• Matthew Rhodes

Magical Margetts hits a treble as Nailers stun Gladiators in FA Cup


Matlock Town 0

Belper Town 3

Margetts 25, 70pen, 71

Former Matlock player Jonny Margetts scored a hat-trick to give Belper Town a famous 3-0 win over their Derbyshire neighbours Matlock at The Proctor Cars Stadium on Saturday.

The Gladiators just never got going in a derby match that attracted a fantastic crowd of just over 1,000. Despite coming into this game with five wins on the bounce, Matlock were bullied out of the game by an impressive Belper side and there was no question the Nailers thoroughly deserved their victory and to win back the Caroline Melbourne Trophy.

A pivotal moment occurred in the eighth minute of the game when a hamstring problem forced Ross Hannah to be substituted very early on. This appeared to really rock Matlock's game plan coming into this match.

Matlock struggled throughout the first half when it came to defending set-pieces and it was no surprise that Belper ended up taking the lead in the 25th minute following a corner kick. Matlock's defence struggled to clear the ball away from danger once again but on this occasion Margetts was in the right place at the right time and fired the ball home from close range to give Belper the lead.

The Nailers almost doubled their advantage in the 38th minute when Craig Nelthorpe found space from 20 yards out and struck the ball hard. To Matlock's relief, Nelthorpe's effort curled just wide of the post.

Matlock's chance to change the dynamics of the game and turn it on its head came in the few minutes leading up to Belper's second goal. Within around three minutes of each other midway through the second half, both Alex Byrne and substitute Callum Chippendale had carbon copy opportunities when they finally found some space from 20 yards out to actually test Myles Wright in Belper's net for the first time. Strangely though, both Byrne's and Chippendale's efforts lacked any sort of conviction and both efforts simply rolled into the hands of Wright in goal. The Gladiators were to pay for this dearly.

In the 68th minute, defender Jamie Sharman was shown a straight red card for a foul inside the penalty area when he was the last man back for the Gladiators. The referee didn't really have any other choice and Matlock can have no complaints about the decision. Margetts gleefully converted the resulting penalty after smashing the ball past Shaun Rowley and into the bottom right corner of the net to give Belper a 2-0 lead.

Jonny Margetts (no.10) scores the opener. Cover photo - Margetts celebrates with the match ball. Photos by Mike Smith.

Incredibly, the lower-tier opponents made it 3-0 almost instantly when the ball was threaded forwards for Margetts to run onto and he was able to side-step Reece Kendall and squeeze the ball past the oncoming Rowley from 15 yards out to seal the tie.

The Gladiators were well and truly rattled and, with a man down, the rest of the game was just a case of damage limitation to avoid further embarrassment.

Belper came about as close as possible to making it 4-0 in the 83rd minute when Margetts again found space inside the penalty area to try and curl the ball past Rowley in goal. His effort cannoned off the underside of the cross bar and the ball fell just in front of the goal line.

Matlock's only meaningful effort on target arrived in the 89th minute of the game when Chippendale struck the ball hard from 20 yards out to finally force Wright into action and the goalkeeper did well to palm the ball away from danger. Shortly afterwards, the referee blew the final whistle to put Matlock out of their misery and to send Belper's players and staff in the dug-out into raptures.