the npl

Weekly News | 12.10.22

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Weekly News | 12.10.22

Just as it looked as if Matlock had found some consistency with four games unbeaten after the Isuzu FA Trophy victory against Sutton Coldfield on Saturday, they came down to earth with a bump as bottom markers Liversedge pulled off a shock 2-1 win at the Proctor Cars Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The Yorkshire side rocked Matlock by going tow goals in front inside the opening seventeen minutes and it took until the 90th minute for the hosts to find a reply.

Matlock had three times as much possession than Liversedge but again lacked that killer touch in front of goal.

“We can’t keep relying on the back four for clean sheets, we need to start taking our chances” said Elliott who reflected on a number of missed opportunities which, not for the first occasion in recent times, has proved to be costly for Matlock.

“We’ve had some very good chances which we’re just not taking and that for me’s the most disappointing thing. We’re missing chances at key times. Alex had one from six yards, Reece at back post, definitely Kallan in the second half missed a really unbelievably good chance, we’ve had the moments to do it and then left it too late to get that goal.”

So what is Elliott’s next move now having brought in a trio of new signings ahead of Tuesday’s game. Winger John Johnston arrived from Guiseley as part of a deal which saw Callum Chippendale move to Nethermoor Park, while Boston United midfielder Brad Abbott and full back Akeem Hinds from Liversedge have also joined Elliott’s squad.

“I said all along I’d give players time, the attackers are there to create and score goals. Unfortunately they’re not quite doing that at the minute, whether they can improve on that, I hope they can, but if not we simply need to look for strikers. We’ve got a brilliant group of lads but as I told them, we’re not scoring enough goals at vital times and in this league it comes back to bite you.”

On his new signings, Elliott said they will all get better.

“We’ve brought in three really good players, good ages and good pedigrees They’ll all certainly get better, JJ’s come in and had a really bright game, Brad needs more games under his belt as you can see he’s not played many minutes, he needs to play games and get confidence, he’ll do that because he’s an experienced player and we’ll get him up to speed. Akeem didn’t get on but he’ll be a really good asset to us.”

Elliott had warned that Liversedge were dangerous opponents prior to the match and he was proved right.

“They’re probably one of the better sides we’ve played since I came here, they were well organised and worked hard, goals change games and once they got in front they worked hard to keep us out. But had we taken say that second half chance of Kallan’s then maybe it’s a different game and a different outcome. They’ve got two gaols from two shots first half and hit the post in the second half so clearly their conversion rate’s better than ours. A lot of our lads had poor nights tonight, that can happen.”

Matlock slipped a place to fourth I the standings but a number of teams could overhaul them having games in hand.

So Matlock make the first of two trips to Warrington on successive Saturdays, facing Rylands this week and Town seven days later.

They beat Rylands 4-2 at Matlock a month ago so they will travel searching a first league double of the campaign.

“We’ve got a tough run of games now, Warrington’s going to be tough on Saturday but we’ve got to bounce back. I think we’ve done so before when we’ve had a setback, we’ve got to do the same on Saturday.”

Elliott reported no fitness issues after Tuesday. Ioan Evans though, is expected to remain on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Al Byrne is available once again after serving a three match ban.

Matlock’s reward for beating Sutton Coldfield last weekend is a home draw against Stafford Rangers on October 29. Rangers are currently in second, on the same number of points as Matlock but having played two games fewer.

“They’re doing well so it’s going to be a tough tie but at least we’re at home and I’m happy with that” said Elliott.

Ian Richardson