Christmas cracker as Millers dump Matlock out of cup

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Derbyshire Senior Cup

New Mills AFC 2, Matlock Town 1 (aet)

A CHRISTMAS cracker of a game at Church Lane last Tuesday saw New Mills beat Matlock Town after extra time to progress into the quarter finals.

Apart from Leon Grandison’s speculative cross-cum-shot rattling the bar in the opening seconds, it was the higher ranked visitors who largely controlled the first half. A combination of some lacklustre finishing and inspired goalkeeping from James Coates denied Matlock.

They broke the deadlock with virtually the last kick of the half and even then they were very nearly thwarted by Coates. Tyeisse Nightingale’s cutback found Ian Holmes at the back post who was denied by a stunning point-blank save by The Millers keeper but Nightingale was the first to react to the loose ball as he prodded home.

New Mills finally started to apply some concerted pressure around the hour mark with Carlos Meakin at the forefront of their attacking. His free-kick was well claimed by Jon Kennedy and then, shortly after, his shot was deflected wide.

The introduction of Antony Field decisively changed the momentum of the game as he regularly tormented left-back Will Kendall with his lively pace. Adam Yates went within a whisker of doubling Matlock’s advantage when he struck the inside of the post from outside the area.

The home side levelled proceedings with 11 minutes to go. Field collected the ball on the right-hand flank and after using Meakin’s overlapping run as a clever decoy, the youngster cut inside before unleashing a fierce 20-yard shot. Another outstanding save from Coates ensured the game went into extra time as he denied Lee Whittington’s last-gasp low drive.

Matlock were immediately pushed onto the back foot in the first period of extra time. Substitute Kristian Cox’s pace caused Matlock problems and Meakin was unfortunate to see his fierce shot rebound off the underside of the crossbar.

Another excellent save from Coates started the move which saw New Mills score the winner two minutes before the end of the first period of extra time. Coates splendidly kept out Kris Bowler’s shot with his legs and Meakin immediately counter-attacked. Luke Horrocks was the ultimate recipient wide on the left and none of the home faithful will care whether his resulting effort was a shot or a cross as it sailed over the helpless Kennedy.

Field was then denied by a superb last-ditch defensive block and from the subsequent corner, Meakin’s volley was well saved by Kennedy. Not even the late sending off of Grandison who saw red for his second cautionable offence, could prevent The Millers from moving into the last eight of the competition.

New Mills: Coates, Edridge (Field), Fitzpatrick, Brown, Barras (Gale), Innes, Meakin, Bowler, Stott (Cox), Grandison, Horrocks. Unused subs: Pickering, Kay.