Paul Phillips blasts 'gutless' Matlock Town after defeat to Whitby Town
Matlock boss Paul Phillips labelled the Gladiators display as ”gutless” as the slipped disappointingly to a second successive home league defeat to sixth placed Whitby.
“We were gutless and gave away three horrendous goal,” he said.
"People didn’t win their personal battles, people didn’t take responsibility for what the needed to do and that’s down to me to sort out.
Soni Fergus beat Shaun Rowley to leave Matlock trailing inside the first three minutes.
The lead was doubled on 27 minutes. A pass down the left deflected off the covering Alex Byrne to drop perfectly for Bradley Fewster to bury an easy chance with a crisp low finish past the unprotected Rowley.
It took until the 29th minute for Matlock to create an opening, a Greaves header being deflected wide for a corner. At least Matlock now were enjoying more possession and in a good spell up to the interval, they halved their deficit when Kendall’s header was only half cleared to Byrne on the right.
The number seven swung in an inviting cross which Greaves met with a firm downward header to give the Gladiators hope two minutes before the break.
The hope was that Matlock could push on in the second half but it was a quiet start in terms of chances, Wiles striking a crisp shot which was well saved by Shane Bland being the first in the 56th minute.
But then it was Whitby who twice came close to a third goal as Matlock uncharacteristically looked all at sea defensively. Harry Green had two chances in four minutes.
Jesurun Uchegbulam replaced Greaves at the midway point of the half, but Matlock’s comeback hopes took a huge blow in the 70th minute when a howler from Rowley who knocked his clearance straight to Green ended with a simple tap from 20 yards.
Rowley atoned somewhat for that gaffe by pulling off a good save from Marcus Giles before Matlock made their final change.
Uchegbulam set up a potential grandstand finish when he left a sleeping Whitby defence for dead to lift a calm finish over Bland with seven minutes still remaining.
But Matlock didn’t have the quality to force an equaliser after failing to perform in front of an impressive 753 attendance.