Tulips pay the penalty again
2 seasons in a row the Tulips exit the league cup on penalties to a premier division side
Tulips 0, Matlock Town 0
(Matlock won 4-3 on penalties)
For the second season in succession the Tulips bowed out of the Integro Doodson Sport League Cup competition after a penalty shoot -out at the Sir Halley Stewart Field on Tuesday.
This time, however, it was in the first round while last season it was a quarter-final tie at Ilkeston Town who, like this week’s opposition Matlock Town, are NPL Premier Division sides.
After Saturday’s rip-roaring 5-0 demolition of Newcastle Town, it was no surprise that the Tulips’ caretaker managerial duo Marcus Ebdon and Danny Hussey fielded an unchanged team, and again their charges stepped up to the mark to equal the performance level of their higher league opponents.
The Tulips featured prominently throughout and deservedly earned the praise of visiting officials following the game.
Although the game, sponsored by Electrotec Solutions and Vic Couzens, ended goalless after 90 minutes it never lacked in quality or entertainment with play consistently from end to end, although without either goalkeeper being seriously tested, that is until the closing stages when Matlock’s George Willis pulled off a tremendous fingertip save to deny Dan Banister and then block another goalbound shot from the resulting corner.
In the sixth minute a trademark shot from a narrow angle by Josh Moreman was blocked just short of the line by Harry Coates while at the other end a well struck shot from 25 yards by Laurie Wilson was gathered by Michael Duggan at the second attempt. And on 20 minutes a perfect saving tackle by skipper and man-of-the-match Nathan Stainfield, stopped Scott Maxfield, who was red carded after 52 minutes for abusive language at referee Alistair Wilson.
The second half was pulsating. Ten-man Matlock used their superior pace on the break to fully test the Tulips but were unable to break down a steadfast home defence. The Tulips also featured in attack with Stainfield getting his head onto a free kick whipped into the area by Jamie Thurlbourne, the ball flashing inches wide of the target.
Dan Lawlor and Jamie Graham also saw good efforts blocked but with Willis’s late heroics the game went into a penalty shoot-out. Matlock excelled in this exercise to win through to the next round. Josh Moreman, Paul Walker and Nathan Stainfield all converted their kicks in style while Jamie Graham and Jake Newman skied their efforts over the bar.
Tulips: Michael Duggan, Paul Walker, Adam Jackson, Neal Spafford, Nathan Stainfield, Sam Murphy, Mitch Griffiths (Dan Banister 49 mins), Dan Lawlor, Jamie Graham, Josh Moreman, Jamie Thurlbourne (Jake Newman 63 mins). Subs (not used) Charley Sanders, Jonny Lockie. Vic Couzens MoM – Stainfield. Att: 124