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REPORT: Poor performance leaves Gladiators firmly in relegation dogfight

Updated: Mar 9, 2020


It seemed to be a perfect execution of Hyde and seek from Matlock Town on Saturday afternoon as almost all of the Gladiators simply failed to show up at any point in the game. An extremely poor performance from Matlock Town resulted in a comfortable 3-1 victory for Hyde United and leaves Matlock nervously hanging just above the relegation zone.


Chib Chilaka scored a goal right at the end of the game but the damage had already been done in what was a worryingly tame performance that showed next to no fight and determination and if this isn’t addressed soon, Matlock Town are in real danger of getting relegated.


It was a tough first half to watch whether you were a neutral or a supporter of either team. The opening 45 minutes was dominated by squabbling between the two teams and fouls that seemed to stop the game from having any kind of flow every couple of minutes.


The first chance did actually fall to Matlock but it was somewhat worrying that this ended up being Matlock’s best chance of the match up till the consolation goal which was virtually the final kick of the game.


In the 17th minute, recent signing Jude Oyibo went on a surging run from the left wing and into the centre and unleashed a shot on target from 22-yards out. The shot was straight at former Gladiators keeper Lloyd Allinson though and it was a comfortable save for him to make.


The Gladiators fell behind midway through the first half. In the 22nd minute, the impressive Paddy Lane fired in a shot from the edge of the box and beat Kyle Trenerry to bulge the back of the net.


Very little else occurred in the first half. The only thing of note was in the 42nd minute when Spencer Harris managed to meet a good free kick delivery from Alex Byrne but his header sailed comfortably over the bar when he really should have been hitting the target.


In the second half, the Tigers stepped it up a couple of gears while Matlock seemed to somehow go down one. In the 52nd minute, Hyde came extremely close to doubling their lead in spectacular fashion when Liam Tongue’s 35 yard looping effort ended up smacking the cross bar. Had the ball dipped just ever so slightly earlier, that would have been a big contender for the Northern Premier League goal of the season.


The Tigers secured a deserved two goal cushion midway through the second half. In the 65th minute, an excellent delivery from the right wing resulted in Spencer Harris heading the ball into his own net. It was all Hyde from here on in. The Tigers dominated possession and had numerous chances to extend their lead.


To make matters worse, Luke Dean received a straight red card with ten minutes to go when he blatantly tripped Tom Pratt when he was the last man. The referee simply had no other choice but to give Dean a straight red card and Matlock will now be without Dean and Harris for the next three games due to suspension.


The misery was complete five minutes before the end of the match when the impressive Iliman Ndiaye capitalised on a terrible miskick from the normally very reliable Bailey Gooda in the penalty area and he smashed home from close range to make it 3-0 to the Tigers. The Gladiators managed a consolation goal deep into additional time when substitute Chilaka drilled in a shot from 12-yards out which beat Allinson and went in off the post.


The Gladiators now face a tough ask to recover their form in their next game as they travel to play-off contenders Warrington Town this coming Tuesday evening.


Matlock Town: Trenerry, Yates (c), Gordon (Hinsley 29), Dean, Gooda, Wiley, Byrne, Valentine (Poole 75), Marshall, Harris (Chilaka 69), Oyibo.


Unused Substitutes: Crouz, Wilson.


Attendance: 354

 

Dave Wild Quotes


After the game, it was decided that Matlock Town’s joint assistant manager Dave Wild would take on media duties. He gave an extremely honest and frank assessment of what he saw and was scathing of his team’s performance:


“Gutless, toothless, soulless, embarrassing is how I would describe it. I’ve told them that. Phillo’s told them that. Brian Wilson, the assistant manager, he’s told them that. It was gutless and the one most important thing for me is that I want to apologise to every one of the supporters who came. I’ve just gone round personally and shook everyone’s hand and thanked them for their travelling. I can assure you and Phillo can assure you and the group can assure you that will never happen again, certainly while me and Phillo are involved.


“I obviously can’t speak on behalf on what’s happened prior to us arriving…for me, and personally I’ve said it to them in there, they’ve took a decent performance on Tuesday against a good side who are pushing for play-offs, the cigars have come out and they think the job’s done, well the job is not done because everyone around us has just won. If you can’t look at yourself in the mirror after a game, you’ve got a big problem on your hands and there’s probably maybe two, if that, in there and that takes a lot for me to say that because I’m a very positive person. All of us as staff are bitterly disappointed with that because it’s almost back to the drawing board after such a good performance on Tuesday so there will be a lot of discussing between myself, Phillo and Brian this week.


“I think after that, we’ll be likely sitting down and looking to discuss strength in every position. I feel like Marshy (Marcus Marshall) has a lot of unnecessary load put on him as like the star man and the talisman of the club. It’s not just on him to score goals. Phillo said it in there, and he’s hit the nail clean on the head, Alex Byrne – he’s not had a great game today, nowhere near his standards and it’ll take him time to get used to the group, but he’s put double figure crosses in today. How many headers did we win from those crosses? None. It’s not just Marshy that, is it? If the ball’s coming in and Marshy’s gone front post, where’s the midfielders, where’s the opposite side player? People have to chip in with the goals.


“In terms of people coming in, watch this space. I’m not the manager, it’s not for me to say, but Phillo works tirelessly, as do I, as does Brian. We’ll get things right but we need the fans to know that we know how poor it’s been. I’m glad I took the time to speak to the ones I did today. I didn’t manage to get through to all of them but what I will say is: home games, away games, come and speak to me, come and speak to Phillo, come and speak to Brian. We’ll talk it out and we will listen to negatives, positives and we’ll get the club as a tight unit, a good community based club and we’ll be alright.”

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