Form book is turned upside down as Gladiators are mauled by the Tigers
Matlock Town were humbled 5-0 at Worksop Town, aside two divisions below them in the non-league pyramid, in a pre-season friendly shock.
The Tigers gave the Gladiators a mauling and were deservedly four goals ahead at half-time.
They showed their intentions from the start as a fast break down the left by Michael Trench found Matthew Thompson, whose shot took a deflection on its way to keeper Phil Barnes.
A Gladiators’ trialist headed straight at former Matlock goalkeeper Jon Kennedy before Barnes held a shot from Mitch Husbands.
That save led to a counter-attack by the visitors, which saw captain for the day Shaun Harrad glance a trialist’s right wing cross wide when well placed.
Worksop increased the tempo putting the Gladiators under a period of sustained pressure.
Michah Bishop crashed a fierce shot against the bar before the Tigers went in front on 18 minutes when a 20-yard free kick from home skipper Jake Barnett slithered under the diving Barnes with an assistant referee signalling the ball had crossed the line.
Worksop doubled their advantage from the penalty spot seven minutes later.
The referee spotted a push on Liam Greenfield and Kyle Jordan wrong-footed Barnes to score .
Matlock offered little in response, apart from a well struck Luis Rose strike that flashed wide, and the Tigers secured victory with two terrific goals in three minutes.
Jack Currie found space on the right to cross superbly for Jordan to steer home from close range on 41 minutes before Husbands’ 25-yard volley flew into the corner.
Matlock made four changes at half-time, but they were under immediate threat at the start of the second period when a Dwayne Wiley clearance cannoned off Jake Currie and rolled wide.
Harrad shot over from a Michael Williams assist for Matlock before substitute Michael Blythen had two great chances to make it five for the home side.
He fired into the sidenetting following an error by Max Hunt and then shot wide with only Barnes to beat with the visitors’ defence in disarray.
Young Harry Wood, a shining light in a side on a bad day for the Gladiators, crossed for Harrad, whose shot was superbly tipped over by Kennedy.
An acrobatic effort from substitute Marc Newsham, who had recovered from a tight hamstring, dropped wide as Matlock pressed for a consolation.
It was Worksop, however, who completed the scoring with three minutes remaining.
A right wing corner was met by Jordan Turner, who thumped in a header to crown the Tigers’ win on a day when they looked more like the side from the higher division.
Matlock’s final warm-up game is at home to Belper Town on Friday.
WORKSOP TOWN: Jon Kennedy, Jordan Hodder, Michael Trench, (Steve Wankewicz 75mins) Matthew Thompson, Jack Barnett, Jed Phillips, Liam Greenfield (Michael Blythen 60mins) Mitch Husbands, Jack Currie (Jordan Turner 79mins) Kyle Jordan Michah Bishop.
MATLOCK TOWN: Phil Barnes, Liam Marsden (Harry Wood 46mins) Ryan Wilson, Callum Lloyd (Todd Jordan 46mins) Nico Degirolamo (Max Hunt 46mins) Dwayne Wiley, Trialist (James Carvill 46mins), Michael Williams, Shaun Harrad, Luis Rose (Marc Newsham 64mins), Trialist.
REFEREE: D. Dutton (Sheffield).