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Matlock Town FC News

"No Excuses" - Atkins

Tuesday August 31st 2010
Matlock boss Mark Atkins offered no excuses after a disappointing Bank Holiday return of just one point out of six.

Having demolished Burscough in their own back yard in their second game of the season, Matlock looked set to collect a maximum points return from a visit to Ossett Town last weekend and a home meeting with newly promoted Mickleover Sports on Monday afternoon.

But their opponents had clearly not read the script as a poor game in Yorkshire ended scoreless before Mickleover grabbed their first win of the season after three defeats with a 2-1 success at the Reynolds Stadium.

Town still lie in fifth position and Atkins admitted his side had given generally below par displays.

"I wish I knew what the problem was on Monday except to say that Mickleover wanted it more." conceded the Matlock chief. "It wasn't down to tactics, our desire levels weren't high enough. We've played well within ourselves in the last two games, certainly not at 100%. In the four games to date, we've had just the one game where we've played well and up to our potential. In the other three we've been well short of the mark. From that perspective seven out of twelve points isn't a bad return, so having not played well, that's pleasing I suppose. But our performances haven't been good enough, nowhere near what this football club deserves and the players must realise that we need to start performing at the top of our game else I'll be looking to bring others in."

Mickleover's second goal on Monday just before the hour mark heralded a double change from Atkins and a sight that did not please him or the paying spectators. Both full backs were withdrawn, and one, Scott Brough, stormed away from the ground even before the half time whistle sounded.

"Things needed changing and we needed to push on and force their hand. we looked good for fifteen to twenty minutes after we scored, if we could have got the second goal we'd probably have gone on to win. But again we lacked desire to complete a fightback and with the exception of the two centre halves and goalkeeper, everyone wasn't at the races. Scott Brough left the ground before half time, we'll deal with that in house, but it's something I'm not happy about. Look at Mark Haran. He's played the last two games with a broken toe, something we've kept quiet, and then on Monday he's damaged his shoulder and had to have it put back in on the pitch. But he didn't make a fuss, he got on with the job, showing character that the other players need to follow."

Defender Adam Yates sat out Monday's game, himself having picked up a shoulder injury at Ossett on Saturday, with Atkins hoping that he will have recovered in time to face FC United of Manchester at Stalybridge Celtic on Sunday afternoon.

The FC game has been delayed for twenty four hours with FC's landlord Bury having a home game on Saturday and Stalybridge also being at home in Blue Square North.

"Adam might be okay with the extra twenty four hours but we need  to take a good look at Juggsy (Haran), but knowing him he'll want to play if at all possible." said Atkins. "But I'll say again, it's down to our desire. We've played better sides than what we've faced in the league in pre season and come out with the right result. There's certain things we've got to do better. I've made my point in the dressing room afterwards and will so again at training on Thursday. The ball will then be in the players' court."

Matlock face Frickley Athletic at the Reynolds Stadium on Tuesday as the early season league games come thick and fast, before the FA Cup beckons on Saturday week with a tough but mouth watering home derby with Evo-Stik Premier Division rivals Worksop Town.

Meanwhile winger Reuben Wiggins-Thomas has been released by the Gladiators to join Belper Town, making his debut for the Nailers as a substitute in their shock 3-1 home defeat in the FA Cup Preliminary Round to East Midlands Counties League Holbrook Sports.





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