the npl

Weekly News - 27.12.22

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Weekly News - 27.12.22

New Matlock Town boss Martin Carruthers could not have dreamt of a more satisfying start to his tenure at the Proctor Cars Stadium as the Gladiators thumped A6 Derbyshire rivals Belper Town on Boxing Day.

A 4-0 scoreline in front of a massive 1755 crowd, which totally eclipsed the 1001 at Ilkeston in the Southern League Premier Central and the 701 who watched Alfreton entertain Buxton in National League North. Could he have asked for more?

Not really although he did admit that there is room for improvement in the overall performance ahead of the New Year visit to high flying Gainsborough Trinity on Monday afternoon (3pm).

“I couldn’t really have asked for anything better, a good win in a local derby in front of a big crowd” said Carruthers.

“The lads gave a good account of themselves considering there’d been illness in the camp. We lost Jamie Sharman and then JJ (John Johnston) was forced to pull out during the warm-up. The reaction we got from the lads was absolutely fabulous and to see the whole club and the community down I their numbers backing their side was really great to see.”

Carruthers made his first two signings in the days leading up to the match with Matlock legend Adam yates returning to the fold to slip seamlessly into a back three and seventeen year old striker Zander Duhameau coming in on loan from Chesterfield having impressed on his Spireites first team debut a week earlier against Coalville Town in the FA Trophy.There were departures though with striker Kallan Murphy moving to Guiseley, defender Akeem Hinds joining Stafford Rangers and while the Christmas festivities were on, striker Kieran Brown going to Hanley Town citing travel issues from his Crewe home.

“Yatesy was fantastic, particularly considering he hadn’t trained due to illness, he has a great attitude and put in a great performance., just what you’d expect from him. Zander was outstanding, his workrate was top notch and he put in a real shift which was really pleasing.”

The Gladiators scored within two minutes to rattle their neighbours with a magnificent team goal from Jordan Barnett. .

“To get a goal of that quality early on is something you dream about. A great ball from Yatesy, Zander and Eddie Church playing key parts, Jorome with the dummy and Jordan on the end of the move to apply the finish, absolutely fantastic. “

Although Carruthers believes the squad only needs some minor tweaks, he is nevertheless looking to build his squad . well aware that tougher tests than Belper are on the horizon, starting at Gainsborough.

Seven day approaches have already gone in on prospective signings with more to follow.

“I’m trying to look at all sorts of positions, every position on the park. Some players might not want to come to us, you can approach four or five and get only one. That said I’m delighted with the squad, they’re a great set of lads. They’ve got a great attitude, so its minor tweaks for me for it’s crucial we don’t upset the applecart and make our current players unhappy. Of course I’m looking at players who can improve us but if I can’t I’ll go with what we’ve got.”

Looking specifically at the Gainsborough trip, Carruthers says the Holy Blues are a force to be reckoned with, lying in 3rd spot, two points better off than the Gladiators who are seventh at the midway point of the campaign.

“We won 4-0 but rode our luck a bit, it was our day. Gainsborough tjough are a real force this season, so we need to be more switched on and be better focused defensively as there were one or two large holes appearing. We certainly need to eradicate this when we train later this week before Gainsborough.”

Carruthers was overwhelmed by the turnout from the fans on Boxing Day, the 1755 through the gate being unsurprisingly Matlock’s best attendance of the season.

“I was surprised there was that many but it shows there’s a real excitement around the club which is great to see. I’d like to think after seeing a 4-0 win. We’ll get a good many of them back for future games. I’d like to thank each and every one of them for providing a really nice atmosphere, talking to them afterwards in the bar shows there’s a real passion for the club and it was great to get to know people.”

The Matlock chief is looking to extend the loan of striker Eddie Church from Bradford (Park Avenue). Church netted a brace against the Nailers and has three in total so far having grabbed the opener in the recent 2-2 draw at home to Radcliffe. The Gladiators also now have defender Jaz Goundry on loan from Grimsby Town for the rest of the season after his initial one month stay.

Matlock officials have organised a fans forum in the Shorts Lounge to allow fans to have their say on all matters Matlock Town. It will take place on Monday 9 January (7.30pm) with Carruthers and leading Town officials present to answer fans’ questions.

Chairman Jay Beaumont says that the forum gives fans the opportunity not only to address the manager but to ask general questions relating to the management of the club.

“It’s something I’ve been keen to get organised for some time now, but there’s been so much happening that time has been a problem. We really value our fans who have backed us magnificently during the past couple of years with attendances having increased this season. So this is your chance to ask the manager and us the questions you want and to say what’s been on your mind for some time.”

Ian Richardson