the npl

Weekly News | 20.12.22

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Weekly News | 20.12.22

New Matlock Town boss Martin Carruthers says that it’s a clean slate for the current squad with no wholesale changes planned just yet.

The former Basford United and Ilkeston Town boss takes charge of his first game in charge of the Gladiators in the Boxing Day home derby with Belper Town (3pm).

Carruthers met the Matlock players for the first time at Saturday’s training session which was hastily arranged following the almost inevitable postponement of the scheduled trip to Stalybridge Celtic. He was impressed with what he saw.

“Saturday went down very well, it was a very good session and I had chance to have a decent chat with the lads who looked really sharp. They’re a good set of lads who worked really hard so I was very impressed with them. Everyone will get their chance to show me what they’re about so at this stage I’m not planning to make any wholesale changes to the squad.”

Having said that, Carruthers is hoping to bring in a new striker in the next few days. Kallan Murphy has decided to join former Matlock boss Paul Phillips at Guiseley after the Lions made a seven days approach.

Carruthers felt that the Stalybridge postponement was a blessing as he gears up for the festive games with the Gladiators visiting Gainsborough Trinity on Monday 2 January following the A6 derby clash with Belper.

“It was helpful as it gave me the opportunity to sit down and meet the lads. We also had an excellent session and the chance for a couple more training sessions before the Belper game.”

The meeting with the Nailers is a potential banana skin for Matlock. Belper have struggled for most of the campaign and presently sit at the foot of the table.

The Gladiators lie in ninth spot, three points outside the play-offs but with games in hand on some of their rivals.

There is extra spice to the clash with former Matlock boss Steve Kittrick now in the managerial hot seat at the Raygar Stadium and with three former Gladiators in defender Todd Jordan, midfielder Greg Tempest and striker Shaun Tuton expected to feature.

Carruthers is expecting a tight and competitive match.

“Belper are struggling as regards league position but it’s a local derby and I’m expecting a tight game. A set piece might be the difference. We’ll get a report on them from their Derbyshire Senior Cup tie on Tuesday. We’ll work hard and get the lads up for it and if we do what we’re good at hopefully it’ll be enough to earn the three points.”

Ian Richardson