Matlock Town keeper Richard Walton punches the ball clear

Two first half goals saw Nantwich Town suffer their sixth home defeat of the season as they were beaten 2-0 by Matlock Town at the Weaver Stadium, writes Steve Sharman.

Goals from Michael Williams and Ricardo German in the first period were enough for Matlock with Gladiators’ keeper Richard Walton making late saves from Steve Jones and Toby Mullarkey.

Dave Cooke made one change from the win over Grantham Town as Myles Boney replaced Fabian Spiess in goal.

It was Matlock who opened the scoring on 10 minutes after the Dabbers’ backline were unable to clear, leaving Shaun Harrod to lay the ball on for Williams who shot into the bottom corner.

The goal inspired the visitors who used every opportunity to put pressure on the hosts with German again denied by Boney who saved bravely at the feet of the big forward.

The Dabbers struggled to create clear openings as Sean Cooke’s 30-yard free kick flew over the bar after Joe Mwasile was fouled.

Matt Bell received the first booking of the game for a late challenge on Williams.

Cooke then had half chances as his first effort was blocked by a Matlock defender following Mwasile’s low cross, before the midfielder could only direct Morgan’s cross wide with his left foot.

Sean Cooke free-kick heads over Matlock keeper Richard Walton and the bar

At the other end, Boney needed to be alert again, blocking Curtis Morrison’s powerful effort from close range after the winger had found space at the far post.

Five minutes before the break Matlock scored a second through German, who slotted past Boney after being played in on goal down the right hand side.

The visitors could have been 3-0 up by the break as Joe Doyle-Charles fired narrowly wide of the post from range, before Joel Stair made a fine last ditch tackle to deny German who had beaten the offside trap.

Cooke responded at half-time and replaced David Forbes with Steve Jones as they looked for a way back into the game.

Jones nearly created an opening with one of his first touches but his cross was cleared with Harry Clayton lurking at the far post.

Nathan Cotterell shot at goal

Cooke saw another free kick from the edge of the box go over the bar, before Harrod nearly added a third on the counter attack but his shot was deflected over by Stair.

As the half went on, the Dabbers struggled to create clear chances and Matlock looked content with their two-goal lead.

Stair nearly found a way back but his header from Cooke’s free kick flashed narrowly wide, before Morgan’s cross-shot flew over.

As time was running out, the visitors needed goalkeeper Walton to tip away Mullarkey’s deflected effort around the post.

Walton then denied Jones in stoppage time as he palmed away the forward’s neat header before the former Northern Ireland man headed wide from Cooke’s free kick.

The Dabbers have the chance to bounce back this Saturday as they travel to Buxton for a 3pm kick off.

Nantwich Town: Boney, Morgan, Wildin (Cotterell 72′), Stair, Bourne, Bell (Mullarkey 62′), Mwasile, Hughes (c), Clayton, Cooke, Forbes (Jones 46′). Subs not used: Spiess (GK), McDonald

(Pics by Jonathan White)

Matlock's Edward Cribley tackles Courtney Wildin for the ball

Joe Mwasile on the ball

Jamie Morgan crosses the ball

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