Hopkins: Maximum points might not be enough for play-offs

Matlock Town manager, Craig Hopkins.
Matlock Town manager, Craig Hopkins.

Matlock Town joint boss Craig Hopkins know his side will need maximum points from their final three games if they are to have a chance of the play-offs.

Victory at Hednesford last Saturday kept Matlock Town’s hopes alive, but results elsewhere both last weekend and on Tuesday night has not favoured them.

Even then, the Gladiators are relying on play off rivals dropping points and Hopkins admitted that “even nine out of nine might not be enough.”

On Saturday, all of the contenders for that final play-off slot won, bar Warrington Town who lost at home to Stafford Rangers.

Then in midweek, Workington crucially beat Buxton and even though they are in eighth, they are probably favourites as they have three of their remaining four matches at home to struggling sides. Grantham were winners at Coalville while a last gasp penalty was enough for Whitby to win at Mickleover.

Hopkins said: “It’s important we do our part and make sure we win on Saturday to start with and see how the league table looks then for it can change with every game with it being so tight.

“You never know in this league, bottom can beat top, you’re not guaranteed the points.”

That point is emphasised when looking at Matlock’s first Easter opponents, Sutton Coldfield Town. Matlock travel to the artificial Coles Lane surface knowing that the Royals beat Spennymoor there last weekend and earlier in the campaign, Sutton recovered from a two goal deficit to beat newly crowned champions Blyth Spartans 3-2.

“Sutton are in brilliant form especially at home so it’ll be a difficult game on Saturday. But we must go there looking for the win and hopefully the break we’ve had this week will do us good,” he added.

“We had a nice training session on Tuesday, a good get together and afterwards the club treated us all to fish and chips which was spot on.

“We didn’t play particularly well against Hednesford, especially in the first half but we had a chat at half time saying we had to do things quicker and in the second half we were better and deservedly won.

“I can’t recall Barnesy having to make a save, defensively we worked really hard so 2-0 was comfortable and in the end pleasing.”

Matlock face a massive derby at Buxton on Easter Monday afternoon.