Matlock Town 1-2 Witton Albion

WITTON Albion kept their quest to match last season’s finish on course as they completed a double over Matlock Town.

This visit to Causeway Lane was rather more comfortable than their previous one – during which they let slip a lead before scoring an added-time winner – and goals from Ben Harrison and Rob Hopley put them out of the Gladiators’ reach.

The defender, making his final appearance of a loan spell before returning to Altrincham, improvised a clever finish with his heel after Hopley had helped on Anthony Gardner’s long throw.

It is his fourth goal in a month-long stay.

Hopley went close when he flicked wide at the near post and he also headed over after meeting Danny McKenna’s corner.

Matlock laboured to muster a response, and their only attempts of note were from long range when Greg Tempest’s shot bounced wide of an upright and Michael Williams couldn’t hit the target after cutting in from the left.

Albion did find the net a second time shortly after the interval when Hopley diverted McKenna’s corner over the line from close-range.

And there was another escape for Matlock when substitute custodian Jordan Pierrepont, who replaced Durrant at the interval after he sustained a groin injury, used a knee to block Hopley’s next attempt.

The visitors presented their opponents with an opportunity to halve their arrears on 68 minutes when Josh Wardle’s push on Adam Yates, as he tried to meet Luke Beevers’ long throw, was spotted by referee Luke Watson.

However Greg Hall, for the sixth time this season, stopped a spot-kick when he dived left to parry Craig Westcarr’s effort

The Derbyshire outfit persisted though and Witton’s number one had little chance of preventing replacement Nyle Blake from making it 2-1 after he burst clear when Marcus Marshall flicked on.

Matlock | Durrant (GK) (Pierrepont (GK) 46), Beevers, Tempest, Hollingworth, Wiley, Yates, Chettle, Taylor (Blake 63), Westcarr, Marshall, Williams (Chapell 59) Subs not used Beatson, Wood Goal Blake 77

Witton | Hall (GK), Gardner (Devine 84), McKenna (Humphreys 90), Wardle, Offord, Harrison, Doyle, Owens (Abadaki 84), Hopley, Cesaire, Foley Subs not used Smart, Neild (GK) Goals Harrison 10, Hopley 49 Booked McKenna (time-wasting), Hall (dissent)

Referee Luke Watson

Attendance 346

Match report by Phil Chadwick