2:54pm Monday 7th April 2014
By Andrew Simpson
WITTON did what they needed to on Saturday – win – and with a minimum of fuss.
A single goal has been enough to beat Matlock Town twice this term, though on this occasion the reward felt more worthy.
After all, the Gladiators had lost only twice in 20 previous home games.
They rarely looked like avoiding a third once Rob Bodie had headed his first goal in Albion colours, from a corner, shortly before half time.
“We were comfortable from that moment on,” said manager Brian Pritchard.
“Matlock huffed and puffed, but we never felt in any real danger of conceding in the second half.”
It is an achievement made more impressive following two redesigns in defence after Ben Harrison and his replacement Jon Dawson both left the field injured in the opening half hour.
By then the visitors had survived their only scare of the contest, Shaun Tuton shooting inexplicably over from close range after Lavell White had sped past Anthony Gardner on Witton’s right.
Matlock did not get a clearer sight of goal.
Danny Andrews had fired too high during the opening exchanges after Alex Titchiner and Ross Davidson had linked, while White sent wide Martin Foster’s cross with his head at the other end.
Andrews’ next attempt was blocked by James Ashmore, then ex-Albion goalkeeper Jon Kennedy parried to safety Titchiner’s low strike.
Bodie was unchallenged when he met a flag kick with his head, setting his side on course for only their fourth away win of the campaign.
More impressively, it is Witton’s 600th maximum points haul since the club joined the Northern Premier League in 1979.
After the interval, Massiah McDonald’s shot was diverted by a defender while Oscar Radford’s header lacked sufficient power to make Albion custodian Matt Cooper worry.
Witton were more likely scorers than their hosts, going closest to a second goal when Bodie – again with his head – prompted Kennedy to save smartly.
Witton Cooper (GK), Gardner, Harrison (Dawson 12, Breeze 31), Bodie, Brown, Andrews, Davidson, Sheehan (Jackson 70), Hancock, Titchiner, Bakkor. Subs not used Burleigh, Moseley.
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