Hannah equals Gladiators record

Ross Hannah has equalled the Matlock Town scoring record of 49 goals in a season.

Hannah drew level with Gladiators legend Bobby Mountain, who reached that total in the 1982/83 campaign, in Tuesday evening’s 4-2 victory over Nantwich.

Hot shot Hannah netted from the penalty spot twice to earn a point in the 2-2 draw at Hucknall on Saturday and he scored Town’s fourth in stoppage time.

His achievement drew praise from a delighted Matlock manager Mark Atkins.

He said: “That’s Ross. One chance and he’s got another goal and everyone here is hoping he can beat that record.

“He’s done very well in that he’s continued scoring in spite of all the hoo-hah about a possible move, which to be honest has been unsettling for everyone.

“There’s a new contract on the table for him with Matlock. I spoke to him the other week after the Halifax game and will probably be talking to him again this week. We want him to stay, he loves it here and everyone loves having him here.”

His goalscoring feats have attracted much attention from sides in the Conference and Football League.

Meanwhile, Atkins admitted that it was “a huge relief” to beat Nantwich at the Reynolds Stadium on Tuesday and end their sequence without a league win at the tenth attempt.

Three draws and six defeats followed the last three points haul up at Whitby back on March 9 which had seen the Gladiators slide down from second to 11th before kick off. The 4-2 success though was not without its worrying moments, particularly as the relegation-threatened visitors held a 2-0 lead with 37 minutes gone.

Atkins said: It’s a big relief to get that monkey off our backs.”

Matlock are now ninth, six points behind fifth-placed Buxton, and may now be reflecting on not picking up only another five or so points in the winless run.

There was an unlikely match winner against Nantwich as giant on-loan striker John McAliskey finally found his feet to score twice and force the error for the own goal which put Matlock back into contention.

The Gladiators’ season ends with two massive games as FC United of Manchester visit on Saturday (3pm) before on Easter Monday afternoon Town make the short trip to Buxton. Both clubs may need wins against Matlock to guarantee their place in the play-offs and with Atkins aiming to finish the campaign in winning form, two intriguing games are in the offing.

The FC United game will surely attract Matlock’s best crowd of the season with anything from 800 to 1,000 visiting fans expected. Gladiators officials have asked spectators to arrive in good time ahead of kick off to avoid congestion at the turnstiles.

l On Sunday there is a special charity match between a Rising Sun Select X1 from the Middleton by Wirksworth pub and a Birmingham City Veterans team at the Reynolds stadium, kick off 11am.