the npl

Weekly News | 15.11.23

Posted on
Weekly News | 15.11.23

“I’m absolutely ecstatic” said Matlock boss Martin Carruthers following Tuesday night’s exciting 3-2 win at home to Hyde United, their fifth on the spin in all competitions. The victory lifted Matlock to sixth, in the play-off positions although they have played more games than many of the teams around them.

Carruthers could barely contain his emotions of pride in his players as the transformation from potential strugglers to play off contenders continued. Four weeks ago it was all doom and gloom after a capitulation at Ashton United resulted in a 5-0 thrashing , But since then it has been four successive W’s in their league results and a 3-0 win at North Ferriby in the FA Trophy also featuring in the five win sequence. Two of the wins have come against the leading sides, leaders Radcliffe being humbled 4-0 in the previous home game to be followed by Hyde who lay in fourth spot at the start of the game.

“We needed the win against Basford and since then we’ve gone from strength to strength and there’s a different mentality now” Carruthers added.

Top scorer Jonathan Margetts had netted all four against Radcliffe and has taken his tally to 28 for the season in the past few days, heading in the equaliser at Bradford on Saturday when the ten men of Matlock overturned a half time 2-0 deficit to win 3-2, Finlay Armond having been sent off for a late challenge in the 16th minute. Then Margetts Hyde with a knockout twelve minute first half hat-trick after Hyde had taken an early lead.

“Margs is on fire, he lives and dies for scoring goals and the lads are doing their bit by creating the chances. I used to love scoring goals and Margs is exactly the same. 28 at this stage of the season is absolutely pheneomenal, he said he wanted to get forty for the season, with the way he’s going he’ll do it by Christmas.”

Margetts may well have again claimed the headlines but as Carruthers points out, others are striking gold in the side.

“In the Hyde match Nathan Whitehead and Harry Wood were both absolutely outstanding in midfield and Zander (Alex Duhameau) and Neilo (Anthony Dwyer) were also excellent. When the pressure was on towards the end we were tired and hanging in there but players were putting their bodies on the line determined to get the win. A few weeks ago we may have buckled and drawn or even lost that game. I’m so proud of all of the players in the last three games. To come back from 2-0 down at Bradford and win felt even better than beating Radcliffe 4-0. Then we play Hyde who are a very good side and will be up there at the end of the season and get another great result. We were absolutely outstanding in that first half, for fifteen to twenty minutes we were unplayable. We needed the fourth goal early in the second half. It didn’t come and we had to dig in. We’d have preferred for it to be more comfortable at the end but I’m as proud as punch, there’s togetherness and a tremendous team spirit there which saw us through.”

So attention turns now to making further progress in the Isuzu FA Trophy and despite their current form, the Gladiators will go into Saturday’s tie at Curzon Ashton as underdogs. The Nash are currently seventh and in the final play off spot in National League North.

“We can go there and win, it’s important we stay firm and tight and stay in the game but we’ve beaten really good sides in Radcliffe and Hyde in our league so we’re going to go there with some good results behind us. “

Then on Tuesday Matlock head to Guiseley before a run of three away games on the trot ends with a trip to FC United of Manchester next Saturday.

“We go to Curzon and then Guiseley and FC United. We’re doing very well at the moment but they’re three very tough games so we can’t rest on our laurels. Everyone’s got to keep working hard and it’s showing that if you continue to work hard, results will come.”

Matlock have been given a home tie in the 3rd Round of the Derbyshire Senior Cup and they will face Toolstation NCEL Division One promotion contenders Shirebrook Town on Wednesday 13 December.