the npl

Weekly News | 31.10.23

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Weekly News | 31.10.23

Martin Carruthers wants two wins on the trot and two successive clean sheets to give his Matlock Town squad just the boost they require as they welcome runaway league leaders Radcliffe to the Proctor Cars Stadium on Saturday.

The Gladiators badly needed those last two results, a 2-0 home win against Basford United followed by progress in the Isuzu FA Trophy with a 3-0 victory at North Ferriby after the confidence shattering 5-0 loss at Ashton United.

Carruthers described the Matlock performance in East Yorkshire against the NPL Eastern Division hosts as professional. Jonny Margetts struck his 20th goal of the season which was sandwiched by a brace from Anthony Dwyer, his second being a magnificent effort.

“I thought it was a good, professional performance in a game which was a potential banana skin for us, We started really well and in those first twenty five minutes we could have been two goals up. The stoppage when John the Ferriby supporter was taken ill knocked us back a little, we’re all really pleased to hear he’s recovering well. But in the second half we were dominant, we kept a clean sheet and we scored three really good goals. It’s great to have another goalscorer in there to help out Margs and Anthony probably needs four or five more games to come fully up to speed, His second goal was an unbelievable goal, great skill to chip the ball up and then volley into the bottom corner. He’ll get better and better.”

Nathan Whitehead was included in midfield after joining the Gladiators for a third time late last week and Carruthers feels he will add stability and strength in the middle of the park.

“We’ve seen the impact Yatesy’s had at the back and it’s the sane with Nathan who’ll win his tackles to help and allow the likes of Harry (Wood) and Fin (Finlay Armond) to play their creative football.”

Radcliffe, though are expected to be different gravy compared to Basford and North Ferriby. They lead the table by seven points from second in the table Warrington Rylands having won twelve out of their thirteen league matches, scoring a magnificent 46 goals and letting in 15.

“It’s going to be a really tough game, at present they don’t come any bigger than Radcliffe. But this league has shown over the last couple of years or so that anyone is beatable. We’ve been good at home apart from in the game with Warrington Rylands when we conceded some poor goals. We’ve got to make sure we stay in the game and not give away daft goals. If we can do that then why can’t we beat them?”

Karl Demidh and Finlay Armond are expected to be added to the squad after missing the Ferriby win through illness, as should defender Robbie McNicholas who has sat out the last two matches.

2Many Matlock stars from the late 1980’s and in particular those who played in the Gladiators run to the F A Cup First Round Proper when they were beaten at Scunthorpe United will be cheering the Gladiators on against Radcliffe.

Striker Harry Wakefield departed Matlock on Tuesday to sign for Basford. The burly young target man joined the Gladiators from Anstey Nomads in February and has hit three goals for the Gladiators in competitive action. He has been mainly on the bench this season with intense competition for places in the Matlock forward line.

“Harry’s a great lad, I didn’t want him to leave, in fact to help him we tried to arrange a dual registration signing with a club in a lower division to keep him with us. Obviously he wants to play but with the likes of Margs, Karl Demidh, Alex Duhameau and Anthony Dwyer there’s fierce competition. He’s scored one or two really good goals for us. He’s chosen to go to Basford after they put in seven days notice of approach for him and we wish him the very best of luck.”

Wakefield’s paperwork did not get authorised in time for him to play for the Ambers in a 1-0 win over Lancaster City on Tuesday but Basford included Josh Barnes who was recalled from loan at Matlock last week.

Matlock’s reward for the win at Ferriby is a clash at National League North Curzon Ashton on Saturday 18 November. This ,means that the scheduled home game with Hyde United will be given a fresh date.

Carruthers admits that Matlock will go io the Tameside Stadium as underdogs.

“It’s a tough draw but that’s the beauty of cup football when a team has the chance to beat opponents from a higher league. Hopefully on the day we can rise to the occasion and pull off a shock result.”

Matlock played host to Derby County versus Manchester City in Premier League 2 last Saturday, the Rams winning 4-2 in front of a crowd of 322. It was Derby’s first victory of the season with Duane Brown (2), Jaydan Davison and Tony Weston netting their goals.

Ian Richardson