Matlock boss Dave Hoole was happy with his team’s performance in their opening pre season game which ended all square against a youthful Mansfield Town eleven on Tuesday night.
New signing Jordan Chappell put the Gladiators into a 13th minute lead with a wonder strike from the half way line before Hoole made wholesale changes at half time using twenty two players in all, the Stags equalising three minutes from time through Zeyn Hakeem.
Hoole said it was always his intention to field what was essentially two separate sides, one in each half.
“We’d got a lot of players and it was important for us to take a look at them in a match situation” Hoole explained.
“It was just what we wanted for our first pre season game. Mansfield fielded a big strong side and I thought in the first forty five minutes we were the better side and kept the ball better. We’ve still some work to do on our shape but we had a number of new players in and that will come in time. With a new side in the second half and several trialists we matched them only to be unfortunately caught on the break for the equaliser. Some of the trialists have done really really well. The result doesn’t really matter so much in these sorts of games, it’s the performance we’re looking at.”
Derby County visit the Proctor Cars Stadium tonight (Thursday 7.30 pm) for Matlock’s second pre season game in a game arranged as part of the deal which took young central defender Max Hunt to Pride Park in January.
“I think we’ll need to restrict the number of changes we make on Thursday as with all respect to Mansfield, we’ll face a tougher game with Derby” said Hoole.
“It should be a great night and it’s fantastic that the professional clubs take the time to play non league sides at this time of the season. It’s also great for an old player to come back with his professional club and we’re all looking forward to seeing Max back again.”