the npl

Weekly News - 14/11/19

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Weekly News - 14/11/19

There can’t have been any more dramatic and productive full debuts for Matlock Town than the one from striker Chib Chilaka in Wednesday night’s 7-1 hammering of Borrowash Victoria in the Derbyshire Senior Cup.

Chilaka scored FIVE and could have finished with three more as the Gladiators surged into the quarter-finals, Spencer Harris also netting a brace as Borrowash were fortunate to get away with a six goals losing margin.

Gladiators boss Steve Kittrick was happy with the performance with the only black mark being the sloppy goal his side conceded when 6-0 in front.

“I’m very pleased with the lads, I thought we played exceptionally well. Coming to places like these can be a banana skin, especially on a night like this but I thought we were very very professional in our performance. I was disappointed by their goal, I think we had too much play at the back.”

On the Chilaka scoring spree, Kittrick added

“He’s a good goalscorer, that’s his trademark. We spoke at the weekend about getting him ninety minutes, getting some miles in the tank. He’s a good finisher and if he gets around that box there’s only one winner and that’s him so I’m very pleased for him.”

Kittrick praised the resilience of his Matlock side in their battling 1-0 Buildbase FA Trophy victory over Ashton United on Saturday.

A 33rd-minute penalty from Spencer Harris was sufficient for the Gladiators to progress to the third qualifying round and earn £3000 from the prize fund, but Ashton will probably reflect that they deserved a replay at least after being on top for most of the second half.

“We dug in as a team, it was backs against the wall, Ashton was on a good run so we knew it would be tough,” said Kittrick.

“We said during the game, whoever scores first will probably win it and that’s how it turned out. We were pleased to get a result against a team at our level and that will hopefully kickstart our season again. We were nervous at times, but a win’s a win and we must kick on now.”

The Matlock boss also heaped praise on the ground staff led by Richard Lomas who worked wonders to get the game on after the pitch was underwater from the floods which hit the town late last week.

“First of all our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the lady who died in the floods, that was awful. The town was badly affected by the floods and our pitch was submerged in water on Friday. So for the ground staff to get the pitch fit and ready to play on Saturday afternoon was fantastic and a phenomenal effort. You wouldn’t have realised it was the same place.”

Matlock still do not know who they will face in the next round with Monday’s draw giving them another home tie against either Barwell or Redditch United from the Southern League Premier Central Division. Barwell’s home tie with Redditch was delayed until Tuesday evening because of the wet weather and ended in a 3-3 draw with the replay set for this coming Tuesday night.

“It’s a home draw which you look for and whoever we play will set us a good challenge so we’ll have to treat it like any other game” said Kittrick on Tuesday after he had been to watch this weekend’s visitors to the Proctor Cars Stadium, Stalybridge Celtic win 2-1 at Ashton in the Integro Cup.

“We’ve important games to play before the next round.”

After facing Stalybridge, it’s back to cup action with a visit to the Raygar Stadium to take on Belper Town in the Integro NPL Cup on Tuesday.

The Stalybridge game will be Matlock’s first league outing since a 1-0 defeat at Radcliffe on October 19.

“Stalybridge are organised, playing well and are one of the form teams so we’ll need to be organised ourselves, show plenty of endeavours and we need to try and relax and play our football in the right areas. If we can do that we’ll be okay. As we’ keep on seeing, anyone can beat anyone in this division, no-one’s running away with it. If you can win two or three on the trot you can be top six, lose two or three you can be bottom six. We need to get back to winning ways in the league.”

On the Integro fixture, Kittrick says Belper will be out for another Premier Division scalp having beaten Witton Albion, Alvechurch and Rushall Olympic from step 3 in the FA Cup and won at Buxton in the Derbyshire Senior Cup.

“Blacky(Grant Black) will want us as another scalp but we’ll have to see how we are after the weekend. Belper had a great cup run, they’ll be full of confidence so it’ll be another tough game and another different test for us.”

Matlock hopes to bring in a new player ahead of the weekend following a number of departures recently.

“We’re down to the bare bones a bit at the moment so we don’t want any injuries. Everyone needs to stay positive and we’ll be okay.”

Ian Richardson