Matlock Town complete trio of signings - and still want a striker

Action from Matlock Town v Colwyn Bay. Ted Cribley celebrates after scoring for Matlock.
Action from Matlock Town v Colwyn Bay. Ted Cribley celebrates after scoring for Matlock.
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Mark Hume was busy ahead of last weekend’s 1-1 home draw with Colwyn Bay bringing in three players and releasing defender Oscar Radford.

Experienced Belper skipper Laurie Wilson was the first to sign and two loanees quickly followed in attacking midfielder Jordan Deacey from Boston United and full back Jason Paling from Alfreton Town.

Hume said: “Laurie has the experience and know-how, he’ll be a good asset as he fits in well with how we want to play.

“Jordan can play up front but he’s best as an attacking midfielder who I know from my days at Bradford Park Avenue whose Dad John is manager there.

“He had a bit of an up and down season last year but he’s a good number ten. Jason can also play in midfield so that gives us options in there, and we’ll see what happens when Micky Harcourt’s free from suspension.”

Hume’s striking partnership against Colwyn was Ted Cribley, who headed the Gladiators’ equaliser, and Niall McManus.

“People are saying we didn’t start with any strikers on Saturday but Ted’s well capable of playing there as he showed us. He played 20-plus games there for Hyde in Conference North last season,” said Hume.

“Niall’s an attacking forward player and he’ll get better and better once he’s found his feet, he’ll be a real handful. I think he’ll rip some team to pieces soon, it’s just around the corner.”

The Matlock boss has though confirmed his striker search is not over.

“To be honest we need both a striker and another permanent defender,” he said. “Good strikers are like gold dust. In this division at present there’s probably the lad Mitchley at Skelmersdale but he won’t come to us.

“In our location there’s no-one really banging in the goals in this league or the one below and I refuse to waste money by bringing in just anyone.”

On Radford’s departure, Hume added: “We’ve brought three players in and as a club we can’t afford to have players sat in the stand, having Oscar sat there would be no good for Oscar or Matlock Town.

“He’s had a difficult start to the season so a move for him is probably best all round and we thank him for his contribution here and wish him well in the future.”

In a fixture change announced by the league late last week, Matlock visit second bottom Grantham Town on Saturday in a game moved from last Tuesday.

The Gingerbreads have yet to win this season but Hume will take nothing for granted, particularly with Harcourt completing his suspension, Nicky Travuis starting his ban for his red card at home to Whitley Bay, and Cribley being doubtful with an ankle injury which forced him off after an hour last weekend.

“The league’s so tight, last Saturday I think there were eight teams on 14 points, it’s so open, there’s no poor sides in the division and we’ve got to go there and get on with it,” said Hume.

The Gladiators are on their travels again on Tuesday night at Mickleover Sports, managed by former Matlock duo Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins, and likely to include more former Gladiators in Massiah MacDonald, Anthony Griffiths-Junior, Jack Broadhead and Charlie Dawes in their side.

The Colwyn Bay draw extended matlock’s winless run to five matches.

Hume added: “I thought we played some really good football in the first half but again made a daft mistake for their goal. Then in the second half we tended to go too long, we chased it a bit so we struggled.

“We need to stay patient and we’ll be okay, but also we have to cut out those individual mistakes.”