After matching their hosts for the first half hour, Grantham crumbled to a lively Matlock side who took almost every chance that came their way. In the second half alone, the Gingerbreads were crushed by five goals.
“It makes it very clear to me the size of the task in front of us.” Said the Gingerbreads new boss. “We have our first training session on Thursday and there is clearly plenty to work on. I’ve said to the lads that they have two weeks to show what they’ve got and part of me wants to stand by that, but part of me is questioning that after 90 minutes because you can’t react like that to the third goal going in.”
The first half hour was an evenly matched cagey affair. There were very few chance, Matlock’s Adam Yates headed over the top after a corner, while Tom Siddons curled a shot just wide for Grantham. On the half hour mark, Ryan Oliver turned away from the Matlock defence 35 yards out, but missed the target with his effort from the edge of the penalty area.
Two minutes later, the Gingerbreads trailed to a well worked Matlock corner. The ball was laid back for Craig Westcarr just outside the Grantham penalty area. With no-one closing him down, Westcarr fired high into the Gingerbreads net.
Luke Hinsley and Jamie Jackson both had chances before the home side added to their lead on 38 minutes. A throw-in found Westcarr and he fired past Theo Richardson.
Three minutes after the break, Matlock killed the game off. Craig King delivered a perfect cross for Hinsley to rise and head home his first of the game. Although it took Matlock another 20 minutes to score again, they had plenty of chances to do so as Grantham were pushed into their own half, Matlock goalkeeper Ross Durrant merely a spectator.
There was a suspicion of offside about Matlock’s fourth goal as Hinsley appeared to come back from an offside position to flick the ball on for Westcarr to run on and complete his hat-trick on 71 minutes.
A minute later, it was 5-0. Matlock went straight back on the attack and Hinsley’s shot took a deflection off Riley Thompson and crept inside the post with Richardson left stranded. The scoreline could have got worse on 75 minutes as Hinsley went down under a challenge from Thompson, but Richardson kept the penalty kick out.
The penalty save only delayed the inevitable as Grantham couldn’t keep the ball out of their net. On78 minutes, Hinsey completed his hat-trick, heading in the third goal in 7 minutes.
Two of Matlock’s substitutes combined to wrap up the scoring three minutes from time. Jordan Chappell delivered the cross for Billy Whitehead to complete a miserable night for Grantham.