“Your club needs you” is the message to Dalesfolk as Matlock Town’s 2012/13 starts to reach it’s climax.

Gladiators Chairman Tom Wright urged locals to get behind their team as the strain of ever increasing costs bite into the club’s finances.

In the wake of their 2-1 home defeat to Curzon Ashton in the semi final of the Doodson Sports League Cup last Thursday, manager Mark Atkins and the players were heavily criticised on the club’s forum on their official website.

But Wright says that after learning that the club’s finances were strained, the management and players deserve “utmost credit” in playing their part in helping to ease the monetary burden.

“Wherever possible we’ve tried to reduce expenditure and fans should know that the manager has received excellent support from many of the players. Most of the contract players have been willing to play for a reduced wage while the non contract players have turned out and been paid just their expenses. One of our contract players has made only seven starts this season and this puts a big strain on our finances.”

The players’ response to the cuts was tremendous as they deservedly saw off high flying AFC Fylde 2-1 at the Reynolds Stadium on Saturday, just seven days after the Coasters had won the reverse fixture 3-0 in Lancashire.

“Most of these lads were in the squad on Saturday and it showed just how supportive they are of their manager and how
fond they are of the club and I’m sure they’ll be giving it their all in the remaining games of the season which will hopefully end with silverware in the Derbyshire Senior Cup final against Ilkeston” Wright continued. “The players showed their loyalty not only to Mark and Nick (Buxton) but to the club and its supporters for they could easily have moved on. But they’re here, prepared to do battle for the club and the fans and we’d like to see locals turn out in force to repay that loyalty.”

Supporters have the perfect opportunity to do just that with two attractive successive home games as Marine come to town on Saturday followed by league leaders North Ferriby on Tuesday. The Humbersiders should include former Matlock favourite Liam King in their midfield.

“We realise the current financial climate makes it difficult for everyone but we have a very good club playing at a decent level which is run entirely by volunteers. We”ve no major backers like Worksop, Fylde and North Ferriby but as people saw last week and in the FA Trophy win against Mansfield and in the narrow defeat by Luton, we’re capable of giving these teams a tough game when everyone’s available for selection. We’ve had lower than budgeted for gates and with a disappointing very early exit from the FA Cup, plus a decreasing membership in our Goalden Shot weekly fundraiser, it’s been a difficult season financially.”

With Matlock also being very much a community club with a plethora of junior teams plus reserve and under nineteen teams, Wright would like to see the area’s premier club well supported in the last four weeks of the campaign.

“It was a great atmosphere against Fylde, many of our junior players were down watching and of course we won! Mark and the players are playing their part and we hope the people of the town and surrounding area follow suit. There’s many ways you can help, simply turning up to all of our home games is one. But could you get among your family and pals and bring them with you?Have you any business contacts that could support the club by sponsoring a game or match ball? Any donation towards the running of the club would be gratefully received. Why not join the Goalden Shot for one or two pounds a week to win a good cash prize? And of course we have a brand new social facility that is available for people to hire for parties and an excellent venue with a Rod Stewart tribute show arranged there for May 31.”

Wright can be contacted on 07850 065968 or at any home game.

Meanwhile Atkins was thrilled with Saturday’s win which saw Joe Leesley and Massiah McDonald hit first half goals before Fylde scored a fortunate consolation three minutes into stoppage time. But the injury curse struck yet again. Goalkeeper Jon Kennedy badly damaged a hand at work on Friday and will miss the rest of the season. Gareth Davies hurt his back in the warm up while five minutes into the game Martin Foster limped off with a groin strain which could mean a fortnight on the sidelines.

“Losing Jon’s a massive blow but Nick’s come in and been magnificent although we’re trying to get permission to bring someone in with important games to come. We knew we faced a tough game but we got our tactics spot on and each and every one of the lads were excellent, all doing their jobs to the letter. We never gave Fylde a moment to settle, we took our chances and it was a performance full of steel and courage. Micky Harcourt and Adam Yates probably shouldn’t have played but wanted to for the club, played through the pain barrier and were fantastic.”

Top scorer Lewis McMahon may be back for the Marine clash with Atkins praying for no more injuries in last night (Wednesday’s) trip to Ashton United which the Gladiators lost 2-0. Matlock again played well in the first half but failed to take their chances and faded in the second period once a controversial penalty resulted in Ashton going in front just before the hour.”

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