Matlock Town boss Dave Hoole encouraged by pre-season performances

Matlock Town v Chesterfield, Dave Hoole
Matlock Town v Chesterfield, Dave Hoole

Matlock Town boss Dave Hoole says he is encouraged by pre-season wins over Gresley and Chesterfield this week.

The 3-0 win at Gresley and the thrilling 4-2 win over a youthful Chesterfield have convinved Hoole his Gladiators side are on the right lines ahead of the new NPL season, which gets under way at home to Lancaster City on August 18.

He said: “Things are starting to come together a bit. Without getting too excited, there’s been glimpses of how we want to play and what we want to do. I was particularly pleased with what we did against Chesterfield.”

Jamie Jackson, Billy Whitehead (his first senior goal) and Michael Williams were on a target on a parched Gresley pitch on Saturday before Jordan Chappell, Jackson, Kieren Watson and Williams scored against the Spireites on Monday night.

“The pitch was a great leveller at Gresley, it was a workout for the boys but that’s about as much as I could get out of it,” said Hoole.

“It goes to show how hard our volunteers work at Matlock, our lush pitch is 200 per cent better.”

Hoole enthused about Matlock’s start against Chesterfield, despite falling behind to a Jake Philips own goal.

“We started off really well which is important,” he said. “Their goal came against the run of the play and was one of those unfortunate ones you can do little about if you’re in Jake’s shoes.

“But we kept on knocking the ball about and we got what we deserved. We worked hard and passed the ball well on a good pitch so I’m very happy with the performance and the result.”

Jamie Jackson, on the fringes of the first team last season, seems to be making a concerted effort for inclusion from the start this term.

“I’ve known Jamie for a while and he’s revitalised this season,” added Hoole. “We’ve got him playing football, his confidence is up and his hard work is paying off.”