Matlock boss Mark Hume looked on ruefully after Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat at play-off chasing Workington and declared: “That sums up our season.”
Four goals from Scott Allison did the damage for the Cumbrians as they continued their pursuit of a play-off place, Charlie Dawes’ fine goal Matlock’s only offering.
And Hume says it was a real pointer as to what is needed over the summer.
“It highlights what we need for next season at both ends of the pitch,” he added after watching his team match and at times exceed the Reds in the flair and skill department, only to let themselves down where it matters.
“We missed four unbelievable chances, one-on-ones, we played some fantastic football but missing those chances is like a disease, other players have experienced it and now it’s spread to Joel (Purkiss).
“At the same time we gave away some really bad goals. Whether it was the long journey with not a lot of preparation time, I can’t say for sure so I’ll not use it as an excuse.
“What I can say is that we were lackadaisical and we should do better in those situations. Giving away cheap goals as we did and not scoring enough at the other end can only lead to one result and it certainly cost us.”
With their Premier Division status comfortably and safely in the bag after last Thursday’s easy 3-0 win at Ramsbottom, leaving them with 52 points on the board before Saturday’s final match of the season at Barwell, Hume’s attention is focused on next term.
He said:“It’s not rocket science what we need. We may have to look at the goalkeeping situation as we don’t know what’s happening with George (Willis) and Sheffield United.
“A couple of defenders and of course strikers have to be brought in. I still think though that we have a good group of players but it’s a case of adding that right mixture to what we already have.”
Hume answered criticism from some fans of a negative performance in last Saturday’s 2-0 home loss to Blyth Spartans and talked more about young striker Jack Siddall’s development.
“Having had the run of games we’ve had coming a long way to Workington on a Tuesday night was always going to be tough but you have to get on with it,” he said.
“We’d limited Blyth to two long range shots which granted were great goals but the criticism is unfair. Blyth were fresh after a free week, we had no legs so to go gung-ho against them would have been reckless for they’d have just picked us off.”
On Siddall, who has bagged three goals from the substitutes bench so far, Hume warned of the risk of thrusting him straight into the starting eleven at present.
“I know what’s right for Jack,” he insisted. “I know he’s come on and scored goals but he still needs to develop more and to throw him straight into the fire could finish him off.
“He’ll be here next season and will be fighting for a place like anyone else. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort on Jack and we’re not going to risk destroying what we have at the moment and what he can offer us in the future.”
Matlock were 3-1 winners at Barwell last season but earlier this term the result was reversed at the Autoworld Arena and Hume is keen to finish the season with a victory, adding: “I want to get a good result especially for the fans and particularly those that made that massive trip to Workington and kept on encouraging us.
“It was just a pity that we couldn’t finish off those chances to make it a happy trip back for them.”