‘Sheffield United loans have been fantastic for us,’ says Matlock boss Hume

Derbyshire County FA Senior Challenge Cup Final. Gresley and Matlock Town. Pictured for Matlock is Jamie McDonagh being presented with Man of the Match.
Derbyshire County FA Senior Challenge Cup Final. Gresley and Matlock Town. Pictured for Matlock is Jamie McDonagh being presented with Man of the Match.
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As far as weeks go, this one will live long in the memory of Mark Hume and Matlock Town Football Club.

Hume completed the Gladiators’ transformation with a 14th place finish in the NPL Premier Division on Saturday and added a Derbyshire Senior Cup Final win on Monday.

Derbyshire County FA Senior Challenge Cup Final. Gresley and Matlock Town. Winning team - Matlock Town.

Derbyshire County FA Senior Challenge Cup Final. Gresley and Matlock Town. Winning team - Matlock Town.

An astonishing 7-0 win over Gresley at the Proact Stadium saw Jamie McDonagh bag a hat-trick and Otis Khan, Adam Yates, Niall McManus and a Matthew Roome own goal complete the rout.

Winning the relegation battle was always Hume’s chief aim, Matlock did that with a win to spare and topped off their league campaign with an efficient 1-0 win at Ramsbottom on Saturday.

The Senior Cup triumph, with Hume only at the helm for less than half a season, was the icing on the cake.

“First thing’s first, it was important to finish our league games on a high and we did that at Ramsbottom” said Hume.

Derbyshire County FA Senior Challenge Cup Final. Gresley and Matlock Town. Pictured for Matlock is Jamie McDonagh - goal celebration.

Derbyshire County FA Senior Challenge Cup Final. Gresley and Matlock Town. Pictured for Matlock is Jamie McDonagh - goal celebration.

Even Hume, a demanding boss, could not have expected the demolition job Matlock carried out on their South Derbyshire opponents to lift the county trophy.

But their success was probably deserved given Matlock’s difficult route to the final, which even in a nervous season, has seen them beat play -off chasing Buxton, Conference side Alfreton Town and then in the semi-final knock out FA Vase finalists and North West Counties League champions Glossop North End.

Reflecting on the final, Hume said: “We were a little bit off in the first 15 minutes or so but we changed things around a bit and in the second half we were so much better.

“At first the pitch was a little too good for us, we’re not used to ones like this in our league but once we did get used to it, there was no stopping us, it suited our pact attacking play and we were superb going forward.”

Derbyshire County FA Senior Challenge Cup Final. Gresley and Matlock Town. Pictured for Matlock is Liam Needham.

Derbyshire County FA Senior Challenge Cup Final. Gresley and Matlock Town. Pictured for Matlock is Liam Needham.

McDonagh was unplayable and he left Town fans with brilliant memories in what looks like being his last game for Matlock.

The Northern Ireland U21s international, along with fellow loanees from Sheffield United in Julian Banton and Otis Khan will return to Bramall Lane with glowing references from Hume.

“For Jamie it was the perfect way to go out and the Sheffield United lads have been fantastic for us,” said Hume.

“I can’t thank and praise Chris Morgan and his staff there enough for their help. We’ve got something out of them being here, but the players and Sheffield have as well.

Derbyshire County FA Senior Challenge Cup Final. Gresley and Matlock Town. Pictured for Matlock is Josh Meade.

Derbyshire County FA Senior Challenge Cup Final. Gresley and Matlock Town. Pictured for Matlock is Josh Meade.

“We’ve got a good relationship with Sheffield United, so I’m hopeful we’ll get other players coming our way, Otis, Jamie and Julian now probably have got to go to a higher level, say Conference or League Two, they are good enough that’s for sure.”

Hume though was keen to praise all of his squad and the Matlock fans.

“I need to congratulate all of the players for they’ve been magnificent, this cup win has capped off a perfect reign for me so far.

“But, although the lads will have time off in the summer, I’ll be working on next season’s squad and I can tell you that’s already started. I don’t want us in the position we were in during January.

“When I came everyone started with a clean slate and the lads here now have all stepped up to the plate, winning the cup is a good reward for them. The fans also have been fantastic, even when we had that dodgy spell in March when results didn’t go our way, so I’m delighted for them as well that we’ve stayed up and won some silverware.”

Matlock Town: Kennedy, Harcourt, Radford, Meade (Khan 46), Yates, Banton, Cribley (Sabo 83), Needham, McDonagh, Holland, McManus. Subs not used: Maxfield, Black, Pugh.

Referee: Nick Hopton (Derby). Attendance: 751. Best Gladiator: Jamie McDonagh.