Daventry Town produced one of their best performances when they knocked Matlock Town out in the second round of the Integro Doodson League Cup.
The Northern Premier Division outfit were beaten 3-1 by Daventry in Tuesday’s tie at Causeway Lane.
With full-back Dan Childs and midfielder Barry Deacon both injured, manager Darran Foster was forced to name assistant manager Neil Champelovier on the bench while Curtis Hartley returned from a one-match suspension.
The Gladiators hit the post with a speculative shot and had a goal disallowed for offside after half an hour but it was Daventry who dominated the early exchanges.
Daventry went in front in the 33rd minute when Matlock keeper George Willis attempted to punch away a cross from the left but all he could do was knock the ball down to Mitchell Piggon who thumped the ball into the open net, leaving the keeper with his head in his hands.
Joel Purkiss equalised on the stroke of half-time with a wonderful strike from out on the right which left Daventry keeper Ben Heath standing as it went in off the far post.
Nabil Shariff was causing all kinds of problems for the Matlock defence and after an hour two defenders combined to haul him down in the penalty area. Joe Curtis stepped up to restore Daventry’s lead by sending Willis the wrong way with the 63rd-minute spot-kick.
The third goal came in the 69th minute with an assist from Kieron Fitzgerald who broke down the centre of the pitch before laying a pass across to Shariff whose shot from the right went across the keeper before settling in the right-hand side of the net.
Captain Jason Lee almost grabbed a fourth goal but his effort was cleared off the line just as the Purple Army were about to celebrate.