by James Griffiths
Matlock Town were once more counting the silver linings after two defeats in a week against strong league oppostion in North Ferriby United and Witton Albion.
Ferriby are arguably the best side in the league and put two goals past Matlock’s second choice custodian Nick Buxton.
That was after a goalless first-half which saw Buxton pull off several good saves, but it would be ex-Matlock man Liam King who would open the scoring past his former assistant gaffer with a tidy finish.
A second goal soon put the game to bed, although Matlock had their chances and Lewis McMahon could’ve put the Gladiators ahead with the score at 0-0, but on reflection it was a deserved Ferriby win.
Saturday came and a visit to Witton Albion was on the cards but Matlock went behind in six minutes and 17-year-old goalkeeper Matt Leese would concede a further two goals as the match finished 3-0.
To his credit, debutant Leese pulled off some good saves and is clearly one for the future in gaffer Mark Atkins’ eyes.
Now to those silver linings I referred to.
Matlock are safe from relegation no matter what else happens in the league, which given the slew of injuries, including Oscar Radford who had made his long awaited return from injury in the North Ferriby game, and Micky Harcourt, is most welcome.
Both new knocks came early on against Witton, but that’s just how the cards have fallen for this year and I think the summer rest will do a tired side a lot of good.
Let’s not forget that a chance to call ourselves the “Pride of Derbyshire” is still on the table on April 30 at The Proact Stadium, Chesterfield.
Finally, my congratulations go out to Mansfield Town who clinched the Blue Square Premier title and will be making their way back to the Football League for next season.
This alone shows even more what a momentous achievement it was by Matlock who administered one of only 13 defeats the Stags suffered this season, also shows that when injuries aren’t affecting the squad and we have a stable team and a strong fanbase in the Gladiator Nation, just anything is possible when it comes to Matlock Town FC.