the npl

Weekly News | 14.10.20

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Weekly News | 14.10.20

Paul Phillips was fuming throughout and after Matlock Town FA Cup defeat by Guiseley on Tuesday night.

Not by his team’s performance but by the display of Preston referee Ed Duckworth who sent off both Liam Hughes and Adam Yates while on the field of play. Assistant coach and substitute Kade Coppinwas sent off in the tunnel at half time and bookings went to Ryan Qualter, Osebi Abadaki and Declan Walker. Guiseley had three players booked in what had not been a dirty game.

The Gladiators had to play all but the first eight minutes without captain Liam Hughes and Yates received a harsh second yellow card on the hour. Yates, normally the calmest of players, left the field remonstrating angrily with the official.

“The referee wanted to be the centre of attention, he’s booked loads of players and sent two off the field in what was never a dirty game. We got the brunt of it but he was bad for both sides. It was a big game for both clubs and he wasn’t experienced enough to handle it” snapped Phillips.

Now Hughes will face a three match ban, a huge personal blow for him as well as the Gladiators with Hughes swiftly becoming a cult figure at the Proctor Cars Stadium, leading the Gladiators attack. Coppin and Yates will likely receive shorter bans while Qualter will also serve a one match ban after accumulating five bookings. All though will be available for the trip to South Shields on Saturday with the bans kicking in on Tuesday for the trip to Grantham.

“The game hinged around the referee’s performance. Liam said he got in a bit of a tangle, the red card was out straightaway. Adam Yates was sent off for a tackle that their lad had got away with earlier in the game. There’s no need for loads of lads being booked, the game didn’t warrant it. Their centre half was fortunate to stay on, he pulled Osebi back in the first half which should have been a booking and only stayed on because when he did it again, it was his first yellow. It was a nailed on penalty, I’ve no complaints about that, but all of the cards and a lot of the decisions spoilt what would have been a very good game.”

The penalty was converted by Lebrun Mbeka to give Guiseley a 23rd minute lead and despite having two more men than the Gladiators for the final half hour, the National League North side could only score once more through Jonathan Wafula midway through the second half.

Phillips had glowing praise for the Matlock performance in which they hit the bar twice and had three more good opportunities to find the target.

“I thought we were brilliant, especially in the opening twenty minutes when Guiseley didn’t get a look in. Even with ten and then nine men we caused them problems. To a man they were brilliant, it just shows what a good group of players we’ve got, they’ve done the club proud on a night when everything seemed to go against them, their workrate and application can’t be faulted. They’ve not opened us up, we kept on going despite being understandably heavy legged near the end”

Attacking midfielder Callum Chippendale got his first competitive run out in a Matlock shirt as a substitute after picking up a knee injury in the Gladiators; final pre season game at Tamworth on September 5. Craig King, injured in the FA Cup win over OJM Black Country Rangers also played for the final thirteen minutes.

“Getting Chippy and Kingy back on the field’s a big positive for us and we’ll need them now with the suspensions” Phillips added.

“I’m just so annoyed at what’s happened, the lads had prepared well for the game and we were raring to go and get a good result, even with this situation we’re in of having to play tonight’s game with no fans in.”

Phillips was happier on Saturday when Matlock beat one of his former clubs, Ashton United 4-1 in the league. A Declan Walker penalty on 4 minutes put Matlock in front and although Ben Hardcastle equalised for the club Phillips played for and managed, a bizarre own goal from Michael Raynes gave Town a 2-1 half time advantage. Strikes from Alex Byrne and Liam Hughes rounded off the scoring in the second half.

“We did the right things at the right times, it was a very good win against a very good side. It was great to see a good crowd in (532), nearly 600 people have been down socially distanced and it’s great to see. We’ve got a tough game on Saturday at South Shields, who for me are the best team in the league. We’ll make sure we recover in time and give it our best shot again.”

Ian Richardson