Matlock boss Mark Hume is challenged striker Joel Purkiss to improve on the ugly side of his game.
Purkiss put the Gladiators in front in last Saturday’s home FA Trophy victory over Gresley and Hume says now is the time to show he can back up that quality with the ugly side of the game.
Purkiss latched on to a tame clearance by visiting goalkeeper Callum Ferrie just inside the Gresley half to turn and lob exquisitely home from 45 yards for a goal that was the talk of social media.
“That’s Joel all over, missing one from nearly on the goal line and then scoring from the half way line,” said Hume.
“He has great technique and ability, that’s why I brought him to the club, he just needs to put the workrate in on a more consistent basis.
“Now we’re hoping that by getting a run in the side and working hard the goals will come for him.
“He’s got all the talent and he’s a great lad in the dressing room, but he needs to work hard and keep putting a shift in, His fitness is getting better and that should help him to do that.”
Purkiss’ hopes of a more regular place were boosted when loanee Sam Smith returned to Alfreton to take part in their 1-1 draw at AFC Telford last weekend. But Hume added that he will be speaking to players he has submitted seven day notices for this week, but it seems that the ball is very much in Purkiss’ court.
Goalscoring remains a headache for Matlock who could easily have been out of sight and on course to repeat their 7-0 Derbyshire Senior Cup Final win against the Moatmen at Chesterfield last April, had they converted some gilt edged chances.
Added Hume: “We could and probably should have had five goals in the first half.
“It was the same old thing, creating chances but not taking them, but because we’re creating them I feel we’re going to click very soon.
“To be fair Gresley deserve a lot of credit for their second half performance, they made it hard for us while also we stopped doing the things we’d done so well before half time. They probably knew they had to be better else they’d have been on the end of a hiding.”
Monday’s draw for the next stage was unkind to Matlock who must travel to Barnsley -based Shaw Lane Aquaforce, who ply their trade in the Evo-Stik NPL First Division South.
Meanwhile Hume was delighted that his three loan signings from Sheffield United last season have found themselves loan deals with National League Premier clubs.
Defender Julian Banton has been with FC Halifax Town for several weeks while last Friday striker Jamie McDonagh went to Chester and winger Otis Khan joined Barrow.