At last Matlock Town turned in what joint boss Craig Hopkins labelled “a ninety minute” performance in a fine 3-1 home win over an in form Stourbridge last Saturday.
Now attention turns firmly to FA Cup progress against Kidsgrove Athletic, another side who have hit form of late.
The Gladiators travel to take on the Evo-Stik First Division outfit who have won their last two matches, a 2-1 win at Matlock’s Premier Division rivals Stafford Rangers in the last round being followed by an emphatic 5-0 home win against Chasetown in the league.
While the result and the display against Stourbridge was undoubtedly Matlock’s best since Hopkins and Glenn Kirkwood took over the managerial reins, the Gladiators’ managerial duo will not be taking anything for granted this weekend.
“The reports we’ve had back from Kidsgrove’s match last weekend were pretty much what we already knew, that they have some very good big game players” said Hopkins.
“It;s about as close to 50-50 as you can get with a side from one league above travelling to the lower division side so whoever wants it more on the day will come out on top and all our focus now is on Kidsgrove on Saturday.We want a good cup run, for the fans who’ve not seen much success in the FA Cup in recent years, but also for the players.
It’s all about making memories, players can remember a good cup run for the rest of their careers and it’s something good for the fans to look back on and remember. I can remember playing in the 2nd Round proper and it’s a great experience.”
If Matlock can replicate the workrate and flair shown against Stourbridge, they will certainly stand a decent chance of making the next round. Marcus Dinanga stole the headlines with a well taken hat-trick, but as Hopkins pointed out, it was a day when everyone in Matlock colours played well.
“It was the best we’ve played, before we’ve done well in thirty minute spells and not for ninety minutes but we did that on Saturday and that’s what we’ve been looking for, we asked for it and got it and we were delighted.
Before kick off we expected Stourbridge to go 4-4-2 and we thought that if we could get seven or eight of our lads getting the better of their opponent, then we’d have a good chance of winning. But I thought every one of our lads was better, all eleven players were bang-on.”