Atkins happy with first win

Mark Atkins
Mark Atkins

Manager Mark Atkins was delighted with the way his Matlock Town side bounced back from their opening day defeat with a fine win at home on Tuesday night.

After the disappointment in losing at newly-promoted Trafford on Saturday, the Gladiators roared to an emphatic 3-0 victory over Stocksbridge Park Steels in front of their own fans three days later.

“We were all aware that Saturday wasn’t good enough and we therefore only knew too well how important winning our first home game was after Saturday,” said Atkins.

“We want to try and make our home games really difficult for opposing clubs and I thought against Stocksbridge we were strong and played some fine attacking football. I also think we were unlucky only to win 3-0.

“What also pleased me was the clean sheet. Their ploy was to get balls into the box and we defended them very well.”

New signing Daryll Thomas added to the season’s opener at Trafford with a brace in midweek, while Matlock’s other scorer was Lavell White.

White, signed from Eastwood Town in February, has often flattered to deceive in games to date for his latest club, but Atkins has kept the faith with him and praised both scorers against Stocksbridge.

“Daryll’s an out and out goalscorer, he knows where the goal is, that’s three in two games now.

“He’s missed a bit of pre-season but we know he’s got an eye for a goal and we hope that will carry on.

“Lavell’s done well and on Tuesday he was great. We set up differently and bringing in Lavell added pace to the team and we created a lot of chances that were not taken.”

Atkins is hoping Matlock can maintain the intensity from Tuesday in their Bank Holiday programme which sees Nantwich Town visit the Reynolds Stadium on Saturday before the Gladiators face a derby at Worksop Town 48 hours later.

Atkins said: “They’ll be two tough games but really they’re all tough.

“Nantwich have a new manager and a very good one in Danny Johnson who’s also a close friend but I’ll be looking for us to play as we did against Stocksbridge and if we can do that we should be alright.

“We also need to be solid as we were on Tuesday,especially away from home. We’ll need to do that at Worksop where you always have a hard match.”

Atkins will again have to do without the services of five probable first teamers.

Last season’s top scorer Lewis McMahon completes his four game ban with the Worksop trip while James Lukic, Adam Yates, Lee Featherstone and Anton Foster are all on the injured list.

But Atkins has strengthened his squad by signing 19-year-old Glyn Snodin, a midfielder released by Leeds United in the summer.

“He’s a good footballer with a good touch who can see a pass so he’ll be a good asset to the squad,” said Atkins.