• DerbyshireFootball

Matlock on a high ahead of FA Cup trip

Matlock Town boss Paul Phillips is expecting a tough test at Grantham Town in Saturday's FA Cup second qualifying round tie - but is heartened by his team's good run of recent form.

The Gladiators go into the game off the back of a win on Saturday at home to Stafford Rangers and then a 2-2 draw with Basford on Tuesday night.

And even though Grantham's South Kesteven Stadium, which has an athletics track around the pitch, is not what Phillips would describe as the ideal venue, he's in confident mood.

He told Matlock's official website: "The ball spends too much time off the playing area and I’m expecting it to be windy there so the lads will have to dig in and work hard for a result. It might not be a classic.

"Martin McIntosh's [Grantham boss] teams always ask questions of you, they have players who were at Buxton before and while I was there who’ll probably have a point to prove. But we’ll go there wanting to keep an unbeaten run going and I’m confident we can get a result wherever we go."

On his side's last two matches, Phillips was content with the four-point haul.

He said: “It’d have been better if we’d got the full six points but I’d have taken four before the two games.

“The way we began both games, we should have been out of sight and it’s disappointing that we couldn’t put our chances away early doors. But against Basford especially we showed a lot of grit and determination, our great character was there for all to see and the lads are all tremendously disappointed we didn’t get all three points.”

“Against Basford, we tried to overplay in areas where we didn’t really need to, so both goals could easily have been avoided, but if you look back, say, eight months, we’d have probably folded in that situation, so we need to take the positives. I’m looking at the all round team performance which was very good with everyone contributing.”