Belper beaten in shootout as Matlock take cup home

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Belper Town were beaten on penalties by Matlock Town for the Caroline Melbourne Memorial Cup.

The match ended 1-1 between the two sides after 90 minutes with the Gladiators taking the shootout 4-2 on Saturday.

It was an entertaining encounter with little to choose between the two teams in their last run out before the season kicks off.

Nailers boss Grant Black brought in additional players as he tries to find a winning formula - and the towering Danny South looks favourite to start in defence next week.

Craig Nelthorpe, Tyler Johal and George Milner were the other fresh faces on show and only time will tell if they have done enough to impress the manager.

With sponsorship key to the Nailers’ future, last Saturday saw a change to the stadium name and it will be known as the Silver X Stadium from now on.

Former Nailer Jamie Jackson provided the opening goal for Matlock on 17 minutes after being released with a long pass from midfield. He ran into the penalty area, his shot taking a slight deflection before going in off the far post.

The Nailers levelled the scores on 29 minutes when Alex Peterson turned in a Piteu Cruez cross from close in, however Jackson nearly restored Matlock’s lead with a well placed effort that Max Beardmore saved at full stretch.

A series of niggly fouls was a precursor to an ugly incident on 57 minutes when the referee saw fit to send off Matlock’s Michael Williams and Belper’s Danny South after an alleged head butting incident, and as a result the game never really got going again.

A penalty competition was required to determine who would win the cup and the Gladiators’ keeper Richard Walton gave his side a great start by saving well struck spot kicks from Peterson and Nathan Curtis.

Jake Sturgess and Marcus Day converted their spot kicks for the Nailers but Matlock’s Luke Hinsley, Adam Yates, Alex Hirst and Jack Brownell all scored to give Gladiators victory.

They retain the Caroline Melbourne Memorial Cup until it is contested once again next year.

Belper Town: Beardmore, Ellam (Elliott 72), Johal, Paylor, South, Gordon, Sturgess, Nelthorpe (Curtis 75), Peterson, Milner (Francis 72), Cruez (Day 75). Unused subs: Haig, Moody, Esmaely, Garnett.

Matlock Town: Walton, Phillips, Green, Vince, Wiley, Yates, Williams, Marshall, Harrad, Chapple, Jackson. Subs: Nash, Dawes, Smith, Yeomans, Danquah, Hinsley.

Referee: Martin Beard. Att: 250.