Win over Lynn should secure Matlock’s safety

Ted Cribley has had his loan extended until the end of the season having impressed since arriving in February.
Ted Cribley has had his loan extended until the end of the season having impressed since arriving in February.

Boss Mark Hume says survival in Matlock Town’s own hands as the season nears its conclusion.

Matlock appear to be within sight of the finishing line in their race to beat relegation, now being three points clear of the relegation zone with just two games remaining at home to King’s Lynn and then away to Ramsbottom United on the final day.

Tuesday night’s goalless draw at Blyth Spartans made it five points from nine for Mark Hume’s men against play-off chasing opposition, following on from an Easter programme which saw them gain a point from another scoreless draw at home to Buxton after an excellent 3-1 win at Barwell.

Now boss Hume shares the sentiment of the Matlock fans in ensuring his side continue with their recent good work and finish the job off.

Safety is not yet certain in one of the tightest relegation battles imaginable, but as Hume emphasised: “It’s in our hands, it’s up to us.

“Other club’s fixtures don’t concern me. I want us to carry on the performance levels we showed against Barwell, Buxton and Blyth into our last two matches. It’s what we do that matters.

“Look at the teams we’ve played in this little unbeaten run, all challenging for the play-offs. People questioned whether the team were capable of challenging and beating the higher-placed teams during the winning run against teams around us in February. I wondered whether they could as well, and they’ve proved they can.”

A win on Saturday would virtually rubber stamp their survival and another win at Ramsbottom would make doubly sure.

Hume said the Blyth draw was: “A very good team performance.

“We fully deserved the point, in fact we had chances to win it and we’ve forced the goalkeeper into some good saves, but they’ve had chances towards the end.

“It’s a very difficult place to visit, their crowd turn up the volume and you have to be strong. But now we’re looking quite solid after an iffy couple of games. we stood up very well to their late pressure.

“Jon Kennedy’s made a couple of top draw saves but earlier we could so easily have been in front.”

Nicky Travis, Niall McManus and Danny Holland all picked up knocks at Blyth but Hume expects them all to be fit to take on King’s Lynn.

Liam Needham did not travel north, his hamstring in jury being given more time to recover as he will be needed for the Ramsbottom trip when Travis is suspended and for the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final two days later when Travis is ineligible.

It may be that Needham will remain on the sidelines against the Linnets who Hume expects will provide his side with a tough assignment.

A victory would take Matlock above King’s Lynn in the table and give them a fourth league double of the season.

“We won there last month but they came off feeling pretty hard done to, so we must be ready for them as they’ll want to right a few wrongs from that match.” Hume warned.

Meanwhile, midfielder Ted Cribley’s loan period from Barrow has been extended until April 30, confirming his eligibility for Town for the rest of the campaign including the Senior Cup Final.

Cribley has produced some impressive displays since initially signing in February.