The speedy wide man last started against Liverpool in mid-March and made brief substitute appearances in the three following games. He then suffered a back injury playing for the reserves and missed out against Manchester City on Friday.
He featured on Monday in the wing-back position and, while happy with his contribution, admitted that he was flagging a bit in the closing stages.
"I enjoyed it," said Matthew. "I tired a bit towards the end, but that is understandable as it was my first game for a while. You can play all the reserve games in the world but there is nothing like playing in the first team for the tempo.
"I've got defensive responsibilities as well with playing at wing-back. I've been playing well there for the reserves but, like I said, you've got to carry that on into the first team.
"I thought I did alright there, I felt it went well and, obviously, we got the three points - that was good as well," he added, before reporting a little stiffness in the back.
"It is still a little bit stiff, to be honest. It is something I've got to work on to get some strength in there, but it feels okay."
Matthew Etherington relished his winning return to first team action on Monday against West Brom at the Hawthorns.