‘I can’t fault the players’

Martin Carruthers felt his side deserved more from the game with Lancaster.Martin Carruthers felt his side deserved more from the game with Lancaster.
Martin Carruthers felt his side deserved more from the game with Lancaster.
​Martin Carruthers says he was pleased with his Matlock Town side’s display despite a late goal sending them to a 1-0 defeat at Lancaster City on Saturday.

The result ended a run of three straight wins in the league and Derbyshire Senior Cup and came ahead of Tuesday night’s home game with Gainsborough Trinity, played after this week’s Mercury went to press.

And Carruthers felt that his side’s inability to take their chances was his main gripe in what was otherwise an encouraging display.

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He said: “There was nothing wrong with the performance, I can’t fault the lads.

"Apart from the first 15 minutes, we totally dominated the game. There were a couple of really good chances we didn’t take and the final ball from wide areas and midfield was just lacking despite us getting in some good positions.

"We said at half-time to keep going as we felt there was only one team going to win it – we felt we could nick it from a set piece or corner routine, but we just couldn’t make it count.

"At the very least we felt we should have taken a point. We made some subs to try and make some impact and get in behind them, but we just didn’t do it and then switched off at the death when the lad’s run from midfield, nobody’s pressed the ball and he’s hit one from 20 yards that flew in.

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"So it was totally gutting as we were the better side on the day but sometimes that happens in football so as a manager there’s not a lot you can do about that. The lads gave everything – nine times out of ten we’ll win those games.

“But if we take that attitude and application into the game against Gainsborough then we’ll win the game, I’ve got no doubts about that.

"We have to dust ourselves down, get a big three points and go from there.”

Following Tuesday’s game, the Gladiators are back on the road again on Saturday as they head north to face Warrington Rylands, who sit fourth in the table but were surprisingly beaten 3-2 at home by relegation-threatened Bradford (Park Avenue) on Saturday.

The trip to Whitby Town, meanwhile, already postponed twice due to the weather, will now take place on Tuesday, March 5.​