It’s now three games unbeaten for caretaker boss Dave Hoole who wants to extend that record as his Matlock side visit Whitby Town on Saturday and welcome Rushall Olympic to the DCJ Group Arena on Tuesday night.

After a scoreless draw at home to Stourbridge in his first game, a dramatic recovery from two goals down at local rivals Buxton brought about a 3-2 victory before the Gladiators were comfortable winners at home to Coalville Town last Saturday. The visitors scored early on but a Harry Limb brace and a third from Michael Williams amplified a dominant Matlock performance.

“It was a flat game if I was honest but we controlled it for long periods and it was a really professional performance.”
All of Matlock’s goals were scored from close range following neat approach play and this seems to be the way Hoole and assistant Shaun Harrad want to do things.

A look at the tactics board in the dressing room beforehand gives the Gladiators players useful information on their opponents, but as Hoole says, it’s what Matlock do that counts.

“We do our homework, Shaun and me know quite a few other managers and we speak to them to see what we can find out. We don’t go overboard but it can be a useful insight into what we can expect. But we’re more interested in what we do, our performance both individually and collectively is what’s important.

The lads are following what they’re told in the build-up, playing the thirds and trying to get in behind the opposing defence”.

Hoole emphasises he wants the performances and the results to continue.

“We’ve seen a great response from the players who have stepped up to the mark but we’ve put it on a plate to them. It’s a matter of them showing just how much they want to play for this club, whether I’m the next manager or someone else who may have different ideas takes over.”

The one relegation spot from the top tier of the Evo-Stik NPL was finally confirmed last weekend following Sutton Coldfield Town’s 2-1 defeat at Barwell, but the Whitby game is a six pointer while Rushall have improved immeasurably since the early stages of the season with impressive wins against leaders Altrincham, play off chasing Ashton United and on Tuesday a 2-0 home win against Buxton.

Hoole should have a full squad to choose from at Whitby but that will be loanee Jan Yeomans’ final appearance before he returns to Boston United.

Matlock Town are offering their fans a cut price deal for the final four home Evo-Stik NPL games of the campaign.

It comes as the Gladiators have to play at home four times within the space of a week following the wet and wintery weather of late.

The hectic home schedule begins with the visit of Rushall Olympic on Tuesday night followed by Stalybridge Celtic on Thursday, Workington on Saturday April 21 before Ashton United come to the DCJ Group Arena for Matlock’s final home game of the campaign on Tuesday April 24.

A four game ticket will see adults pay £30 for the four matches which represents a discount of 25 per cent on normal matchday admission prices.

The concessions price is £20 while children aged ten or over would pay £10.

Announcing the deal Chairman Tom Wright said “we appreciate that having four home matches in such a short space of time can put a strain on peoples’ finances.

We hope that with these reductions in place, fans will turn out to watch and be able to support the club and the players on the pitch. We’d like to say thank you for the great support we’ve had during what has been a difficult season.”

Matlock’s season ends with a trip to Shaw lane on Saturday April 28.

Ian Richardson.

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