New Year Delight
The Gingerbreads started 2018 with a bang at The Meres this afternoon.
Captain Stefan Galinski was missing from the squad to illness, so Tom Batchelor and Rhys Lewis partnered each other in central defence.
The Gingerbreads opened the scoring on 13 minutes. Curtis Burrows played a long ball forward down the left for Lee Shaw to run onto. Shaw did what he does best and fired the ball beyond the Matlock goalkeeper.
The lead was doubled just 7 minutes later. Jordan Hempenstall chased a ball into the penalty box and as he collected it at the edge, he was chopped down. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Lee Shaw stepped up and fired home for his 22nd league goal of the season.
Minutes later, Lee Shaw was taken out with a heavy challenge from Matlock's Michael Harcourt. The Gingerbreads crowd were looking for a red card, but only a yellow was shown.
Tom Batchelor had a header from a corner cleared off the line.
In defence, Kieran Preston was controlling and putting in another excellent performance.
The Gingerbreads were down to ten men 5 minutes before halftime. The referee was alerted to an off the ball incident involving Tom Batchelor. After a discussion with his assistant, a red card was shown to Batchelor.
Just before halftime, both sides were down to 10 men. Harcourt again went in heavy on Shaw. The referee dealt a second booking to Harcourt and a booking to Shaw.
Matlock made a change at halftime and this seemed to put the up a gear. Despite lots of pressure, they were only able to pull one goal back thanks to resolute defending and goalkeeping.
The final minutes were played out with a vocal support from the main stand encouraging the side home and a great start to 2018.