A DISAPPOINTING evening in Derbyshire saw 10-man Radcliffe slip to a 4-0 defeat at Matlock Town, their seventh loss in eight matches.

Nathan Valentine, Piteu Crouz, James Tague and Brian Wilson were on the scoresheet for the home side, with Boro’s Callum Dolan shown a red card midway through the first half for violent conduct.

With just seven minutes on the clock the home side took the lead. Valentine latched onto a dangerous cross from Eliot Goldthorp to tap home to break the deadlock.

New signings Daz McKnight and Connor Hughes let fly for Boro shortly after but their shots couldn’t find the net.

On 23 minutes the home side thought they had doubled the lead but their celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag.

With half an hour on the clock Matlock had two big chances but both flew high and wide of Ollie Martin’s goal.

Shortly after came the vital moment of the game, when Boro were reduced to 10 men, Dolan seeing a straight red for violent conduct in an altercation with a Matlock defender.

It took just six minutes for the Gladiators to make the most of the advantage, Crouz firing a powerful shot goalwards which Martin could only get a hand to as it flashed into the goal, meaning Matlock went into the break with a two-goal lead.

Just after the break Valentine saw an acrobatic effort go just wide of the goal.

Matlock looked to grab a third as the half went on. Tomas Poole drove forward but his shot was dragged well wide of the goal.

Martin was called into action once again on the hour mark. Alert to the danger, he collected a dangerous Chib Chilaka header to keep the deficit down.

Hughes danced past a couple of Matlock players before he found Elliot Rokka. He couldn’t get his toe to the resulting cross but although Matty Crothers met the rebound his shot was blazed over the bar.

With seven minutes left on the clock Chilaka latched onto a loose Boro ball. Driving forward with the goal at his mercy he forced Martin into producing a fine double save, firstly to stop the shot then to keep the rebound from finding the back of the net.

With five minutes left to play Tague wriggled his way into the box and fired a shot from close range which found its way into the back of the net.

Two minutes into stoppage time Matlock hammered home the final nail in Boro’s coffin, a stunning effort from Wilson that found the top corner of the Boro goal.

At the weekend, Radcliffe made a woeful start to their game at Morpeth Town, eventually falling to a 3-1 defeat.

Carl Finnigan, Liam Henderson and Jack Foalle netted for the Highwaymen cancelling out Matt Hughes’ first Boro goal.

Once again their opponents scored an early goal, Finnigan flocking the ball over Martin with seven minutes played.

Moments later it could have been all square but McKnight saw a shot cannon off the crossbar from 20 yards.

As both sides settled into the game after the early flurry, Dolan looked to have another chance as Rokka played him in but Dolan’s finish was saved by the foot of Dan Lowson in goal, sending the Highwaymen in at half-time with a slender lead.

Five minutes after the restart Morpeth doubled their lead through Henderson, who brought the ball down well to evade the challenge of McKnight and calmly slotted home.

With Radcliffe struggling to find a way back into the game it took until the 73rd minute for them to get on the scoresheet and give themselves a lifeline. McKnight played a brilliant ball into the box which was met by the head of Hughes for his first goal for the club.

Micky Turner’s header brought a smart, low save out of Martin – the club’s player of the month for January – into a smart low save late on as his header looked to be heading in.

And Morpeth sealed the victory late into stoppage time. Foalle bypassing two defenders before his deflected shot ended up in the bottom corner.

Those defeats leave Boro 12th in the BetVictor League Premier Division with play-off hopefuls Lancaster City visiting the Neuven Stadium on Saturday afternoon.