was handed his full debut. Brad Grayson missed out through injury, while Jack Dyche had to settle for a place amongst the substitutes. There was a welcome return to the matchday squad for Cieron Keane. And youth prospect, Tristian Drummond made the squad. Neal Bishop & Damon Parkinson switched things around as Isaac Rice moved into the middle of the park, allowing Liam Waldock and Andrew Wright lisence to roam.
Alex Byrne started the game on set pieces, and his trademark delivery found Nico DeGirolamo - but his header was straight at Yates, before Jake Day swivelled and shot inches wide of the upright- with Gainsborough hearts in mouths.
On 14, against the run of play, Cursons worked a shooting chance on the left apex of the area. He fashioned a shooting opportunity - and kept his effort low through a crowded box. Pollard got down well to make the save - but the home 'keeper couldn't hold on - and Liam Waldock arriving late applied the finishing touch to put Trinity ahead.
Kendall then powered a header from Byrne's corner back across goal, with DeGirolamo diverting the ball into the side netting. But Trinity were defending resolutely- and restricting the hosts, keeping Matlock at arm's length. Callum Chippendale seeing his effort blocked as the Blues' defence, marshalled by Cogill stood up well to the physical threat of the Gladiators.
Half time: Matlock Town 0 Gainsborough Trinity 1
The home side made a double change at the break, Paul Phillips not happy with his side's cutting edge, as Wiles and Jake Day were withdrawn. And a plethero of set pieces from Jordan Barnett and Alex Byrne were dealt with effectively by Messers Yates, Cogill, Cann & Rice.
Soaking up the pressure, the Gladiators had a lot of the ball, but weren't hurting Trinity. And with Tom Cursons and Clayton Donaldson leading the line for the Holy Blues, the visitors carried a rare, but dangerous threat. From a narrow angle, Cursons tricked his way into the box- But pulled his shot into the side netting.
Evans should have done better from a Barnett free-kick deep to the back post, as he headed wide. The Holy Blues continued to give their all, putting bodies on the line with a number of brave blocks - and fierce competition for the ball. Much improved from Saturday's disappointing performance against Lancaster.
Fifteen minutes from time, Cursons again looked to make things happen. Combining well with Donaldson, Cursons made room down the right, twisting and turning he fired the ball across the face of goal, Donaldson inches away from a positive connection that would have given Trinity a two goal cushion.
And but for a harshly awarded free-kick against Hayden Cann, deep into second half injury time, Trinity would have felt they'd done enough to earn all three points - but the scene was set for former Trinity man, Byrne, with the aid of a massive deflection, to haunt his former employer and earn Matlock Town a share of the spoils.
Attentions now turn to a break from league action, as the Holy Blues begin their Emirates FA Cup adventure on Saturday, when we welcome Loughborough Students to the Dave Longstaff Martin and Co Arena, in a 3pm kick off. We hope to see you there!
Jim Pollard, Nico DeGirolamo, Reese Kendal, Ioan Evans, Ryan Qualter, Mark Lees (Sean Higgins 76) Alex Byrne, Alex Wiles (Simon Lenighan 46) Jake Day (Jerome Slew 46) Callum Chippendale,
Subs not used: Adam Blakeley, Kayde Coppin
Matt Yates, Ethan Bojang, Joseph West, Isaac Rice, Hayden Cann, Dylan Cogill, Liam Waldock, Andrew Wright (Cieron Keane 69) Clayton Donaldson, Tom Cursons (Jack Dyche 86) Curtis Durose
Subs not used: Masai Arbouin, Darius Smith & Tristian Drummond
Report: Rob Hughes (@AATM_Media)
Photos: Steven Greenhough (Matlock)