Please see previous post on website regarding departures of Dave Rushbury and Martin Foster – http://www.matlocktownfc.co.uk/foster-and-rushbury-depart/

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Saturday’s visit of play off chasing Ashton United needs to be the beginning of a fresh dawn for Matlock Town as the battle to avoid relegation continues.

The Gladiators have not made a decent fist of things in recent games. An awful run of a draw and seven defeats in their last eight league games has seen them plummet down the table from near mid table security in November and into the dreaded bottom four at the turn of the year.

The latest league setback was by a narrow 4-3 margin at Halesowen last weekend, but the hosts played with only ten men from the 35th minute onwards following the red card shown to striker Aaron Daniels. A James Ashmore double in reply to Joe Hull’s early opener had put Matlock seemingly in the driving seat by half time.

But Matlock capitulated again, to be behind again by the 58th minute, and although Jason Stokes headed an 85th minute equalizer, an unfortunate own goal from debutant Muhammed Sabo, signed from Goole AFC last Friday, condemned Matlock to another defeat,

So joint boss Dave Rushbury’s pre match assessment that Matlock had been soft in their recent barren run, was borne out yet again.

Few then would have given them a chance at Alfreton in Tuesday night’s Derbyshire Senior Cup quarter final, but they then produced their best display of the season to oust the Conference Premier strugglers 3-1, thanks to fine strikes from Liam Needham, Micky Harcourt and Joe Leesley.

Matlock’s only other win since mid November was also in the Derbyshire Senior Cup at home to Buxton, so the big question is can they this time build on this result and use it as a springboard to better league results?

Rushbury, who returned to the club where he was Director Of Football a decade ago, did not say much in his post match interview.

“Saturday is what it is, we can’t do anything about that now. We threw the game away, it was ours for the taking. But what I will say is that the players really did the business at Alfreton. I was very pleased with our first half performance and there say we went about things. We also scored three very good goals but what actually pleased me more was that we did the ugly things well and got that right in the second half. That’s something we’ve failed badly with recently.”

Matlock hope to have midfielder Niall McManus back in the squad on Saturday after his family holiday was extended, along with Corey Gregory who was out through work commitments in midweek. But frustratingly they could be without key defender Adam Yates and midfielder Phil Rowe who were both forced off with hamstring and ankle injuries in the first half on Tuesday.

Forward Charlie Dawes has returned to parent club Chesterfield after a two months stay at the Autoworld Arena in which he failed to score.

At the club’s Annual General Meeting on Monday night, treasurer Jeremy Taylor reported that the Gladiators had ended the previous financial year at 31 May 2014 with a surplus of £16,693.

“We’ve been able to do this due to a lot of hard work by committee members and helpers and without these people we wouldn’t be able to exist at this level. We need people to continue to help and support the club in this way and if we could get some more people contributing either financially or in practical terms that would be tremendous ” said Taylor.

Ian Richardson

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