the npl

Weekly News | 26.7.23

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Weekly News | 26.7.23

A wet weekend away in Skegness might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it proved to be almost perfect for Matlock Town and manager Martin Carruthers.

The especially pre-arranged break on the Lincolnshire coast began with the Gladiators overcoming their United Counties League Premier Division North hosts by a 5-2 margin with management, players, officials and some supporters mixing together in a team bonding session, with most staying overnight in the seaside resort.

The rain might have poured down throughout Saturday but the goals rained in at the Vertigo Stadium.

“It was a good weekend although the weather made for difficult conditions” said Carruthers.

For the record braces from both twin strikers, Jon Margetts and Reece Styche, plus an own goal made up the Gladiators’ nap hand. Carruthers men had a three goal interval lead before the Lilywhites pulled back two quick goals and Matlock re-establishing their three goals advantage in the last twenty minutes.

“There were loads of positives, we scored a lot of goals again although we were disappointed to concede two when Skegness looked as if they could turn the match around. But we turned it around back into our favour with the two further goals. The bonuses then came with no injuries to report and everyone had a great time out afterwards.”

One big positive was Margetts and Styche with two goals apiece.

“We always knew we had two goalscorers with these two and getting the goals breeds confidence but again I was pleased with the number and quality of the crosses going into the box for them. Sam Hooper and Archie White both had forty five minutes each, we wanted to monitor their minutes as Archie had a knock that needed to be kept in check. Sam again did well and Archie had an assist or two so all in all everything was good.”

After two training sessions this week, attention now turns to Saturday’s trip to North East Derbyshire to face NPL Eastern Division Sheffield FC at the Coach and Horses Ground in Dronfield before a home meeting with League Two promotion hopefuls Mansfield Town on Tuesday evening (7.45 pm). Stags boss Nigel Clough has pledged to send a strong squad to the Proctor Cars Stadium, their final friendly before their league season starts at Crewe on Saturday 5 August.

“It’ll be a different game from Skegness at Sheffield before we face a big test against Mansfield. But for me the pivotal game of our pre season programme is the one at Belper on 4 August which should show how close we are to where we want to be and what we need to do to improve before the big kick -off.”

The Belper trip is Matlock’s last pre season outing before the season begins in earnest when Bamber Bridge are at the Proctor Cars Stadium on the opening day of the new league campaign.

Matlock have announced three more signings for the new season this week.

Striker Harry Wakefield who was invited to join the squad for pre season after moving from Anstey Nomads last February has signed on the dotted line after an encouraging spell which has seen him net five times in the warm-up matches. He is joined by Matlock based goalkeeper Myles Wright who has previously been at Buxton and Belper and winger Ben Henderson from Eastwood Community FC. Both Wright and Henderson have been part of the club’s youth set up.

“Harry’s done well in pre season and deserves his chance to compete for a first team place” said Carruthers.

“Myles will be on a dual registration arrangement with Maltby Main, he’ll be training with us and going to Maltby to play at a good level so he’s ready if anything happens to Saul Deeney. Ben will be a squad player and will be wanting to push forward to gain a first team slot. But with Chesterfield lads from last season, competition for places is going to be fierce.”

Ian Richardson