the npl

Weekly News | 9.11.22

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Weekly News | 9.11.22

After a free weekend which was part of a fortnight’s break for Matlock Town, Craig Elliott’s men are back in action at table topping Hyde United on Saturday.

Unsurprisingly he says his side are in for a tough game given that the Tigers s scored ten times in two league matches, a 7-0 home thrashing of Bamber Bridge being followed by a 3-1 victory at Liversedge last weekend. But on Tuesday night came the most impressive result of all as they went to title favourites South Shields and won by the only goal of the game to open up a three points lead over second placed FC United of Manchester.

Before their break the Glodiators looked in reasonable nick themselves, a 4-1 beating of Marske United in the league before an FA Trophy win against Stafford Rangers by the only goal of the game.

So the big question is could the break halt the Gladiators momentum as they seek a third successive win?

All will be revealed on Saturday when the game has a 2 pm kick off as Hyde and Matlock agreed to the early start in light of the currently rising energy prices.

“We were in pretty good form before the break but we come back into things with a really tough game against the current league leaders. But we’ve got to go there at some point. They’re not top of the league by fluke . Richard (Boryszczuk) went to watch them on Saturday, they’re a good well drilled side. I’m well aware of the qualities of a lot of their players, but we need to go there in a positive frame of mind, and come home with a good result.”

Matlock’s recent inactivity and others catching up on their games has seen them drop down to seventh spot but they remain well in contention for a play off place in a league which is extraordinarily tight. Matlock are six points adrift of Hyde but 16th placed Marske United have only ten points less than FC United.

“We all know how tight the league is so it’s important we get our performance levels right and pick up some points as the league starts to level itself out “ said Elliott says that his squad have had some good training sessions since the Stafford game.

“The lads trained really well last week when they had two tough sessions and worked hard again tonight (Tuesday) although we toned it down a bit. The weekend off was good for them as it gave them the opportunity to spend time with family and friends and recharge the batteries.”

Injuries continue to be a problem with striker Kallan Murphy and midfielder Brad Abbott having missed training which makes them doubtful for the trip to Ewen Fields.

Ian Richardson