Matlock Town's welcome return to walking wounded
Matlock Town hope their walking wounded are returning at just the right time.
Callum Chippendale and Craig King both featured off the bench during Tuesday's FA Cup exit against Guiseley.
And as four suspensions will kick in next Tuesday, they could well be needed.
Liam Hughes, Kade Coppin and Adam Yates will all begin suspensions ahead of Tuesday's contest at Grantham Town following their dismissals, while Ryan Qualter will alkso miss out after picking up five bookings.
The quartet will all be eligible to travel to South Shields on Saturday.
Attacking midfielder Chippendale got his first competitive run out in a Matlock shirt as a substitute after picking up a knee injury in the Gladiators' final pre season game at Tamworth on September 5.
King, injured in the FA Cup win over OJM Black Country Rangers also played for the final 13 minutes.
“Getting Chippy and Kingy back on the field’s a big positive for us and we’ll need them now with the suspensions” Phillips added.
“I’m just so annoyed at what’s happened, the lads had prepared well for the game and we were raring to go and get a good result, even with this situation we’re in of having to play (the) game with no fans in."
Phillips was happier on Saturday when Matlock beat one of his former clubs, Ashton United, 4-1 in the league.
A Declan Walker penalty on four minutes put Matlock in front and although Ben Hardcastle equalised for the club Phillips played for and managed, a bizarre own goal from Michael Raynes gave Town a 2-1 half time advantage. Strikes from Alex Byrne and Hughes rounded off the scoring in the second half.
“We did the right things at the right times, it was a very good win against a very good side," Phillips said. "It was great to see a good crowd in (532), nearly 600 people have been down socially distanced and it’s great to see.
"We’ve got a tough game on Saturday at South Shields, who for me are the best team in the league. We’ll make sure we recover in time and give it our best shot again.”