Matlock Town come from behind to inflict defeat on Frickley Athletic

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FRICKLEY Athletic’s first home game of the season ended in a 2-1 defeat as Matlock Town came from a goal behind to steal all three points at Westfield Lane.

Jimmy Ghaichem had fired the hosts ahead in the first half but a 79th-minute Lewis McMahon penalty levelled matters and Joe Leesley won it for the visitors four minutes later.

The Blues went into the game looking to bounce back from a slender loss at Hednesford Town on Saturday and Gavin Allott, freescoring in the pre-season, returned from a hamstring injury.

It was Allott who fashioned the first shot on goal when his first-time 20-yard strike drifted just over the bar in the third minute.

But the striker’s return was cut short when he was forced off after 14 minutes through a recurrence of his hamstring injury, Chris Wood coming on to replace him.

The change didn’t stem Frickley’s attacking start to the game and Danny South flashed a header across the face of goal in the 18th minute from a Ghaichem free-kick.

The Blues made their attacking momentum count four minutes later when Ghaichem picked up the ball on the right and rifled a low 20-yard shot into the opposite corner of the net.

Matlock struggled to make their mark on the game and Frickley had chances to improve their lead, notably through Terry Barwick, who struck an effort wide, and South, who saw a powerful header cleared off the line.

The visitors started to up their gear as the second-half progressed and Ryan Laight almost caught Blues stopper Tom Woodhead napping with a 35-yard effort.

Bloor shaved an upright with a 20-yard effort just before the hour mark but at 1-0 Town were always in the contest.

And Frickley’s failure to kill-off their visitors came back to haunt them as former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder McMahon levelled from the spot.

And the game was turned on its head just minutes later when Leesley pounced on a cross to beat Woodhead from close range and give Matlock all three points.

Frickley: Tom Woodhead, Jason Yates, Luke Jeffs, Terry Barwick, Scott Hellewell, Tom Johnston, Dave Buck, Matt Bloor, Danny South, Gavin Allott (Chris Wood 14min), Jimmy Ghaichem; subs not used, Andrew McCormick, Luke Hinsley, Blake Freeman, Ben Hallam.

Matlock: Jon Kennedy, A|dam Yates, Lee Featherstone, Martin Foster, Ryan Laight, Luke Foster. Brad Grayson (Ryan Hindley 65min), James Ashmore (Kris Bowler 8min), Lee Ellington, Lewis McMahon, Joe Leesley (Phil Rowe 85min); subs not used, Chris Witcombe, Nick Buxton.

Referee: Mr Gareth Mellor.

Attendance: 250.

See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for match pictures.