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By Ashley Houghton
Lewis McMahon’s 75th minute strike gave Matlock all three points and extended Nantwich Town’s winless away run to four.

The Dabbers made two changes from the Ashton United draw, Si Everall and Michael Lennon in for Tom Urwin and  injured Darren Moss.

Nantwich had most of the possession in the early stages and could have taken a fortuitous lead from Andy White’s deflected cross on just three minutes but Matlock keeper Jon Kennedy managed to turn James Lukic’s flicked header just wide.

The hosts were restricted to mainly long range efforts with Ben Algar forcing a good save from Jon Brain as his 20-yard strike took a wicked deflection on its way through to the ex-Walsall keeper.

The Dabbers failed to create many clear cut chances in their spells of dominance with Lennon’s flashing header from Sean Cooke’s cross the closest Nantwich came to breaking the deadlock.

The Gladiators should have taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when Micky Harcourt’s cross was blocked and the ball fell nicely for Liam King on the edge of the area but the Matlock midfielder’s left footed strike went well over.

The second-half didn’t kick into life until the hour mark and it was Nantwich who were the first to go close when Mat Bailey headed Cameron Mitchell’s corner over.

Matlock substitute Chris Bettney went close five minutes later, his free-kick was struck well and only a deflection off the Dabbers wall prevented it nestling in Brain’s top right hand corner.

The hosts continued to press and their top scorer Ian Holmes blasted Lee Featherstone’s cut back well over from point blank range.

Nantwich were showing glimpses of quality though and the impressive Everall latched onto Cooke’s long ball and beat two defenders but couldn’t squeeze his shot past Kennedy in the Gladiators goal.

Matlock finally took the lead on 75 minutes as Bettney sent the ball across the Dabbers area and a wicked bobble deceived Bailey leaving McMahon with the simplest of finishes.

That goal provoked a reaction from Nantwich and Niall Maguire thought he had nicked an equaliser from Tom Urwin’s corner but Harcourt was on the line to clear for the hosts.

Bailey went close with a header in stoppage time but a failure to create clear cut chances proved to be the deciding factor for Jimmy Quinn’s men.

Nantwich: Brain, Lowe, White, Hughes (Mitchell, 38), Bailey ©, McDonald, Cooke (Urwin, 77), MacPherson (Maguire, 81), Everall, Lennon, Foster.

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