Mark Atkins got one of his three targets this week as Jamie Yates arrived from North Ferriby United on a month’s loan.

The 25 year old has family connections with the Gladiators for his father Lenny was a popular midfielder or defender with Matlock thirty years ago.

The Town chief is clearly hoping that the attacking midfielder will make his side a more potent attacking force, the Gladiators having netted just nine times in league and cup matches this term, and having failed to find the net in four of them.

Yates began his career with Rotherham United and having graduated from the youth team, he made 34 first team appearances for the Millers between 2006 and 2009 netting three goals before going out on loan to Burton Albion, scoring once in six appearances for the Brewers. After making just two appearances for Alfreton Town he moved to Boston United and played in 77 games, finding the net on eight occasions before joining Lincolnshire rivals Gainsborough Trinity in 2011. At the Northolme he played in 91 matches, hitting three goals. A move to North Ferriby followed at the start of last season where he played a key part in the Villagers reaching the Conference North play offs, with three goals and a number of assists in his 48 appearances.

“I’ve been talking with Billy (Heath) at North Ferriby for two or so weeks now wanting to bring the lad to us, I thought we’d managed it last week but the move was held up, but now we’ve got him on loan and I think he’ll do well for us ” Atkins explained.

“He’s an attacking wide midfield player who can score goals, he’s got a lot of experience with quality in the final third. We haven’t created enough so far this season, so I believe he’ll help us in that respect so we can be more attack minded.”

Yates will go straight into the Matlock squad for their trip to Nantwich Town on Saturday as they return to league action following the disappointment of a late, narrow FA Cup exit at home to Ilkeston last weekend.

“The defeat was down to a few factors but mainly it was because we conceded two poor goals” reckoned Atkins. “We defended poorly and were punished. The injuries we suffered didn’t help, nor did the incredible five minutes plus of injury time at the end of the first half, but we shot ourselves in the foot. Corey Gregory did really well and put us in front with a great finish. The plan was to try and get in front and dominate, in all honesty we looked comfortable until the 50th minute! So it was disappointing to go in 1-1 at half time, but I still thought we had enough to go on and win the game.”

David Haggerty was helped off just before Ilkeston’s equalizer with a leg injury and is rated as extremely doubtful for the weekend. Joe Leesley was left out after suffering from concussion after the draw at FC United of Manchester which saw him spend the night in hospital, his place being taken by Phil Roe who made his first appearance since half way through the pre season campaign after foot injury. Roe still needs games to regain full fitness and Leesley should be back in contention to face the Dabbers, who themselves have not set the league alight so far.

With Tuesday night’s scheduled opponents Whitby Town involved in a midweek FA Cup replay, a free midweek may prove to be a blessing for Matlock, but they slipped down to 20th spot following results elsewhere.

“We need a win as soon as possible” said Atkins. “Just one win so far is disappointing for there have been some good performances such as at FC United and at home to Blyth in there. But we’ll head to Nantwich looking for the win, it’s a nice but difficult place to go to. We’re out of the cup now so the league has to be our main priority at the moment, we need points to try and get up that league table.”

Striker Zeph Thomas, a summer recruit has been released by Matlock to join Evo-Stik First Division South Goole, managed by his former boss at Sheffield FC, Curtis Woodhouse.

Atkins is still on the lookout to boost his squad and he was out watching a game on Tuesday as his players trained in readiness for the weekend.

Matlock are without a midweek game this week and the Gladiators have new Saturday week opponents in the shape of Whitby Town at home as their previous scheduled game at home to Rushall Olympic has been put off due to the Pics progressing in the FA Cup.


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