the npl

Weekly News - 18/12/19

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Weekly News - 18/12/19

Delighted Steve Kittrick was as pleased as punch after Matlock knocked Conference National Chorley out of the Buildbase FA Trophy in their own back yard.

Tuesday night’s penalty shoot out win was deserved. They had never been behind in the two games and the Magpies only took the replay to a penalty shoot out after a twice taken spot kick, converted by Chris Holroyd after Dan Wallis had kept out Holroyd’s first shot.

“I spoke with the referee about it and he said he’s told the players to keep out of the box but three of our lads went in” Kittrick explained.

But it all turned out okay in the end despite drama in the shoot out. Matlock scored their first four, Chorley missed their opener but converted the next three so the fifth one for each side would be crucial. When Jordan Sinnott shot over the bar Chorley appeared to have another lifeline, but Holroyd also skied his kick and after an uncomfortable delay the referee whistled to confirm Matlock’s epic win and the celebrations could begin.

“I thought we played really well, we had a different sort of game plan from Saturday. We again frustrated them but we were organised and we worked extremely hard in a 4-4-2 They (Chorley) changed to a 4-3-3. We played some good stuff, they played in front of us although both goalkeepers made some very good saves said Kittrick.

The Matlock boss admitted he thought Marcus Marshall’s 110th minute diving header was the winner. “I thought we’d done it but then we gave away a stupid penalty but the lads deserved it. Over the two games they’ve been awesome and there’s been many many great performances. Dan Wallis has done great in goal, the back four and particularly the two centre halves have been immense. The midfield players never stopped working as did our strikers so it’s been a great night.”

Strangely Matlock will play just six miles further up the road than Chorley on Saturday when they travel to Bamber Bridge in the league.

Matlock beat Brig 1-0 on the first day of the season thanks to a first half Marcus Marshall goal and will be keen to secure their first league double of the campaign.

“What we have to do now is to take our excellent cup form into our league games so we can get the points we need to get back up that table. We only had fourteen fit players on Tuesday night and at te end of the day they didn’t look out of place in two games against a Conference National side. That’s the big thing for me.”

Captain Adam Yates is the latest casualty after limping off with hamstring trouble last weekend. He was unable to take part on Tuesday.

“We’ll see how he is on Thursday but we should be able to recall Jack Rea and Piteu Crouz at Bamber Bridge. We know it’ll be tough especially now with a new manager who’s a good lad and will have them playing the right way.”

Matlock’s reward for seeing off Chorley is a trip to another Conference National side in Eastleigh. The Spitfires are based on the outskirts of Southampton and lie in 13th spot in the division.

“There’s a lot of time yet before that big game but we’ll go there with a plan and see where that takes us. First of all it’s bamber Bridge and that’s all we’ll be concentrating on,” said Kittrick who also thanked the small but vocal band of fans who made the trip to Chorley.

“It was good to hear them shouting us on, the weather wasn’t great and it’s an awkward time of year, so a big pat on the back and a huge thank you to them”

It is the second time in three seasons Matlock have reached the 2nd Round Proper of the FA Trophy. In 2016/17 they beat Solihull Moors away before losing at Barrow. In 2012/13 Mansfield Town were beaten after a replay.

Ian Richardson