Gritty comeback earns Matlock joint top spot

sp92106 Matlock v Paviours
sp92106 Matlock v Paviours

THREE wins out of three so far have seen Matlock RFC 1sts installed as joint leaders of the Midlands One East League but their new coach is confident there is even more to come from his side.

Alan Johnson has steered his team to wins over Nuneaton Old Edwardians, Coalville, and, on Saturday, a 36-27 victory at home to old rivals Paviors.

He explained that he has been impressed with what he has seen so far. “When I came in during the summer, I wanted to start with a blank canvas but obviously I knew there were good players here and I wanted to build on the good work carried out last season.

“From about a month into pre-season, it all started to come together and it’s carried on into the first three games. The positive mental attitude, the character, the togetherness, the belief in each other, they’re all there, but there’s a lot more to come from us.

“I want us to avoid giving silly tries away, when we are on top I want us to press the advantage home and put teams away, and when we are just in front, we need to know we can shut games out without panicking.

“Overall, I’d like to see a little more consistency throughout the whole game but we are playing with confidence and flair and when it all comes together, we should be a match for most teams in this league, so I’m very pleased with the season so far.

“On Saturday, we showed plenty of character because Pavs were well on top in the first 15 minutes and we were quite a way behind on points, but we started to pick it up, didn’t panic, and you could see them start to get their game going. Once we got in front, there was only going to be one winner.

“We’ve got to keep our feet on the floor but I have been delighted so far, particularly with the way the three wins have come from different situations, firstly a game where we were in front almost from the start, then a game where we were comfortably winning, got a little complacent and then had to battle to see off Coalville, and then on Saturday where we were behind but kept our composure to win it.”

For a match report, go to page 48.