There is something about the FA Cup for Kidsgrove Athletic as they recorded yet another fine win in the competition. This time beating Matlock Town 2-1 to cause a cup upset.
James Williamson had given the side from the BetVictor Northern Premier Division the lead just minutes before the interval. However, two goals inside a minute from Anthony Malbon and Kingsley Adu Gyamfi turned the game around for the Grove.
Young defender Ben Hart, who had joined the club on Friday from Burton Albion on loan, started at right-back with Rhys Thompson moving into midfield.
Malbon had the first chance of the game for Kidsgrove after he played a neat one-two with Ruben Wiggins-Thomas. The Grove captain got into the area, sadly his shot was straight at Jon Stewart.
Josh Lacey and Williamson both had chances for the Gladiators. However, they put their shots wide of Harrison’s goal in what was a poor first half of football.
Matlock took the lead just seconds before the interval when Gymafi was penalised for a foul in the centre circle. The free-kick was pumped into the Kidsgrove area and, Williamson rose highest to head home for the opening goal of the game.
It was tough on the Grove as a lot of people inside the ground felt that it was harsh on Gyamfi as he showed no malice in tackle.
Harrison made a fine save in first-half injury time when he parried Andrew Wright’s shot from outside the area to ensure Kidsgrove didn’t go into the break 2-0 down.
Malbon had a chance to equalise for Kidsgrove straight after the half-time break when he held off two defenders before unleashing a powerful volley at goal. However, it was to go over the bar.
While at the other end Harrison made yet another fine save, to deny Marcus Marshall from extending the Derbyshire side lead.
The game started to swing in Kidsgrove’s favour as Gyamfi had two efforts to get an equaliser, but both of his efforts were at Stewart.
Kidsgrove got a much-deserved equaliser on 67 minutes when a corner was played into the area at James Butler who saw his header cleared off the line. However, it fell to Malbon and, the forward made no mistake from close range.
The Grove faithful had barely finished celebrating the equaliser when their team took the lead.
Gymafi picked up the ball and ran at the Matlock defence before smashing the ball past Stewart to hit the back of the net. It was a goal that had it been shown on Match of the day then people would be talking about it for weeks to come.
Harrison had to make two more great saves from Luke Hinsley and Butler to preserve Grove’s lead with just 15 minutes to go.
Rhys Thompson should have made the game safe on 80 minutes when he hit a vicious shot at goal only for Stewart to push the effort away from goal.
At the other end, Kidsgrove had a lot of defending to do to ensure Matlock didn’t snatch an equaliser. Especially in the 94th minute when they won a last-minute corner. However, with Stewart venturing up from his goal, the Grove could see out the danger.
It’s a fabulous result for the Grove who progress to the Third Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup with the draw taking place tomorrow at 13.30 pm live on Talksport 2. We will have full details of the draw on our social media tomorrow.
Kidsgrove Athletic: Harrison, Hart (Murphy, 77), Morris, Duffy, Butler, Williamson (Savage, 60), Thompson, Wiggins-Thomas, Malbon and Adu Gymafi (Rhodes, 84)
Unused subs: Jennings and Bergin.
Matlock Town: Stewart, Lacey, Gordon, Rea, Williamson (Crouz, 81), Wiley, Bramall, Wright (Smith, 46), Marshall, Sinnott (Harris, 46) and Hinsley.
Unused subs: Yates, Rowson, Morris and Tague.