His side may have taken a battering on Tuesday night as visiting Spennymoor Town cruised to a 4-0 win at the DCJ Group Arena and inflict serious damage on their play off aspirations, but joint boss Glenn Kirkwood insists Matlock will keep on fighting for a top five finish until they are mathematically are out of the running.

“Nothing’s changed, we knew we needed to win four out of the last five before tonight, now it’s four out of four to get the eighty points which would give us a good chance of getting in” said Kirkwood who admitted that he was “disappointed but not disheartened” by the heavy defeat.

Having beaten Matlock 3-2 in County Durham just a fortnight earlier, Spennymoor’s win saw Matlock concede only their first league double of the season, although they did beat the Moors 2-1 in the FA Trophy at the Brewery Field back in October.

Kirkwood though could not hide his admiration of Spennymoor.

“That wasn’t us but take absolutely nothing away from Spennymoor, they’re the best team we’ve faced all season, we well and truly got a lesson tonight. Adam Yates and Dwayne Wiley came up against two top, top centre forwards. There’s not a lot you can do when their two front players play like that, Adam and Dwayne couldn’t breathe and as a side they never gave us a second. It’s gone now, we can’t control what’s happened in those ninety minutes, from one to eleven they were much better than us and that happens sometimes. We’ve now got to dust ourselves down and have a go on Saturday at Hednesford. We’ll not feel sorry for ourselves, there’s no point, we’ll go there looking for the three points.”

After Hednesford, Matlock visit Sutton Coldfield and Buxton over Easter before hosting Warrington Town in their final game of the regular league season on April 22, so there are some tough games to win if Matlock are to defy the odds and qualify for the play-offs.

“To be honest I’m not concerned at the moment about our league position, we’ll finish where we finish but this time last season me and Hoppo were scrapping for points to avoid relegation with Mickleover. Okay we missed the chance to go into the top five tonight, but I know where I’d rather be and I’m sure the fans do also. We’ve not given them any enjoyment tonight but the team has given them some really good football this year.”

Going into the Spennymoor match, Matlock had come from behind to beat Rushall Olympic 2-1 last weekend in a game which Kirkwood thinks may have affected the performance on Tuesday.

“There was a lot of character shown, the lads fought back brilliantly and although we didn’t play particularly well we showed real grit and determination without playing the type of football we’ve played for much of the season. There was heart. graft, by hook or by crook we were determined to get those three points possibly took a bit out of us for Spennymoor, but we have to hold our hands up and say Spennymoor were by far the better side and if we do make the play offs, it’s likely we’ll have to go up there to play them.”

Kirkwood talked down a suggestion that he and Craig Hopkins might freshen up their eighth placed side at Hednesford.

“To be honest we haven’t got a squad big enough to do that but what we will do is pick the side we feel has the best chance of winning like we have done all season.”

On loan striker Curtis Morrison could not face Spennymoor after suffering concussion against Rushall and he is also likely to miss out on the trip to Keys Park as Matlock seek their fourth league double of the campaign.

Ian Richardson

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