Matlock Town

Friday 23rd July - Pre Season Friendly
Matlock Town 2 v Derby County 2
Attendance:  378   Admission: £8 (£2 too much !)
Ground: Set in a scenic location but with only three sides due to adjoining cricket pitch and building works lacked atmosphere - Pitch looked good 6/10
Conditions: Beautiful warm summer evening  , perfect conditions
Food/Drink: Steak &Kidney Pie,(but had chicken inside !) Mushy peas and Gravy  - was tasty and only £1.50 !  Coffee £1 Mars Bar 50p

I left the ground at Shepshed after a most enjoyable evening and now was left with a 45 mile journey to my home for the next two nights a quaint little B&B in Matlock. The B&B as it turned out felt like something from a different time zone , the decor was outdated to say the least. It was run by an old boy who was from the south, but who's wife died two years ago and he was still finding it hard to deal with. His inner thoughts and feelings were shared with me over breakfast. But i listened out of politeness. The rest of the day i spent walking in the countryside before returning for a quick nap and a shower to get ready for tonights game . I found the residents of Matlock to be rather a dull crowd and were hard to engage with. After finally finding a place to park i made my way to the ground which welcomed me with an overpriced £8 admission for tonights event against Derby County.
Back streets of Matlock where i parked my car

The ground itself has charm but mainly due to the backdrop of the local countryside. Tonight only two stands were open as a new one is being built. It will always be only three sided due to the Cricket Club next door. For tonights game the players got changed a hundred yards away in the cricket pavillion. The club shop was small and stuffy and didnt have much to offer. As i toured the ground i met  local who used to be a groundhopper , he even wrote a book a few seasons ago called "Gladiators on Tour" , that season he only watched 105 games !!. He was great to chat with full of information.
Had to wait ages for some hot food as the kitchen was less than well organised and when my steak & kidney pie came it was full of chicken and mushroom ! no probs as with the peas and gravy it was very tasty and a bargain at £1.50 only.

Run down stand by the road
The game started and Matlock had much the better of the first twenty minutes and through excellent movement from the No10 they took a well deserved lead. Some very slick one touch passing got them a penalty after half an hour, only to be well saved by the Derby goalie. H-T 1-0
Derby started the second half better and scored twice within five mins , one from a lucky deflection of a Matlock defender.
Matlock continued to play some good football and scored a great goal from a tight angle to make it 2-2.

The crowd was 378 and to be honest i was expecting more , but as they have another game tomorrow to open the new stadium at Chesterfield people are going there instead.

Matlock on this performance will have a strong season in the Northern Premier and may well finish in the playoff places.As the final whistle blew the 2-2 result was a fair one and enjoyable evening in perfect weather. I made my way up the hills back to my B&B in the knowledge it was time well spent visiting this ground.

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