​Carruthers feels confident ahead of Basford return

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​Matlock Town boss Martin Carruthers is back on familiar territory on Saturday as the Gladiators make the relatively short trip to Basford United.

Carruthers spent seven years at Basford as both player and manager and he says he is keen to make it a happy return to Greenwich Avenue as the Gladiators’ manager.

He said: “It’ll be great to go back there, I want us to get the double over them [Matlock won the earlier fixture 2-0 at the Proctor Cars Stadium] but I know they’re decent on their 4G pitch so it’s clear that we need to be much better than we have recently away from home.

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"It’s going to be a really tough fixture. They’re battling for their lives and will see this game as one they’ll be capable of winning.”

Martin Carruthers calls the shots in the win over Lancaster. Photo: Nick Oates.Martin Carruthers calls the shots in the win over Lancaster. Photo: Nick Oates.
Martin Carruthers calls the shots in the win over Lancaster. Photo: Nick Oates.

Matlock have only two more away trips after Saturday, at play-off hopefuls Hyde United and champions elect Radcliffe, so on paper at least, this is the game they would realistically have most chance of winning. Basford currently lie in 18th spot and are out of the bottom four on goal difference only from Bradford (Park Avenue).

One Gladiator who will not be making a happy return to his old club is goalkeeper Saul Deeney who serves his one match suspension after his red card at Whitby ten days ago. Had the midweek home match with Gainsborough Trinity been on, Deeney would have been able to face one of his old clubs.

Carruthers said: “It was really disappointing that the game got called off as after beating Lancaster last weekend, it was the chance to build on that win and gain some momentum. Saul would have missed that game and then able to face Basford and I know he’s really fed up that he can’t play,” Carruthers added. Myles Wright is expected to deputise.

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Looking back on the Lancaster win, Carruthers said he was relieved to pick up the three points having gone five games without a victory, accruing only a solitary point from a home scoreless draw against Worksop Town.

“I as very relieved, the win was much needed” Carruthers admitted.

“After some poor results it was a fantastic response from the players, especially as we had to bring in Nathan Whitehead and Michael Williams who had been on the injury list. It was a big risk to do that, we slotted Nathan in at centre back as Ioan Evans hadn’t been playing well, I spoke to him (Evans) about it.

"We shook things up as we had injuries with no John Johnston, Jack Goodman and Harry Wood. I made really big calls, I put Yatesy in as skipper and you live and die on these kinds of decisions. I needed to freshen things up, I’m not going to tolerate lacklustre performances and it was great to see the lads make such a fantastic response. I got it in abundance from everyone.

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“We deserved to win. Both goalkeepers made great saves, it could have ended up something like 5-3. Lancaster threw the kitchen sink at us in the second half and showed what a good side they are but we should have had at least four points from the two matches against them, we were more dominant in the game up there where we got beat in the last minute.

"The players all put in a good shift as late on Lancaster showed what a good side they are and they’d scored a lot of late goals including the one against us. So all in all it was a very good day for us in front of a good crowd.”