Phillips thrilled as Matlock secure record-breaking win
Everything slotted into place at a damp Proctor Cars Stadium on Tuesday night as Matlock thrashed visiting Witton Albion 9-0.
It was the Gladiators’ record NPL home win, eclipsing 8-0 victories against Southport and Knowsley United in 1979/80 and 1995/96 respectively.
Tuesday also saw Matlock win in the league for a seventh successive game to be handily placed in second spot in the NPL Premier Division, two points adrift of leaders South Shields but with a game in hand.
An eighth win on the spin in Saturday’s rearranged game at Stafford Rangers would hand the league leadership with Shields in FA Cup action. Boss Paul Phillips said: “I don’t think we know how good the Stalybridge win is yet as they’ve gone to Scarborough tonight and won 3-0. "We got both the reaction we wanted and the win after what happened in the FA Cup and that’s important.
“I think we got our tactics and our shape dead right and we were ruthless in front of goal.
"There was energy and purpose all over the pitch, I think we outmuscled them. I think we might be getting somewhere near something that replicates the team we want out on the pitch.
"Callum Chippendale, Liam Hughes and Alex Wiles have had time out for various reasons, missing two or three games or more but they’re coming back now and getting better with every game.” Phillips was pleased with man of the match Hughes who netted a hat-trick, his first goals of the season.
He said: “I’d told him he’s got to score more goals and tonight he got excellent service, his sharpness is coming back although he’s not one hundred per cent there yet and he could have had a couple more goals.”
Attention now turns to Stafford on Saturday, with Phillips warning against getting carried away.
“We don’t want an after the Lord Mayor’s show game,” he said. “Yes we’ve won seven on the bounce but we won’t be resting on our laurels. "It’ll be tough, a different type of test. We’ve sent someone to watch them tonight, the pitch’ll probably be a bit bobbly and they’ll be in our faces.
"Stafford’s never an easy place to go to, even when they’ve been near the bottom of the league.”