Matlock Town prepare for key double-header with Bamber Bridge and South Shields

Matlock Town are preparing for a pair of tough and crucial fixtures in the NPL Premier Division over the coming week (writes Ian Richardson)

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 12:05 pm
Paul Phillips is expecting plenty of twists and turns before the season is out.
Paul Phillips is expecting plenty of twists and turns before the season is out.

It’s first versus second on Saturday with a game at the Proctor Cars Stadium against Bamber Bridge, with Town seeking a league double following a 4-2 win in Lancashire in September.

Then next weekend they visit South Shields, who currently lie third and who have this week appointed former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips as their new boss.

Matlock boss Paul Phillips said: “Bamber will be another tough test, Jamie Milligan’s done a fantastic job there. I feel because of where we are teams will try to stop us so we need to ensure we’re not predictable and keep doing the things that have made us successful so far.”

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A look at the weekend’s games highlights Phillips’ claim that there is still a long way to go.

He added: “There’s going to be a lot of twists and turns yet. Buxton go to Morpeth which will be a difficult game while South Shields are at Warrington so teams are going to drop points. As I’ve always said, we need to take care of our own business.”

Matlock drew 0-0 at home to Scarborough on Tuesday in an entertaining encounter with an in-form side.

But Phillips is holding fire as to whether he deems it a good result.

He said: “Ask me in April whether it was a good point.

“They’re the form team, they’re a good team and we knew it was a hard time to play them.

"We started well in the first 15/20 minutes and we needed to score. When we didn’t the lads looked a bit despondent.

“We weren’t aggressive enough around their box, I thought we were a bit too predictable at times.

"They had a couple of good chances, so did we. Alex Wiles can’t seem to buy a goal at the moment, tonight he had two good shots blocked. I thought we were a bit passive and beeded to be a bit more cute with our movement.

“We’re now unbeaten in five and have recorded two clean sheets in a row which is good. It was a fair point, we’d have preferred three, we want to try and win every game, but sometimes not losing it is very important. As I said we needed to be more proactive higher up the pitch.”