Matlock Town boss hails character after wins over Boston United and Derby County U23's
Matlock Town boss Paul Phillips was left pleased by his side’s character after coming from behind to secure wins Boston United and Derby County U23s.
Boston presented Matlock with a physical test against a good side who are expected to do well in the National League North this season.
Matlock were twice behind but a first half Sam Egerton header plus a second half brace from Ross Hannah earner Matlock an excellent victory.
Town fell behind against Derby before an Alex Byrne double saw Matlock home.
Phillips said: “Derby are a fantastic football team who stood up to us physically, I thought we played it too safe early on but when we switched to two up front in the second half we were a different force and could have scored more goals.
"Ross Hannah came on and was absolutely outstanding.
"Boston presented us with a big physical robust test but we had the character to fight back. To be honest we gave away poor goals in both games but we reacted.
"Against Boston Ross has scored two brilliant goals and in the Derby match Alex Byrne’s hit a fantastic free kick and Liam Hughes has done really well to set Al up for the winner.”
Attention now turns to Friday’s visit from Nigel Clough’s Mansfield Town and then the eagerly awaited Chesterfield game on Wednesday night.
The Stags are sending their first team squad to the Proctor Cars Stadium and Phillips is expecting a tough but good game.
“Mansfield will be a different test again, they’re bringing their first team which is fantastic for us,” he added.
“Nigel Clough’s a great manager, his sides always play good football and I can’t praise him enough the great job he did at Burton Albion. So it’ll be a massive test for us, as will the Chesterfield fixture. We’ll get the Mansfield game out of the way first.”
Phillips is happy to play more difficult games as he prepares his squad to have a real go in the NPL Premier Division this term.
He added. “It’s no good having too many games which end up 7-0 or 8-0. “I need to see what people do when we’re up against it so we’re set for anything and everything we could come up against.
"We’ve carefully chosen our opponents in pre season which represents a good mix of differing challenges for us. The big plus for me though is getting good crowds in for the matches we’ve played so far, our fans have been terrific and I’d like to say a big thank you to them for their support.”
Both the Mansfield and Chesterfield games are pay on the gate and both are expected to attract a bumper crowd to the Proctor Cars Stadium. The message from Matlock Town officials is get there early for what should be two excellent entertaining matches.
The Gladiators have a change to their pre season schedule. They will no longer be travelling to Brighouse Town on Saturday 24 July. Instead Matlock have arranged a trip to Newcastle Town with the match having a 1 pm kick off.