Chalk and cheese performances from Matlock in the past week frustrated manager Mark Atkins and fans alike.

The Gladiators looked every bit a top six premier division side out on Saturday as they draw 1-1 with third place AFC Fylde but then on Tuesday in the Doodson Sports league cup tie at first division south side Mickleover Sports managed by former Matlock Town favorites, Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins, Town capitulated in the second half and were on the end of a four nil hammering.

“It was a great performance against Fylde, we started very well, we had a game plan which we stuck to and we closed them down brilliantly, had some great possession due to some great passing moves and scored a fantastic goal. It was disappointing to concede a goal after a ricochet and while we take the point, we really deserved all three” said Atkins

The manager made five changes to starting line up on Tuesday but was staggered by the inept display. A bad night was made worse by a red card to goalkeeper Jon Kennedy which will see him serve a three league match ban starting after the game against FC United Of Manchester on Saturday week

“I felt I had to make some changes for the Mickleover game as some of the lades needed rest having played a lot of tough games recently and it was a chance for some of those on the fringes of the team to show what they could do” Atkins continued.

“But performances were no where near good enough, there was no effort and no determination and if people were supposed to be playing to tell me they wanted to be involved on Saturday then it’s a funny way of showing it, I came here expecting us to win the game even with the team we put out”

The five absentees Liam Needham, Martin Foster, Adam Yates, Corey Gregory and Danny Holland all now look certain to be in the side from the beginning for Saturdays tough FA Trophy fixture against Chorley FC.

The Magpies have already completed a league double over the Gladiators and look firm favorites to win the Evo Stik NPL premier division.

“The only good point to come out of Mickleover is that we should see a good reaction the players who have not played being back to play. Everybody has to stand up and be counted and if we can play as well as we did against AFC Fylde, we’ll be happy” said Atkins

Former Sheffield Wednesday midfield 21 year old Cecil Nyoni, who had a spell at Worksop Town last season is Town’s latest capture and made his debut midweek.

“It was Cecil’s first game of the season and he did well considering he’s had only two training sessions and showed enough to suggest he’ll be a good signing for us” said Atkins

Matlock will visit Glossop North end in the third round of the Derbyshire Senior Cup on Tuesday December the 9th after the Hillmen defeated Whaley Bridge Athletic 2-1 in midweek.

Meanwhile Atkins received the Northern Premier League fair play award for October from league respect officer Phil Bradley prior to kick off against AFC Fylde.

“we’re very pleased to get this award and it reflects the hard work and commiment from myself, Mark, Nick (Buxton) and the players in improving discipline so far this season” said Chairman Tom Wright “It’s a big well done to everybody involved and we hope it continues”

IAN RICHARDSON

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