Matlock Town still lead the way ahead of FA Trophy clash
Matlock Town boss Paul Phillips felt a draw was about the right outcome from Saturday’s 0-0 stalemate at Morpeth Town.
The Gladiators still lead the NPL Premier Division table on goal difference, although Buxton are now a point behind with a game in hand. Matlock have an FA Trophy tie at home to Marske United on the horizon this weekend.
And Phillips felt time will tell as to whether Saturday’s point was a good one.
He said: "I thought it was a cagey game from start to finish. I think we had the better of the chances that were created.
"I just thought the emphasis was on them a bit more to come out and have a go at us.
"We had some half-chances in the first half. I don't think we kept the ball well enough. We didn't move the ball well enough. I felt like Morpeth were happy to play for the point.
"We didn't get enough on the front foot in the second-half. Is it a good point? I can only tell you at the end of the season. For me, again, we've got to do a little bit more in the final third."
On his recent new signings, made before the weekend’s game, Phillips said: "I think it was hard for Luke Daly and Luke Hall today.
"They only started training with us last Thursday evening. They're both not too familiar yet with how we want to play. We've got to find a way of fitting these players in to give us that little bit of balance and quality.
"The more you see of them, hopefully the better they will become. I think we've seen that progression in the likes of Matt Sargent, who's now started the last two or three games.”
Looking ahead, Phillips expects a tough test from Marske who are currently top of NPL East – a division below the Gladiators.
He said: “Marske are a good team going forward. We weren't at our best at Morpeth and I'm sure they'll have sent someone from the club to watch us and do their homework.
"They're definitely looking to get promoted from out of their division. They're doing really well this season.
"We need to get on the front foot and be more ruthless and calculated in the final third of the pitch than what we were at Morpeth.
"It should be a good game and if we can do what we know we can do, then we know we can get through to the next round."