Dave Frecklington says youth may well get its chance in Matlock Town’s remaining nine league games this season.
With their central attacking options in particular, now decreased to Craig Westcarr and Luke Hinsley, opportunity may knock for someone to step up from the reserves or the academy and make their mark.

“”We’re stretched up front” Frecklington admitted, especially after Jamie Jackson was released last Friday after accepting an offer from Grantham Town, while Jonathan Margetts’ loan period from National League North Boston United ended after he had scored a brilliant winner as the Gladiators edged past basement club North Ferriby United.

Boston seem interested in using Margetts again after his five games spell at the Proctor Cars Stadium yielded four goals with Margetts being voted by fans as their player of the month in February. Margetts came on for Boston as a late substitute when the Pilgrims lost 3-1 at home to Stockport County on Tuesday night and looks unlikely to extend his stay with the Gladiators.

“We’ll only bring in better players than we’ve currently got. Twenty one players have left this club since we arrived. If players think the grass is greener elsewhere, we’ll let them move on. It’s difficult to get lads in at this stage of the season so some of our young lads may get an opportunity.”

Matlock are without a match this weekend but already Frecklington knows he will be without half a team of first choice starters when they travel to Marine on Saturday week.

Cleveland Taylor, Greg Tempest, Craig King and Marcus Marshall, all absentees on Saturday, will not be ready for Marine. Margetts is likely to be with Boston while midfielder Nathan Whitehead begins a two match ban after picking up a tenth yellow card of the season against North Ferriby.

“I said last week it’s a ten game season. We won the first with a clean sheet and now we’ll look to build on that” Frecklington added.

“We got a good win at Hyde and were desperately unfortunate to lose to Farsley. The showing at Grantham was probably the most disappointing but the win last weekend made it two out of the last four.”

Fans were probably expecting an avalanche of goals in the North Ferriby net but it didn’t work out that way. Like Grantham, Ferriby had no attacking ambition and made life difficult for Matlock. Frecklington’s troops dominated the first half and maybe should have led by more by half time. But a scrappy second half saw little in goalscoring opportunities to the frustration of the crowd and Frecklington alike.

“The result was all important. It was far from being a spectacle, the pitch played its part, the game was awful, bitty. North Ferriby sat very deep. We played some decent football in the first half but the second half was very scrappy and we became nervy and it’s fair to say we’ve played far better and lost.”

The highlight of the game was Margetts’ goal, beautifully constructed by Lee Beevers’ run and deep penetrating cross from the right ending with a majestic Margetts header.

“That goal was exactly what we’d been working on in training. Luke Hinsley scored one against Workington earlier in the season that was again practised hard on the training pitch and it’s great when things we’ve worked on in training come off in games. What a great ball from Lee Beevers and a fantastic header from Jonny.”

Frecklington was full of praise for Margetts who undoubtedly was a popular figure in his short spell with the Gladiators.

“He provided great competition for Craig Westcarr and Luke Hinsley and Boston had him in their sixteen man squad against Stockport on Tuesday. He’s been our fox in the box and the intention when we brought him in was for both Jonny and Matlock to get something out of it and we can safely say that’s happened. He’d had a disappointing time of it at Boston and then on loan at Gainsborough. His movement’s excellent, he’s been brilliant around the dressing room and we wish him nothing but the best for the future.”

The Matlock squad will be training at the Proctor Cars Stadium from 11 am on Saturday when fans are encouraged to come and watch before Frecklington and his staff will hold a question and answer session with supporters from around 12.30 pm in the Shorts Lounge.

“Since we’ve arrived here we’ve had an average of something like 450 through the gate, the attendances have risen and largely stayed at that level. We’d like as many of them to come down to the training and see how we work and the football we want to play. Then we’ll be there to answer supporters’ questions, people can ask what they want, it’ll be a no holds barred session. We’ll always give honest answers and we encourage people to come down and talk to us.”

Ian Richardson

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