Gladiators get the thumbs up from Atkins

Mark AtkinsMark Atkins
Mark Atkins
Matlock Town boss Mark Atkins revelled in an excellent few days for the Gladiators in league and cup - before challenging his side to keep the good form going.

Two away wins, FA Cup progress and two clean sheets represents an excellent few days work for Matlock, but with home league games against Frickley Athletic on Saturday and Stamford on Tuesday, the Gladiators boss wants standards to be maintained.

He said: “We’ve been excellent and fully deserved the success we’ve achieved, but we must remember there are no easy games in this league and we need to show the same attitude and desire as we have in the last two matches.

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“A good team puts long unbeaten runs together and that must be our aim now.”

Danny Holland and Lavell White netted as Matlock earned £3,000 in prize money for beating Basford United on Saturday to earn a second qualifying round tie at Carlton Town on Saturday, September 28.

The Nottingham-based side won 2-1 at Brigg Town in a replay on Tuesday while Matlock were impressive 4-0 victors at King’s Lynn thanks to a brace from Lewis McMahon and strikes from Holland and Daryll Thomas.

“Both wins were fully deserved and we could have scored more in both games,” Atkins added.

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“The pleasing thing for me was that the lads put into practice in a match situation all of the things they’d been doing in training and had the speed of thought to enable that to happen.

“Both games were always going to be difficult. It might have been 6-0 to us by half-time at Basford which was always going to be hard as they were up for it against a higher league side.

“The travelling at night was a factor at King’s Lynn and I can’t praise the lads highly enough, the first goal was always going to be crucial, we got it and when we made it 3-0 by half-time, it was always going to be difficult for King’s Lynn to get back in it.

“It’s a brilliant result for us as King’s Lynn are a good side who’ll beat a lot of teams here.”

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Atkins hopes that the trio of James Ashmore (dead leg), Danny Holland (tight groin) and Daryll Thomas (tight hamstring), who were forced off in the second-half at King’s Lynn, will be ready for the weekend, while Anton Foster and Corey Gregory should train tonight (Thursday) and be back in contention very soon.

There was more good news as both Lee Featherstone and Adam Yates made their first appearances of the season as substitutes at The Walks and suffered no reaction after injury lay-offs.

Lavell White should also feature again after missing out on Tuesday’s victory at King’s Lynn through work commitments.

Winger Anthony Griffith-Jnr, meanwhile, has ended his stay with Matlock Town after signing for Evo-Stik Division One South side Loughborough Dynamo.

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Griffith-Jnr joined the Gladiators from Eastwood Town last season but has struggled to gain a regular starting berth in Atkins’ squad.

The Blues boss said: “Anthony’s injury hasn’t helped him as he’s been playing catch-up. The lad obviously wants to play and we can’t give him a regular game.

“He goes with our thanks and best wishes. Whether we get a replacement in I’m not sure at present, we’re always looking at new players, but at moment I’m satisfied with the group of players we’ve got.”

Meanwhile, Matlock and Barwell have agreed to move their game at the Reynolds Stadium from Tuesday, October 15 to the following night (Wednesday 16th) to avoid a clash with England’s vital World Cup qualifier with Poland.