Matlock Town boss frustrated by team's mentality in draw

Martin Carruthers says his Matlock Town side’s mentality was again brought into question after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Morpeth Town.

Jonny Margetts’ 30th goal of the season was cancelled out by Andrew Johnson’s deflected equaliser which squirmed under keeper Saul Deeney, with Matlock again unable to kill a team off having led.

And Carruthers was again frustrated by not being able to take all three points.

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He said: “It’s very disappointing. Since I’ve been at Matlock we’ve had three draws with Morpeth – we just can’t seem to put them to bed and on reflection we should have won all three games we’ve played against them.

"I thought in the first 25 minutes we were the better side and created some half decent opportunities.

"We couldn’t get the goal but I was happy they hadn’t really threatened us other than on the counter attack.

"We said at half-time that if we could get one goal we’d get two or three but then we were slow out of the blocks and Saul Deeney’s had to make a crucial save from the one-on-one.

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"Then we go straight up the other end Margs does what he does best and you think we’re going to kick on from there.

"But we then did as we’ve done all season where we’ve sat back off teams and let them get a foothold in the game. Saul’s made a mistake, he held his hands up, but he’s saved us many times this season.”

Carruthers believes his team’s mentality is the key issue, something he has discussed with them on numerous occasions.

He said: “We had a team meeting before the game about mentality and whether we were underachieving. We should have been on 37 points before today – then 40 after this game – and our target of 75 points to get in the play-offs is drifting further and further away.

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"It’s the attention to detail that can be the difference between winning and losing – like how many times we’ve got in a great positions from a short corner and not scored from it.

"I challenged them to get ten points from these four games so now we’ve got to go and win the next three.”

The first of those three was at Ilkeston Town on Boxing Day, played after this week’s Mercury went to press. The Gladiators then host Stafford Rangers on Saturday to round their year off.”