Win Comes At Cost For Matlock

Matlock Town update

The 2-1 win against Mickleover Sports on Monday which extended Matlock Town's unbeaten run to five games might have come at a cost.

Striker TJ Nightingale, who netted the second Gladiators goal, was forced off in the 48th minute with a knee injury and Matlock are anxiously awaiting news of the extent of any damage.

And Lee Whittington, who replaced him, collided with Sports goalkeeper Ali Barcherini late on to collect a knee injury. Just to compound the striking problem a little more, late last week Matlock had loaned out Nathan Joynes to Ossett Town. Rules mean that Joynes must remain with the Evo-Stik NPL First Division North outfit for at least fourteen days.

"TJ's knee is sore and we're going to have to monitor it this week and see how he is" said Matlock boss Mark Atkins. "We're not sure of the extent of any injury so there's no point in jumping to any conclusions just yet. Nathan Joynes has gone to Ossett for two or three weeks simply to get some games in. He missed a lot of the pre season. The opportunity came for him to go to Ossett but he will be coming back to us. He came on as a substitute in one or two of our recent games and felt off the pace. Lee Whittington took a knock and we're hoping that's all it is. I'm not planning to bring another forward in at present, but that said I'm always looking to strengthen our squad."

Winger Ryan Mallon departed Matlock for league rivals Frickley last week, but to counter that Ben Algar's international clearance came through and he was able to feature as a substitute in last weekend's 2-2 draw at Marine, before replacing full back Lee Featherstone, who had a thigh strain, against Sports.

Atkins was pleased with a return of four out of six points from their Bank Holiday programme.

"We'd have accepted that beforehand but after starting so well against Marine, creating so many chances and then fighting back from a goal down to lead 2-1, we should have killed the game off, so from that perspective 2-2 was disappointing. But perhaps the opposition deserve some credit and Marine's always a hard place to go to. Not too many teams will get anything there this season. and then Marine go and win 2-1 at Chorley on Monday so perhaps it was quite a good result on Saturday."

Ian Holmes marked his return to his native Merseyside with both goals and although he didn't score on Monday, he was heavily involved in Matlock's better attacking moves.

They started like an express train against Mickleover.

"We could have been 3-0 up before they got into our half, so really we need to take our chances when we're in the ascendancy. But we picked up three vital points and we've got to be happy about that" Atkins added.

Matlock will be hoping to kick on when they travel to Skelmersdale to take on foot of the table Burscough on Saturday before facing struggling Stafford Rangers back on home soil on Wednesday.

"We're looking to win every game whether it be against the likes of Chester, FC United or Chorley or against Burscough and Stafford" Atkins continued. "We need to attack and be positive, just because the opposition have started poorly, it doesn't mean they're out of it. We've been excellent going forward in the last two away games and I want that to continue, but I don't expect anything else than tough games against either club."

Gareth Davies will sit out Saturday's game after his red card against Kendal a fortnight ago.

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