Goals from Dominic Allen and eventual Man of the Match Richard Hanslow made sure that the Shiners booked their place at Pride Park on the 25th March, despite being under a lot of pressure for the majority of the game.
The Shiners started the game brightly and nearly went ahead inside six minutes after Jack Tyson fired a low cross into the box which Kenan Layton turned towards goal, only to be denied by a great save from Matlock ‘keeper Jake Greatorex.
Matlock then began to see more of the ball with Marcus Marshall looking dangerous, as he did throughout the entire game, weaving his way into a shooting opportunity and seeing his shot curl just wide of the far post.
Matlock began to lay siege on Normanton’s goal with Piteu Crouz almost capatalising on a Curtis Hall mistake as the winger's shot was spilled onto the post, but Hall managed to recover and keep the scores at 0-0.
Against the run of play however, Normanton took the lead following a goalkeeping mistake from Greatorex.
Dominic Allen’s cross managed to catch Greatorex off guard, as the ball swirled in the strong wind and crept underneath his crossbar, giving the visitors the lead.
With the next attack the visitors then doubled their lead with Richard Hanslow finding space between the Matlock central defenders and calmly slotting past Greatorex to leave the Gladiators staring down the barrel.
Matlock managed to pull one back just before half-time with Chib Chalaka turning in from close range after Spencer Harris fired a cross into a dangerous area.
In the second half, Matlock continued to lay siege to the Normanton goal but a lack of clinical finishing cost them as Marshall and Chilaka both fired over in good areas.
Matlock’s best moment of the second half came after Luke Dean's strike from distance looked to be heading for the top corner, but he was denied by a brilliant save from Hall, and the frustration began to show for Matlock.
Normanton nearly snatched a third on the counter after Richard Hanslow raced clear and found himself one-on-one with Greatorex, but the Gladiators keeper produced a fine save to keep Matlock in the game.
Normanton managed to hold on and book their ticket to the final, but are yet to find out who their opponents will be after Belper Town’s semi-final against New Mills was postponed.