Published 15 May 2018
Matlock Town won their first piece of silverware in the NPL Football Academy after edging out Derbyshire rivals Mickleover Sports in a tight game at Stoke City’s Bet365 Stadium on Monday evening.
Gladiators’ captain Harry Wood’s twenty fifth minute strike was the winning goal that separated the two sides. The eighteen year old midfielder who was a fixture in the first team towards the end of the season, picked the ball up twenty five yards out and his shot took a slight deflection that flew over Sports goalkeeper Max Bennett.
Mickleover came out in the second half stronger but could not test Jordan Pierrepont with anything of note. Marley Grant had a chance to double his sides lead but his cross cum shot evaded everyone in the 70th minute.
The final ten minutes brought plenty of drama as Mickleover through the kitchen sink at their rivals, who had Pierrepont to thank for keeping them in the game. Morgan Williams thought he had scored but Pierrepont got a strong foot to take the ball wide. Minutes later and Jamie Claxton got on the end of Williams cross but it came too quick for him to get a clean connection as his effort sailed over the bar.
Full time brought jubilant scenes as the Gladiators finally won their first trophy in the NPLFA at the fourth attempt to deservedly win the NPLFA Cup.