It’s been a miserable September for Matlock Town but manager Mark Hume’s faith in his players remains intact.

The Gladiators have picked up just a solitary league point from five league outings and exited the FA Cup in a replay at nine men Whitley Bay but Hume maintains it’s “fine margins” between winning and losing for his side who have slid from second to seventeenth in a water tight Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division.

October is here and Hume will be hoping for a dramatic improvement in form as the month begins with Saturday’s home clash with Ashton United and Tuesday night’s visit from Rushall Olympic.

The Town boss again bemoaned “silly mistakes” which cost his side dear in their two away defeats at Grantham and Mickleover this week.

At Grantham, Matlock were a goal in front until the 87th minute and then conceded a 93rd minute winner.

“That was gut wrenching being ahead so late in the game but on sixty minutes we stopped playing. Okay Danny (Holland) had a knock and Niall (McManus)was on his last feet having worked so hard but we went deeper and deeper. The goals were terrible and hard to take and with all respect to Grantham they’re not the best side we’ll face this season. Again it’s down to individual errors and we must cut these silly mistakes out. We’re creating chances and missing ours while we’re gifting opportunities to the other side who are taking them”.

Matlock held the upper hand in the first half of the 2-0 loss at Mickleover but then fell away after the interval.

“We were the better team in the first half but again couldn’t produce for a full ninety minutes and again mistakes crept in. But we’ll keep on working hard and we’ll get it right. It’s down to fine margins, I believe in the players we’ve got here, we have to stay positive and strong. At the end of the day I’d rather play rubbish and win. We’ve got to take our chances, hit the trigger a bit more, test the goalkeeper instead of walking it in.”

Fans calls for a striker to be signed were answered on Tuesday when Sam Smith, who hit 34 goals for Handsworth Parramore last term,arrived on a month’s loan from Alfreton to make his debut.

“Danny was poorly so we put Sam in despite him not playing much after an injury, and he’s got some height that we badly need. Ideally we need another striker and another centre half and I have irons in the fire. Sam did okay and gives us a more balanced attack .I also feel we’re too nice at times and I hope to remedy that somewhat soon”.

Hume though admitted he is feeling the pain of this barren run.

“I’ll take the flack, it’s not been good enough lately. I hadn’t seen it coming after our very good August, now it’s a nightmare and I’m feeling it more than anyone, but I’m massively confident in the lads.”

Midfielder Liam Needham was missing at Mickleover for what Hume describes as “dressing room conduct that I would not expect” at Grantham.

“Liam’s apologised to me and the rest of the players and I’ve got to speak to him and decide what to do next” Hume said.

Meanwhile goalkeeper Lewis King has joined FC United of Manchester but can still play for Matlock with him holding a dual registration.

Ian Richardson

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