There’s no getting around the fact that form has been hard for Matlock to come by this season, which explains their league position at the time of writing. Indifferent away performances have been combined with a home record of five wins and four losses which leads to the conclusion that, if you head down to DCJ Group Insurance Arena on any given weekend, you could see the Gladiators at their best or at their worst.
The next home game is against Halesowen Town, who sit second from bottom in the league, separated from dead last only by Sutton Coldfield, the one certain thing is that you have to pick up points at home against teams below you in the table.
Finding Home Form Starts Here
The game against Halesowen comes between two fixtures against clubs currently above Town in the table, first away to Witton and then at home to third-placed Grantham. So in terms of finding a bit of form, a win against the Yeltz would be an ideal time to start building a winning streak. After the recent 3-0 loss at home to Nantwich, Kirkwood said that we needed to knuckle down and start working hard to get results. Halesowen haven’t been strong on their travels, with just seven points from a possible 30.
Anything Matlock can get on their travels at Witton will come against odds of 17/20.
Squad Disruption May Be A Good Thing
The acquisition on loan of Ricky German, an 18-year-old striker from Chesterfield, was forced on Matlock by the departure of Tyrell Waite, recalled by parent club Boston just as he was on a hot scoring streak. Despite the disappointment of Waite’s departure, could fresh blood be just what the Gladiators need? At the very least, it will give the next few opponents a bit more puzzling to do to figure out the Matlock attack. German, a powerful and pacy Londoner, has a month to show what he can do, and comes highly rated by former Spireites boss Danny Wilson. Wilson’s been around in the game and has worked with international strikers, so he knows a good forward when he sees one. If German hits the ground running against Halesowen, the positivity may spread through a talented squad.
Reasons To Be Cheerful?
With 21 games gone, it’s still not the halfway point in the season. The Gladiators are not in the relegation spots and if they can achieve consistency with the players in the squad right now, there is still the chance. With a good run of form, it’s more than feasible that we could climb the table and at least match last year’s finish of ninth in the Evostik Premier.
Looking at the table, there is not a huge gap between Matlock in 17th place and Stourbridge in seventh. It’s clear that Town have the players to be doing better than they are so, if they can get their act together, they could be top-half contenders before long. It won’t be easy — momentum is the toughest thing to create in football — but the focus has to be on welcoming Halesowen to DCJ Group Insurance Arena and, hopefully, defeating them. After that? We’ll see how it goes.