Atkins slams Matlock’s start to the new season

Matlock Town manager Mark Atkins.Matlock Town manager Mark Atkins.
Matlock Town manager Mark Atkins.
‘Not good enough’ was the painful verdict of Matlock Town boss Mark Atkins.

The opening two matches of the campaign has yielded just a solitary point, no goals from open play and a place in the bottom four of the Northern Premier for the Gladiators.

His team brought home a point from Saturday’s drab curtain raiser at Trafford, which saw precious few openings for either side, but the defeat to Stamford at the Autoworld Arena would have alarm bells ringing for Atkins.

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A Danny Holland penalty put Matlock into a third minute lead, but that great start could not be built upon as for the final 70 minutes, the visitors outplayed them to come from behind and deservedly go home with maximum points from a 2-1 victory.

Atkins said: “Those two performances were not up to standard. We were defensively strong at Trafford, had two or three chances which we didn’t take, overall 0-0 was fair. But we simply had too many players off form against Stamford, they didn’t give their full effort and didn’t show the determination which was required.

“There’s only Joe Leesley and Josh Meade, two young lads, of the outfield players that can come out of the game with any credit. Everyone else wasn’t good enough, Stamford outnumbered and outfought us in the vital areas, they wanted it more and that shouldn’t happen.”

Atkins signed midfielder Jason Snodin, for a second time and also brought in young striker Sam Robinson, formerly of Farsley who has more recently been with Stalybridge Celtic, to take his close season signings tally to 11.

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Phil Roe is likely to be missing for another fortnight with a foot injury but James Ashmore will train on Thursday but is unlikely to figure over the Bank Holiday weekend.

There was an emphatic hint from Atkins that changes would be made for Saturday’s visit of Blyth Spartans and Monday’s derby trip to Belper.