More good news came Matlock Town’s way as they have been named runners up to Blyth Spartans in the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division’s 2014/2015 Fair Play standings.

In their forty six league matches and one in the Doodson Cup, the Gladiators collected a season’s total of 57 cautions and most notably, just the one red card which did not arrive until Easter Monday when midfielder Nicky Travis was dismissed for a mistimed but not malicious challenge on Buxton’s Jamie Green.

A cheque for five hundred pounds will be making its way to the Autoworld Arena and in what has been a challenging season on the field with Matlock battling successfully to avoid relegation, their disciplinary record has to be applauded.

“We’re extremely proud of how the players have conducted themselves on the field of play, particularly as we’ve needed to fight tremendously hard to retain our place in the Premier Division” said Chairman Tom Wright.

“To only receive one red card when nowadays it’s far easier to get sent off than it was years ago is a fantastic achievement, the players and management deserve great credit” added Wright.

The 2014/15 campaign finally ended last weekend with the play off finals in all three divisions.

Curzon Ashton beat Ilkeston FC 1-0 at the Tameside Stadium to join champions FC United of Manchester in the Conference North next term.

Darlington 1883’s 2-0 victory against Bamber Bridge settled the First Division North final while in the South, Sutton Coldfield Town were 2-0 winners at Leek Town. The Quakers and the Royals therefore earned promotion with respective champions Salford City and Mickleover Sports.

Colwyn Bay and Hyde FC have been relegated back to the Evo_Stik League from the Conference North and Matlock box Mark Hume says it all points to a tough and competitive league once again.

“We’ve lost two very good sides in FC United and Curzon but Hyde and Colwyn Bay have come down and will be tough opponents. Then those who have come up are also good sides, Darlington will bring a good following to games as FC used to which is important to clubs in the league”.

Hume has not let the grass grow under his feet as he plans to build his own squad in his first full season in the manager’s chair at Matlock.

“We’re already working on next season’s squad, I’ve people in mind but at the end of the day we need to ensure that we remain within the budget that’s set” Hume added.

Matlock’s Presentation Night takes place in the Autoworld Lounge on Friday starting at 7.30 pm.

The Derbyshire Senior Cup, won emphatically by Hume’s men in a 7-0 thrashing of Gresley in the final at the Proact Stadium, will be on view, Town’s first silverware since 2010. Admission is free.

Ian Richardson

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