And he believes Muir can challenge for a play-off spot if they iron out the errors that were evident as they squeezed home in a dramatic finale at Raeburn Place.
“That’s a game that we might have lost last year,” said the hooker. “That’s two games now where we have managed to win in the last play of the game away from home, which is a big positive for us. We’ve taken 14 points from the first month whereas last year I think we only had six or seven.”
And of his side’s title credentials, Matthews added: “Every team in the league is aiming for that top-four finish, especially with it being the last year of the Tennent’s Premiership. If we buckle down and tidy up some of those little things we are getting wrong, I can’t see why we can’t push on and compete with the top four teams from last year.”
With no relegation this season, Accies coach Derek O’Riordan has made no secret of his ambition to use the campaign as a rebuilding exercise.
And he reiterated that objective, saying: “For me, we are starting to turn a corner as we are about to go into games that are really important for us.
“We have probably used more players in the first four or five games than we did in all of last season. Part of that was intentional because we want to build a squad and a system that can go on and win the Championship in its first year.”
Accies survived an opening half hour spent largely on defensive duties then broke the deadlock with a George Spencer try. Tom Wilson responded in kind for Muir then added the conversion to give the visitors a two-point half-time lead.
A Craig Keddie touchdown was just reward for Muir’s strong start to the second period. However, the home side nibbled into the deficit with a Vinnie Hart penalty then snatched the lead when Spencer went over for a second time.
The hosts then repelled a series of attacks before conceding a penalty deep into injury time. And Greg Cannie landed the kick to clinch the victory.
Elsewhere, Watsonians fell behind to an early try at home to Hawick, but were subsequently untroubled as they ran in eight touchdowns to emerge as 54-14 winners. Hooker Fraser Renwick – one of a clutch of former Hawick players in the Sonians side – led the way with three tries, while there was one apiece for Darcy Graham, Connor Boyle, Jamie Hodgson, Gregor Nelson and James Miller, with Lee Millar adding seven conversions.
There was a second-half points bonanza at Malleny Park, where Currie Chieftains turned on the style after reaching the break with a three-point lead over Glasgow Hawks. Ben Robbins maintained his rich vein of scoring form with two of Chieftain’s 11 touchdowns, and there were also doubles for Jamie Forbes and Joe Reynolds plus singles for Steve Hamilton, Gregor Hunter, Campbell Wilson, Robbie Nelson and Matt Hooks, while Hunter landed eight conversions in a 71-28 success.
The Chieftains performance sets up an enthralling clash on Saturday with Heriot’s who also rediscovered the winning feeling with a 19-17 success at Stirling County.
Tries from Iain Wilson, Charlie Simpson and Ross Jones, who also kicked two conversions against his former colleagues, accounted for the points, but the Goldenacre men could attribute their victory to a perfectly-timed tackle by Callum Marshall in the final play of a tense affair.