Atkins wants a positive response to heavy defeat

Matlock Manager Mark Atkins gives the thumbs up during his sides home fixture against Chorley by Tina Jenner
Matlock Manager Mark Atkins gives the thumbs up during his sides home fixture against Chorley by Tina Jenner
0
Have your say

Matlock will be wanting their debut game at their newly-named Autoworld Arena to be a memorable one as they aim to bounce back from an out of character hammering at Rushall last weekend.

Second-placed Skelmersdale United are the visitors, and following league leaders Chorley losing at home to Rushall on Tuesday night, will still feel they are well in the chase for the championship.

As far as the Gladiators are concerned, it is a case of proving that Saturday’s 6-1 reverse was a one off and that lessons have been learned from a crazy second-half when all six goals were conceded.

“I don’t think anyone saw that coming,” said manager Mark Atkins.

“It was bizarre from us and our worst defensive 45 minutes of the season. Over the season when we’ve got in front we’ve defended our goal very well but I think a bit of complacency set in. We did silly things and took chances defensively and Rushall punished us.

“We went in at half-time in front and reasonably happy. However, we talked about it being more difficult going uphill and that Rushall’s strength is from set pieces.

“We gave away too many free-kicks, they scored from two of them and in fact we gave them five of the goals which is hugely disappointing.”

Opportunity now knocks for Matlock to maintain their fine home record which has seen only Chorley go away with all three points so far this season. Grantham Town are the visitors on Tuesday following Skelmersdale and Atkins says Matlock face two tough games, adding: “With Chorley losing on Tuesday, Skelmersdale will come here looking to claw back more ground, while Grantham are a strong side and we must be prepared to stand up to them.”