​Carruthers is left relieved after win eases the pressure

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​Martin Carruthers says that victory was all important for his Matlock side who beat struggling Basford United 2-0 at the Proctor Cars Stadium on Tuesday night.

It was far from a classic between two sides looking low on confidence, Matlock’s having been dented by gaining a solitary point from the last nine on offer and conceding 12 goals in their previous three league outings.

Basford, meanwhile, have one league win to their credit and have been defeated in every away game so far this season.

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Leading scorer Jonny Margetts again took the headlines with a brace taking his tally to an amazing nineteen for the campaign to date.

Martin Carruthers calls the shots against Basford. Photo by Tom Flint.Martin Carruthers calls the shots against Basford. Photo by Tom Flint.
Martin Carruthers calls the shots against Basford. Photo by Tom Flint.

“I’m just pleased to get the win for we really needed it,” admitted Carruthers.

“We knew they’d be rugged and so it proved. We weren’t great in the first half but we said to the lads if we upped it five to ten per cent in the second half we’d win the game. We created chances and also kept a clean sheet which was important after the Ashton game so it turned out to be a good night for us.”

The Gladiators fanbase were cheered when they found out that defender Adam Yates had signed forms again late last week and would have made his debut at Whitby had the game not been called off due to the carnage caused by Storm Babet.

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Yates slotted in alongside Ioan Evans at the heart of the Gladiators back line against Basford and it was if he had never been away.

Carruthers said: “Adam Yates had a massive impact, he was calm and collected and his performance rubbed off on those around him. By the way what a ball into Margs for the penalty. He’s very tired now but we’re all absolutely delighted to have him back and by the way he’s played in his first game back.”

The Yates return was supplemented when striker Anthony Dwyer signed on the dotted line after moving from Alfreton Town. After being leading scorer at both Nuneaton Borough and Basford in the past two seasons, his move to Alfreton did not work out for him and he had been on loan at Sheffield.

Carruthers is conscious that the win does not mean everything in the Matlock garden is rosy.

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He said: “There’s still things to work on, we didn’t create much in the first half but it was a lot better second half from us. It’s a start and we’ve got to build on this. I’d have taken a win of any kind, 1-0 in the 89th minute would have done me. When you lose heavily like we did at Ashton, it affects confidence and I think that was an issue in spells against Basford.

"Momentum’s a big thing in football and that’s why it’s important we go to North Ferriby in the FA Trophy on Saturday and win. Two wins on the spin will give us that momentum.”

The Matlock boss is expecting a tough game on Humberside on Saturday. Like Matlock, the Villagers have lifted the FA Trophy at Wembley in their former guise of North Ferriby United when former Matlock captain Billy Heath was their manager and their skipper was former Gladiators midfielder Liam King, beating Wrexham in the 2015 final.

North Ferriby United are now no more but the new North Ferriby club was formed in 2019 and under the management of Chris Bolder, who incidentally left shortly after being appointed as assistant to Steve Kittrick at Matlock in 2019, they have risen back up to the NPL Eastern Division following two successive promotions. They currently lie in ninth spot, two points off the play-off places.

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“It’ll be a tough game, I’ve watched them and they play 4-3-3, they’re a tidy side and are going well. But we know there aren’t any easy games and I know if we’re not at 100 per cent we won’t win.”

Matlock expect to have another new signing confirmed ahead of the weekend and they will welcome defender Robbie McNicholas back to the squad after he missed out against Basford through illness. The tie has to be decided on the day with penalties to decide the winner if the score is equal at 90 minutes.

The Gladiators expect to take another decent following with them on Saturday but there is football in any event at the Proctor Cars Stadium with a Premier League 2 clash between Derby County and Manchester City kicking off at noon. Admission is £5 for adults, £3 for over 65’s and those aged between 11 and 18. Children aged 10 and under can gain free admission.

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