the npl

Weekly News | 12.9.23

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Weekly News | 12.9.23

“Let’s have more of the same” is the message from Matlock manager Martin Carruthers ahead of a tricky Emirates FA Cup 2nd Qualifying trip to Stourbridge on Saturday.

Carruthers’ troops go into the game on the back of a four match unbeaten run in league and cup, scoring fifteen goals in the process. Their last two home matches, against Gainsborough Trinity in the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round replay and against Marske United in the league last weekend have seen them hit five goals in both games, seven of them from Jonny Margetts who now stands on 12 goals for the season.

Matlock were four goals to the good at half time against struggling Marske who scarcely laid a glove on the Gladiators in the entire contest and when the hosts secured their nap hand seven minutes into the second half, a defeat of embarrassing proportions looked a distinct possibility for the Seasiders.

“I was absolutely delighted with our performance, people are now starting to gel and form partnerships and that’s reflected in the performance and results. The goals are being shared around although of course Jonny Margetts is on fire. Hopefully soon players are coming back from injury which should make us even better and that’s very exciting.”

Naturally Margetts stole the headlines once again but in a post match interview on Matlock Town TV, the goal getter heaped praise on his colleagues saying he is only as good as the players who create his opportunities. Carruthers is in full agreement with Margetts.

“I agree with him one hundred per cent, in his first two games Jonny probably didn’t have a shot on goal and was thinking will I score? I was always confident that the chances would come for him, now we’re creating plenty of chances, our set pieces which we work on a lot are a lot better. It’s great to have a natural predator in the box, his movement and reading of the balls in there is second to none and we want these chances to keep coming.”

The Gladiators will know that Stourbridge will present a far more difficult challenge than either Gainsborough or Marske. The Glassboys have lost their last two league games to slip from second in the Southern League Premier Central Division to seventh, one of those games being a huge West Midlands derby when Halesowen Town were 4-3 winners at the War Memorial Ground on Tuesday night.

“We’ll get a report on that game, the game’s don’t come much tougher than at Stourbridge” said Carruthers.

"Any FA Cup tie away from home’s difficult, we know Stourbridge have a very dangerous front three so we need to remain tight and controlled. Obviously we hope we can continue the form from our last two matches, we also know that our away form hasn’t been the best but we won at Stafford and got a draw at Gainsborough. We need to go there to ensure we don’t get beaten and then see what happens.”

Jamie Sharman looks to be the only absentee having sat out the Marske victory with hamstring trouble. Robbie McNicholas was a surprise inclusion at right back with George Wilkinson partnering Ioan Evans in the centre of the defence.

Fans wanting to travel to Stourbridge can book coach travel, leaving the Proctor Cars Stadium at 10.30 am, on the club website or by contacting Tom Wright on 07850 065968. Stourbridge say that there will be no cash turnstiles in operation on the day so both clubs strongly advise fans to purchase their tickets online from Stourbridge. Visiting supporters should also be aware that although there is a matchday ticket office, this option is not open to those aged 12 to 17 for both sets of fans and under 12’s must attend with an accompanying adult. Entry for those supporters with pre purchased tickets at the War Memorial Ground is through the Church End turnstiles. If a replay is required it will take place at the Proctor Cars Stadium on Tuesday night (7.45pm).

Matlock’s new mascot was unveiled prior to the Marske game although it was a limited first appearance because of the searing heat. He does not have a name yet and fans are being asked to send in suggestions through the club’s social media outlets. Club officials will then decide on the name with the name being announced at lunchtime on Friday.

Carruthers says it is a good initiative from the club.

“It’s absolutely brilliant and it will add to the already excellent atmosphere at our games. Our fans are amazing and we hope they’ll be fully behind us down at Stourbridge where we want them to be our twelfth man.”

Ian Richardson