Twitter leak on Phil Roe's departure to Worksop Town annoys Matlock Town manager Mark Atkins
THE departure of Phil Roe to Worksop Town has left a sour taste in the mouth of Matlock Town manager Mark Atkins – and the Gladiators low on numbers for tomorrow's trip to Eastwood Town.
Atkins was unhappy about how Roe's move to the Nottinghamshire club was conducted, with details being leaked on social network site Twitter before the manager had chance to speak to Roe himself.
"We received seven days notice of approach a week last Monday from Worksop Town," said Atkins.
"However, that night news of this was leaked through Twitter from the Worksop end.
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"It's very disappointing that this got out for these things are normally kept under wraps.
"All of our players, including Phil, knew straightaway before I had the opportunity to speak to him about it.
"We did our best to keep Phil but we were unable to match the money Worksop have and the wages they were offering.
"That was despite us offering him an improved deal, too.
"Phil came back to us and said he couldn't turn down what Worksop were offering and he leaves with our best wishes. He's been great for us and we're very sad to lose him."
Winger Ben Hunter, too, has left the club without kicking a ball after his move from North Ferriby ended prematurely due to work commitments.
"Ben has a lot on at work which has come on quite rapidly," explained Atkins. "The work will stop him being involved as he and we would have liked."
Add to that the news that Gareth Davies is still a fortnight away from returning from injury, while striker Lewis McMahon looks like being out for even longer, and it all looks a little bleak for Matlock.
Atkins, though, is hoping to have a replacement for Roe ahead of the Eastwood game but thinks that will be the only addition to the Matlock ranks.
"Although Phil and Ben's exit and the two injuries which we have will leave us rather short on bodies, we also have to look at the budget," said Atkins.
"Crowds aren't as good as we originally budgeted for.
"The club is the most important factor in all of this, so I think we'll be going to Eastwood with what we have.
"It's a tough situation and I'm a football manager who wants to field his best team to get the best results.
"No-one wants to take the club into debt, though. There are players which I'd like to bring in but I can't."
Matlock have something of a score to settle tomorrow against strugglers Eastwood, who beat them 1-0 in the league back in October.
Returning to face his old club will be Anthony Griffiths-Junior, who earned praise from Atkins after deputising for McMahon in last weekend's 2-2 draw with Ashton United.
"Anthony was unable to train as much with us when the snow was down and so was behind with his fitness," said Atkins.
"It was great to get him involved for a good hour or so. We took him off as we didn't want a slight strain to develop into a pull but he held the ball up well, showed good pace and was tidy on the ball in his preferred position."
Atkins thought a draw with Ashton was a fair result.
He said: "We were both a bit rusty.
"It was disappointing not to win after being in front twice but the most disappointing thing was the referee's performance.
"The lad who scored their penalty shouldn't have been on the pitch. The goalkeeper kicked out at Joe Leesley in the penalty box and got away with it. The referee got the big decisions wrong – and it cost us."