Gladiators: Matlock boss Mark Atkins fuming after Ilkeston awarded late penalty

NDET 30-4-13 MC 44'Mark Atkins
NDET 30-4-13 MC 44'Mark Atkins

Matlock boss Mark Atkins was left fuming as to how his side were in front at the death in Tuesday night’s Derbyshire Senior Cup Final against Ilkeston, yet ended up losing 2-1.

It was partly brilliance and partly awful refereeing according to Atkins whose side looked to be heading for a second County Cup triumph under his stewardship.

He said: “It was definitely not a penalty and to make a decision like that when there’s 18 players in the 18-yard box is scandalous, you have to be 100 per cent sure to make them.

“Yatesy was pushed quite clearly in his back as he went up for the ball and the ball’s hit his hand, it was a foul the other way and a very simple decision for the referee to make.

“But officials at this level don’t seem to be bothered and the most disappointing and frustrating thing is that when I went to see him afterwards to ask why he’d given it, he wouldn’t tell me which goes against everything he said in the pre match chat.”

Matlock finish the season with no silverware in their trophy cabinet, when they looked like bringing the cup back over the A632. While he bemoaned the referee, he was full of praise for his team.

“It was an excellent performance,” added Atkins. “We were the better side by far and had four opportunities to go in front in the first half alone.

“If I’ve got one criticism it’s that we sat back once we scored and it allowed them to put balls into our box.

“It does sum our season up, we again had no luck. I feel for the lads and the fans tonight who were magnificent.”

The season ends this weekend with Matlock almost certain to finish in 17th spot, irrespective of their results in tonight’s (Thursday) final home game against Worksop and Saturday’s visit to Kendal Town who are all but mathematically relegated.