the npl

Weekly News | 17.8.22

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Weekly News | 17.8.22

An unhappy Paul Phillips rapped that Matlock Town should have maximum points from their two opening games instead of the three they have on the board.

A dominant 1-0 win over Whitby Town in the sweltering heat of the Proctor Cars Stadium last Saturday was followed by a 1-0 reverse at much improved and big spending Radcliffe on Tuesday night.

Latest signing Jorome Slew, formerly with Sheffield United under 23’s , Maldon and Tiptree for whom he scored a stunning FA Cup goal against Letton Orient and Wealdstone, scored a debut goal to see off the Seasiders but the Matlock players had left their shooting boots back in the dressing room at the Neuven Stadium in midweek.

“We should have six points out of six, we can’t expect to miss the kinds of chances we did and expect to win games, especially against good sides. We’ve had six good chances, two cleared off the line, an open net for Jake Day and Jorome Slew was in two or three times plus the two good strikes from Jordan Barnett.”

The word Phillips used in his build up to the new season again surfaced.

“Ruthless, we’ve got to be more ruthless, we’re too nice at times in areas where we’ve got to be horrible. The fact of the matter is that Radcliffe’s defenders showed more desire to keep the ball out than we did to put it in!”

The Gladiators boss was also critical of the goal his side conceded to lose the game.

“It was a poor goal to concede, we lost the ball in midfield and then didn’t win the ball on the edge of our box. No-one closed their lad down but I can’t really have a go at our defenders for they’ve generally been very good. I watched Liverpool v Crystal Palace on the box on Monday and Tuesday’s game reminded me of that. We dominated large spells but as the game wore on we ran out of ideas. We’ve had some glorious chances and against a good experienced team like Radcliffe, you’ve got to take them when you’re on top.”

Phillips was pleased with the win over a Whitby outfit who had won on their last four visits to the Proctor Cars Stadium. Slew and Day linked up well despite having had only one training session to work up a relationship and the goal came from Day’s low cross being poked home from close range by Slew.

“The weather was sweltering and because of that with the drinks breaks and the stoppage for the supporter who felt unwell, there were too many stop starts but it was a good three points against a team who’ve been a bit of a bogy for us at home recently. But I felt we totally deserved to win the game.”

Attention now turns to Matlock’s longest trip of the season as they go to Morpeth Town on Saturday. The Highwaymen are pointless after two games, having lost to two very late goals at Warrington Town last Saturday before after leading at home to Guiseley on Tuesday, they conceded three goals.

“We’ve got to go to Morpeth and win now, it’ll be a difficult game , they’ll obviously be desperate for the three points on Saturday, they may have lost their first two games but they’ll not be down the bottom end for long, I fully expect them to be challenging at the other end” said Phillips.

“We’re only two games into the season but some lads need a rocket up their bum, those that may think their automatic choices might be in for a surprise. People might say it’s only early days but there’s nine points to play for in the first week, every point matters, we might be looking back at the end of the season rueing points dropped in the first week.” Morpeth’s a long trip after two hard games this week, we’ve got to pick ourselves up and make sure we’re ready for another tough game on Saturday.”

Reece Kendall completes a three match ban held over from last season and will therefore be available for Tuesday night’s home clash with Stalybridge Celtic. The Gladiators are awaiting on international clearance from the Irish FA to be able to select midfielder Leigh Whelan and striker Kallan Murphy, the Chesterfield youngsters having impressed in the pre season friendlies.

Matlock should know who they will face in the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup on Monday when the draw is made at Wembley Stadium following the Preliminary Round matches this weekend.

Ian Richardson