Gladiators looking to emulate perfect February

Matlock midfielder Niall McManus is pictured in possession during the 2-1 win over Nantwich on Saturday
Matlock midfielder Niall McManus is pictured in possession during the 2-1 win over Nantwich on Saturday

Matlock Town will be hoping to turn a fabulous February into a marvellous March as new boss Mark Hume continues to oversee the Gladiators’ excellent run of form.

February saw five league wins on the bounce and a Derbyshire Senior Cup semi-final victory over Glossop North End.

And Hume is confident Matlock’s hot run of form can carry on, despite what on paper looks to be a tougher set of fixtures during the coming month.

“There are no easy games in this division and to be honest Nantwich at home last Saturday proved to be a harder game than going to Skelmersdale who were top at the time,” said Hume.

“Whoever we play will provide tough opposition and it’s not been easy playing the sides around us given the importance of the matches.

“I can’t see why we can’t carry on performing as we have been doing and collecting the points, provided that we continue to do the right things.

“We’re not leaking massive amounts of goals and we’re catching teams on the break and creating chances, so we’re doing well.

The latest league win was by a 2-1 margin against Nantwich Town at the Autoworld Arena, a result which saw Matlock climb to 15th in the table.

Then in midweek came a timely reminder for Town that there is still plenty of work to do as fellow strugglers Witton Albion beat Stourbridge and Frickley Athletic picked up a useful point at Barwell.

Hume said: “We played well in the first-half and Nantwich didn’t have a lot of answers then but their manager changed things at half-time and by employing almost a 4-2-4 and going gung-ho, it nearly worked for them.

“We were a bit slack for their goal but were generally tight and in the end it was a good win.”

Jamie McDonagh added Matlock’s second goal after yet another direct free-kick from Otis Khan, scoring in that fashion for the third successive league game, had given the hosts the lead.

Hume added: “Otis is doing good for us and I’m very pleased with him and the other lads that have come in. He can play out wide and down the middle, he’s got great versatility and because we’ve four good strikers and four wingers, it gives us good options and we can mix them up to any formation.”

McDonagh’s loan expired last weekend but this is being extended and Ted Cribley’s loan period is also likely to go on longer.

Striker Danny Frost (27) joined on a month’s loan from Bradford Park Avenue last Friday, having been leading scorer for the Conference North club.

Hume had been tracking him for a while and said: “I spoke to John Deacey at Bradford about him and it’s the case that a change of formation hasn’t helped Danny.

“He needs games and he’ll get more game time at Matlock. I know the lad well, taking him to Bradford from Shaw Lane Aquaforce. He adds to the already great changing room we have. ”

Meanwhile, Corey Gregory has been told he is free to find another club but Hume has not ruled out a return to Matlock for Gregory at some point.

He said: “Corey needs to play football. Things haven’t quite clicked for him, but he’s a great lad. It pained me to tell him but you never know, we might look at him again in the summer.

“He’s definitely got something but at the moment we need lads who can give us something instantly.”

Hume expects to have a fully fit squad for two successive away games at mid-table Rushall Olympic on Saturday and King’s Lynn Town on Tuesday night.