Statistics probably explain Matlock’s disappointing 14th spot finish in the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division table.
The Gladiators had the ninth best defensive record, conceding 54 goals in their 42 league games. But a meagre total of just 52 in the opposition’s net was the division’s third lowest. They also drew more games than anyone with 14 matches ending all-square.
Manager Mark Atkins believes his side should have done better.
“To finish 14 is disappointing” he conceded. “The squad we had was definitely good enough to finish higher. Our aim was a top ten spot which would have been just about right.”
He agreed that the statistics told the story of their season, when they also only won two league matches away from the Reynolds Stadium.
“Defensively we’ve been spot-on and looked very solid apart from a couple of games when we were slack so it was a good base to build from.
“But we’ve not scored enough goals which, as everyone knows, wins you matches. Losing Ross (Hannah) was a problem for us, losing a player of that calibre would hurt any side.
“We’ve created chances when we’ve been on top in games, but we haven’t been able to put them away, especially away from home when you have to make the most of the chances that come your way. That’s been our achilles heel.
“You can analyse games and say three or four wins when we’ve drawn would have given us say eight more points and a place in the top ten, so it’s a fine line between getting there and not.”
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