Massiah proves an instant hit

Having brought in striker Massiah McDonald on loan last week, Matlock boss Mark Atkins hopes to have another arrival ahead of tough tests at North Ferriby United on Saturday and at home to Hednesford Town on Tuesday night.

The Gladiators saw off competition from other clubs to sign the former Carlton Town and Alfreton Town striker from Worksop and McDonald proved to be an instant hit with Atkins and the fans with a man-of-the -match performance and scoring debut in the 2-1 FA Trophy win at Eastwood Town last weekend.

“I’ve had my eye on him for a while and tried to get him in last season but he signed a contract at Worksop,” Atkins revealed.

“We’ve brought him in on loan for a month with a few clubs after him.

“He had a good debut, was lively and willing to upset defenders by getting in behind them.

“It’s something we’ve missed and he certainly made a difference. The goal he got capped a very good performance.

“He’s been played wide before but I see him as a centre forward and to score the winning goal on his debut was both great for him and for all of us.”

Atkins gave nothing away on the player he hopes to sign this week as he reflected on his side’s win against the Badgers, who struck the Matlock crossbar three times.

“We gave them those and other chances, the defending was still a bit lacksadaisical until we went 2-1 up, then we were excellent.

“We were giving the ball away in silly areas and giving silly free kicks away from which they hit the bar.

Probably it was down to us being nervous, trying to win the ball back too soon.

“It was always going to be a difficult game, we had to stand up to it, that’s why we put Adam Yates into midfield to give us a little more pace and strength.”

Matlock will now host Evo-Stik NPL First Division South side Leek Town in the 2nd Qualifying Round on October 27.

“It’s a home draw so we have to be pleased with it. I don’t know much about them at present but we’ll have them watched once or twice by the time the tie comes around,” Atkins continued.

Conscious that some of his longterm injury victims are on the way back to fitness, Atkins hastily arranged a home friendly against Retford United last night (Wednesday).

“Five or six need games and it gives me a chance to see what the lads that have been sat on the bench a lot recently can offer,” he said.

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“We’re now coming into some games against teams towards the top end of the league who have spent a lot of money. North Ferriby and Hednesford have both been able to sign some good players but we go into the games unbeaten in our last three matches so hopefully that will give us some confidence. I think, and hope we might have turned a corner.”

Former Matlock favourite Liam King should line up in the Ferriby midfield but Matlock may have to do without Glyn Cotton in their engine room. Cotton was suffering from a tight calf last weekend and might have aggravated the injury at Eastwood.

Kane Richards’s loan from Derby has been extended by a further month but Rory Coleman, who played just part of the second half in the 4-0 defeat at FC United of Manchester in August, has been released to join Hinckley United.

If Hednesford draw against Buxton in the FA Cup on Saturday, Tuesday night’s game will be postponed.