Outgoing Matlock Town manager Dave Hoole admitted that poor results in the last five games led to his decision to submit his resignation earlier this week,

Hoole had only been in permanent command since the final week of April when the 2017/18 EvoStik NPL Premier Division season was reaching its climax after he had pulled the Gladiators clear of the bottom clubs in overseeing a seven game unbeaten run including six successive victories.

After a full pre season the 2018/19 campaign got off to a winning start with a 4-0 home win over Lancaster City which h was followed up with a point in a 2-2 draw at Scarborough Athletic. Since then however there have been five successive defeats including a costly FA Cup home loss to Halesowen last Saturday when prize money of £6,000 was up for grabs.

His frustration came to a head as a severely understrength side missing six first choice players were hammered 6-0 at Basford United on Monday night.

Speaking on Tuesday morning, Hoole also said that he expected more from some players.

“We’ve had a run of bad luck with injuries and suspension but it doesn’t disguise the fact that eleven men out there haven’t performed well enough and it was the manner of the defeat at Basford which hurt me. The club and the fans deserve better so I’ve stepped down and someone else can take over..I’d like to thank my staff Shaun Harrad, Danny Cox ,Adam Sollitt and Mark Mullins for their support and the club for giving me the opportunity. The fans have also been fantastic and I ask them to keep on supporting as Matlock’s a great club.”
Hoole’s disappointment at recent results is magnified by the ease in which they won the opening game, albeit against the only side below them in the table, Lancaster City.

“I thought we’d kick on from that first game” Hoole continued. “There were a lot of positives but we couldn’t build on that result”.
Hoole was reserve team manager before his appointment.

“It was always going to be a big step up and we’re in a results business. Nobody likes to get beat but I’ve not been happy with the way we’ve been beaten. There’s been a lack of desire from certain players, whether my man management is questionable I’m not sure but some players need to have a look at themselves. We’ve had to play some young lads and we’ve needed men to stand up there and be counted.”
Hoole though conceded that he would probably not do anything different if he had his time over again.

“You always assess every game and question yourself and others but I would not have done anything different. It’s a hard league but I was determined that I would get the side playing football but sometimes when you’re under the cosh that goes out of the window and you go long. It was tough for the young lads on Monday and I felt sorry for them, hopefully though having that experience will do them a world of good for the future.”

Hoole now will take some time off from football and spend more time with his family as he recharges his batteries for what might lie ahead.
“I’ve nothing in the pipeline, there’ll be more time with the family and we’ll take one day at a time.”

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Whoever is in charge of Matlock Town on Saturday faces a daunting first game as league leaders and title favourites South Shields visit the Proctor Cars Stadium.

Shields hit the summit of the EvoStik NPL Premier Division with a 2-0 home win over foot of the table Lancaster City on Tuesday night and are clearly a club on the up. They were Northern League champions and FA Vase winners in 2016/17 and gained instant promotion from the EvoStik First Division North after claiming another league title last term.

The Mariners will be clear favourites to win again, given Matlock have lost their last five league and cup matches and are avalanching goals. They have let in eighteen goals in their six league games to date to be struggling in second bottom spot.

Add the long injury list they have at present, plus central defender Dwayne Wiley beginning a two match ban after his red card against Whitby Town, another difficult afternoon looks to be in prospect for the Gladiators.

Shaun Harrad will come up against an old Burton Albion team mate in Jon Shaw, a former Sheffield Wednesday and Albion striker who now plays at the heart of the Shields defence. Shaw has hurt Matlock before scoring a last gasp winner for Luton Town in an FA Trophy clash at Causeway Lane back in December 2012.

With Wiley out, Matlock will be hoping that captain Adam Yates will have recovered sufficiently from a knee injury to make a return, while hoping also that some of Jamie Jackson, Jake Green, Jordan Chapell, Michael Williams and Ted Cribley could also feature as the Gladiators look to bounce back from the 6-0 hammering at Basford on Monday in Dave Hoole’s final match in charge.

Striker Craig Westcarr, formerly of Nottingham Forest, Notts County, Mansfield Town, Chesterfield and Alfreton Town, should make his home debut after leading the Gladiators out at Basford.

Ian Richardson

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