The Matlock Town Fan: Lady Luck deserts Gladiators in trip to Blyth Spartans


Hello readers and welcome to my new column that you can only find in the Matlock Mercury, in what I hope will become a weekly delight for your sight, I’ll be giving a fans view of all the goings-on at Causeway Lane.

Firstly, let me introduce you to myself, my name is James Griffiths and I’ve watched Matlock Town for the majority of my 21 years on this planet, a love for the club that has spread through the ages in my family and started with my Nan who passed it on to my father and that love of the club then found its way to me.

We start this week with Blyth Spartans away, which is three hours from Matlock, and for me began with a 7.30am wake up call followed by arriving at the ground at 8.30am to board the club coach with players, officials and other fans as the quest for three points began.

It was a pleasant journey on the whole with plenty of chat about the upcoming fixture and a fun quiz designed to pass the time which it did just nicely.

We arrived in Blyth around 12.30pm and had a little wander around the place, luckily finding a cafe that served a three course meal - and I wasn’t going to turn that down after an early start.

But my eyes were squarely on the time as I counted down the minutes to kick off and after banishing my hunger and a short walk to the ground it was time for kick off.

The game itself was a difficult one to call with Matlock pushing hard early on and Phil Roe having a glorious chance to put the Gladiators ahead, but the keeper saved well.

Then Blyth hit on the break and their nippy winger crossed it into the big man in the middle who obliged by powering a header home, a blow to the trip and game no doubt but we just seem to struggle from set pieces sadly and after a good start we went into the break a goal down.

It did nothing to stop the Matlock faithful, who were in fine voice as normal, singing their hearts out and getting behind the lads.

The second half had much of a similar feel with Matlock battling hard but still struggling to cause any issues for the Blyth goalie and with us all stood head in hands.

Matlock’s fox in the box Massiah McDonald got hold of the ball and poked it across the box, which somehow a Blyth defender managed to put into is own goal, the bit of luck we deserved finally appeared.

Can we win this? Has lady luck finally shown up in her Matlock Town shirt? But it was not lady luck, sadly it was the fat lady and she was in fine voice as Blyth went ahead once more with a move that looked suspiciously offside from where I stood, but finished with James Lukic scoring in his own goal. It was a brutal blow in a game that I thought at the time we had every chance to go on and win, but try how we might to fight back and get a point it just wasn’t to be and we left Blyth with no points.

The coach drive home was much more sedate than the journey to the game with people tired from what had been a long day although the driver and his hydraulic seat managed to raise a few smiles on the way home, nothing could banish the thoughts of ‘what if’ and ‘on another day’ but that’s football and I’m confident that we’ll soon find our luck and get back in the saddle, hopefully beginning on Saturday against the visiting Grantham Town.

By James Griffiths