England's Nick Matthew became the joint-most successful squash player in Commonwealth Games history after overcoming fellow-countryman James Willstrop to retain his singles gold in a thrilling five-game contest in Glasgow.

Matthew joins Peter Nicol, Natalie Grinham of Australia and Malaysia's Nicol David – who beat world champion Laura Massaro in the women's final – on three gold medals and could usurp the trio should he successfully defend his doubles crown from Delhi 2010.

The 34 year old prevailed 11-9 8-11 11-5 6-11 11-5 to etch his name in squash folklore as Willstrop was forced to settle for a second straight Commonwealth silver as he continues to live in Matthew's shadow.

In a repeat of the final from Delhi, Willstrop was hoping avenge defeat from four years ago and better the pair's head-to-head record which hadn't seen the Yorkshire player prevail since their 2007 meeting at the Canary Wharf Classic.

Both players had cruised through to the final without dropping a game but were hamstrung by crippling injuries going into their 29<sup>th career meeting. Matthew underwent knee surgery five weeks ago while Willstrop was being hampered by a hip problem.

However neither player showed sign of weakness in the early exchanges, with some engrossing rallies narrow edged by Matthew, who took the third of three game points to grab an early lead.

But the No.2 seed responded to register his first game against Matthew in meetings between the duo in two years to grab a foothold in the fina and square the match.

Matthew had rarely been forced to react in moments of adversity but showed the required fighting spirit to put the gas down and take a firm grip of gold, reeling off seven straight points to lead 8-1, converting the second of six game points to take a 2-1 lead.

Though Matthew could almost smell a third Commonwealth title, Willstrop had other ideas and after prevailing in a gruelling point when Matthew missed on the backhand side, the 30 year old levelled the match in thrilling fashion.

The physical fitness of both players would be tested as the match entered a deciding game, and Matthew held up the better, sustaining his power game to grab a 6-3 lead.

And it was an advantage the Sheffield-born right-hander would not relinquish to enter the history books ahead of the defence of his doubles title to leave Willstrop disconsolate.

Laura Massaro earlier failed to make it a clean sweep of the gold medals in both singles draws for England as David became a three-time Commonwealth champion after defending her title.

The Malaysian edged a close first game 12-10 after Massaro spurned a game point, but turned on the style to clinch the final two games for the loss of just seven points.

The world champion Massaro was forced to settle for a second straight silver at the Games, having finishing second in Delhi in the doubles competition as David added a 16th major title to her imperious CV.

"My reaction is disappointment," Massaro told BBC Sport.

"You want to go into these finals for the gold. Nicol's a champion - I have a lot of confidence when I play her but when she plays a game like that it's very difficult to break her down."

Following the semi-final defeat to Matthew, Peter Barker bounced back to win bronze to ensure England would complete the podium in the men's draw, after beating Saurav Ghosal of India in four games.

At one game-all, Barker reeling off two games for the loss of just 11 points to clinch a second straight singles bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

"I wasn't easy and it was a very nip and tuck game," Barker admitted. "He played well and it was never comfortable ever.

"I was gutted after the semi-final but someone had to lose and I woke up today and I was determined to seize that chance of a bronze medal, that was my motivation."

Meanwhile, Alison Waters was unable to claim bronze as she lost in three games to New Zealand's Joelie King but has the chance to medal in the mixed event alongside Barker.

"I'm very disappointed, she was just the better player on the day and it just wasn't to be," the 30 year old, who also finished fourth in Delhi, said.

"I'm just really looking forward to the doubles now and I want to put this behind me. We've trained lots over the summer and it's coming together nicely."