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Weekly News - 13/2/20

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Weekly News - 13/2/20

Paul Phillips says that good home support is massive as he plots a charge up the BetVictor NPL Premier Division table for the Gladiators.

The new Matlock boss has been impressed with the support at the opening two matches of his tenure, with 543 showing up for the draw with Hyde and despite a cold, wet night, nearly 300 turned up to see his side demolish Radcliffe 4-0.

After last night’s scheduled Integro Cup victory at Worksop, Matlock have three successive matches on home soil.

Witton Albion are in town on Saturday before the Gladiators face South Normanton Athletic in the Derbyshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night. The treble of Proctor Cars Stadium games is completed with Whitby Town’s visit on Saturday week.

“Good support at home is massively important whichever league you’re in” said Phillips.

“We’re in a new era now at the club and the support from the fans at the first two matches has been top notch. We want that to carry on, we want people to get behind us. It’s been brilliant to be applauded off at the end of games and sometimes you need that extra helping hand that the fans can give you. It’s been great so far.”

Phillips wants to make the Proctor Cars Stadium a fortress.

“I want that one hundred per cent, I feel we should have had the full six points instead of four as I thought we did enough to have won against Hyde. But we’re all in this together and that includes the spectators.”

After the satisfactory start under Phillips, the Town boss was disappointed that Sunday’s trip to Warrington Town fell foul of the temper of Storm Ciara.

“It was extremely disappointing for we had momentum from the previous two performances, but it means another game we’ve got to fit in later in the season. Hopefully the weather will be okay this week. We’re behind with our games and we need to play as we don’t want to be playing three games a week later in the season. We may have games in hand but we’ve still got to get the points. We’d have gone to Warrington with confidence, it would have been a hard test for they would have wanted to put the defeat they had at Lancaster behind them. I’m in no doubt though, given the conditions, travel and fans safety that the right decision was made.”

With a minimum of twenty games left , Phillips may have to consider his squad size.

“I’m happy at the moment but I’m always looking to improve it. I think we lack a bit in one or two areas, so I’ve one or two irons in the fire but I said when I took over that the lads here will get their chance, some will get theirs in the Wednesday night game at Worksop.”

Phillips went to watch this weekend’s opponents, Witton Albion, as they lost 3-1 at Ashton United last weekend after taking an early lead.

Carl (McAulay)’s a good manager and Witton have some good players. One bonus from not playing last Saturday was the chance to take a look at Witton and do our homework. They went in front but didn’t take the chances that came their way. They could have been three up and then got caught out. I’m expecting the usual tough match against Witton.”

Phillips was also planning to take in South Normanton’s home clash with Newark Flowserve on Tuesday but that game succumbed to the weather.

“We’ll be taking one game at a time, Witton will be the main concern after Worksop but we know they’ll come to our place with nothing to lose. It’s a matter of us being professional and getting to a cup final, again making this place a fortress.”

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Matlock boss Paul Phillips was forced to make a quick goalkeeper signing ahead of Wednesday night’s Integro League Cup trip to Worksop Town after regular number one Jon Stewart sustained a hand injury at work on Monday.

Jake Greatorex (20) has been brought in on a month’s loan from Championship side Barnsley and made his debut in the 2-1 win at Sandy Lane. He joined Barnsley’s academy at the age of seven and represented them at various age groups playing a leading role in their under 23 team in the 2017/18 Professional Development campaign. He has trained regularly with the first team and been part of their matchday squad when Adam Davies and Jack Walton have been absent.

It is likely Greatorex will feature again in Saturday’s home clash with Witton Albion when the Gladiators will be seeking more points to escape from the lower reaches of the BetVictor NPL Premier Division table.

While Matlock are not revealing the extent of Stewart’s injury at present, Phillips says that Stewart could be missing for four to six weeks. That being the case, Greatorex could feature heavily in what is a vital part of the season for Matlock.

In addition to improving their league position, the Gladiators have a Derbyshire Senior Cup semi final at home to South Normanton Athletic on Tuesday night and an Integro League Cup quarter final after they defeated Worksop Town 2-1.

Greatorex for Stewart was an enforced change but Phillips also gave opportunities to Ben Gordon, Brian Wilson, Dan Bramall, Marcus Marshall, James Tague and Sam Scrivens, all of whom had not started the previous game against Radcliffe.

Matlock made heavy weather of seeing off the ten men of Worksop, a view that was shared by Phillips.

“After Worksop went down to ten men we were poor in possession, we made wrong decisions in wrong areas. The second half was a non event. People had the chance to put names on shirts and three or four of them haven’t done that. But at the end of the day we’re through to a quarter final. A winning habit’s a good habit.”

Meanwhile the Derbyshire FA has announced that the Senior Cup Final will take place at Pride Park, Derby on Wednesday 25 March.

The winners of Tuesday’s tie at the Proctor Cars Stadium will face either Belper Town or New Mills who contest the other semi final.

Ian Richardson