Atkins delighted as Matlock win again

Mark Atkins
Mark Atkins

Mark Atkins was full of praise for his players after their comfortable 3-1 victory at wet and windy Frickley Athletic last Saturday which stretched their unbeaten sequence to five matches, four of which have brought maximum points.

The result keeps Matlock in play-off contention, Atkins’ side now tenth in the table but only five points behind fifth-placed Ashton United on whom the Gladiators also have a game in hand.

And the Blues’ boss was delighted to claim three points.

He said: “It was a great result given the tough, horrible conditions with the very strong wind blowing straight down the ground.

“We talked about getting in front with the elements in our favour. We scored twice and could have had three or four.

“In the second-half we stuck to our task, got an early goal and then kept the ball very well, passing our way out from the back.

“Everyone worked hard and believe me, they’re the worst conditions to play in.”

Shaun Tuton scored twice before being taken off midway through the second-half.

“Shaun’s got lots of energy, he’s very willing and does a lot of good things so we’re delighted for him in getting two goals,” Atkins explained.

“Having been booked though and then spoken to by the referee we decided to take him off as there was no point in risking a sending off at 3-0 up.”

Matlock host Grantham Town on Saturday just five weeks after the clubs fought out a 1-1 draw at the South Kesteven Stadium when James Ashmore volleyed the Gladiators ahead on the stroke of half-time before a Gary King spot kick levelled matters up 12 minutes from the end.

“They’re a big strong side and having played them recently we know what we’re going to get,” said Atkins.

“We’ll need to match that then try and get the ball down and play our football.

“We’re playing well, we’ve been solid defensively and in the last month we’ve been taking enough chances to see us home. It’s a matter now of taking one game at a time and seeing where it takes us.”

Atkins has no new injury worries in what he admits is a small squad.

“I’ve no immediate plans to bring anyone in as the lads are doing well at present but we do have one or two irons in the fire should injuries strike,” he added.

Matlock will follow the Grantham clash with a trip to Rushall Olympic on Saturday, February 22.