the npl

Weekly News - 5/2/20

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Weekly News - 5/2/20

The Paul Phillips era finally got under way this week and it’s been a satisfactory start with four points out of six.

“I’d have preferred the six points” he said after watching Matlock record their best league win of the season scoring four goals without replay against Radcliffe after Saturday’s emotional clash with Hyde United which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Those two results saw Matlock move three places up the league table to 17th ahead of what Phillips expects to be the toughest match of his reign so far at sixth placed Warrington Town on Sunday.

“On Saturday the match was rightly overshadowed in remembering Jordan Sinnott and we went one down in nine minutes to a poor goal from our point of view, their lad reacting the quickest to score after Jon (Stewart) had pushed the free kick out. But I can’t recall Hyde having many more shots and I was very pleased with how we recovered and we did enough to win the game. “

Piteu Crouz equalised seven minutes into the second half with Matlock also striking the woodwork twice and having two good penalty appeals turned down.

Crouz was on target again against Radcliffe with the Gladiators’ second goal to add to Nathan Valentine’s header before substitutes James Tague and assistant manager Brian Wilson on his debut scored late on against Radcliffe’s ten men.

“ In the Radcliffe game I thought we showed a great willingness to work, we put our bodies on the line and worked as a team. We could have scored five or six. Radcliffe have some good footballers, we knew they’d try to play that way. So we set traps to pick them off, we kept our shape and worked hard off the ball”..

The clean sheet in the Radcliffe game was the Gladiators first in the league since a 3-0 win at Whitby on September 28.

“I’m really pleased with that, we should have kept a clean sheet on Saturday. It’s about working hard all over the pitch, I thought the likes of Chib Chilaka and Tomas Poole did their bit further up the field, we defended well as a

team. Clean sheets are a good habit, if we can keep clean sheets we’ve every chance of winning the game if we can keep these kinds of performances up.”

Looking ahead to the visit to Warrington, Phillips knows his side could face a tough afternoon.

“They always seem to be in and around the play-offs, they’ve got good players and a good manager in Paul Carden and it’ll be our hardest test so far. We’ve got to show the same desire and work as hard as we’ve done to date, we’ll go there as underdogs but we want to test ourselves against the top sides. We’ve got a lot of games on Saturdays and Tuesdays, Sunday and Wednesday this week and we’ve got to keep our energy levels up, freshness in the squad is so important. It’s finding that happy medium of keeping the lads fresh but well drilled. We’ve had two tough tests so far psychologically and mentally, we’ve still got at least twenty games to go this season.”

There were bumps and bruises sustained by a number of players against Radcliffe including Spencer Harris and Nathan Valentine. Harris has a suspected broken nose after a second half clash of heads while Valentine has a tightness around his groin and hamstring. Definitely out at Warrington are Luke Hinsley who aggravated an ankle injury in training last week and Jack Rea who is recovering from an ankle problem, but top scorer Marcus Marshall is available again after completing a two match ban.

Phillips brought in 18 years old midfielder Elliot Goldthorp on work experience from Bradford City and put him straight into the starting line up against Radcliffe.

“ He did well, he’s particularly useful on set pieces and we’ve been missing a trick there” Phillips continued.

Matlock will visit Worksop Town in the Iast sixteen of the Integro Cup on Wednesday and they are also in the semi finals of the Derbyshire Senior Cup on Tuesday week when they play South Normanton Athletic at the Proctor Cars Stadium.

“We want to move on up that league and try and win the two cups. With regard to priorities I want to win every game we play but we know that’s not going to happen. Winning’s a good habit, losing’s a bad habit. Winning the cups would be good for our fans but our priority must be our league status, a club of our stature quite simply can’t afford to go down.”


Matlock Town’s Proctor Cars Stadium is hosting the Matlock Musical Festival 2020 and there’s some big names in the music world set to perform before the Matlock public.

The event is set for the weekend of 11 and 12 July and is the brainchild of Matlock President Dennis Hobson.

The Lightening Seeds are probably the best known act but already confirmed are From The Jam, Pigeon Detectives, The Dualers, The Everly Pregnant Brothers, Kenny Thomas, Missing Andy, Jungle Lion and Risky Heroes.

“We’re delighted to be able to attract such big names to Matlock and the football club” said Mr Hobson.

“We’re a community football club and it’ll be fantastic for people in the local area to see these acts and be part of a major music festival.”

It is expected that around 5000 people will be attending over the two days.

Tickets are on sale now, visit

Ian Richardson