PREVIEW: Gladiators aim for Derbyshire Senior Cup Final place

Updated: Feb 18, 2020

Matlock Town will be hoping to avoid a huge cup upset in order to book their place in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final as they take on South Normanton Athletic at the Proctor Cars Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The Gladiators come into this semi-final tie as huge favourites with Paul Phillips still unbeaten as Matlock Town’s manager while the Gladiators are also the highest ranked team left in this competition after a series of shock results in other matches.


The Opposition

South Normanton Athletic play in the Midland Football League Premier Division which is the ninth tier of English football and two tiers below Matlock Town’s level. The club currently lies mid-table in tenth position but come into this cup tie with only one win in their last six matches in all competitions. In their most recent game, they lost in the league 2-1 away from home at league leaders Coventry United.

South Normanton Athletic are known as the Shiners. This unusual nickname has plenty of history to explain where it comes from. In the mid-1750’s, South Normanton played a large role in the ribbed stocking industry. Workers of this craft spent hours upon hours sitting on wooden stools to the point that the backsides of their trousers became very shiny making these people instantly recognisable to others as coming from South Normanton. The nickname has stuck and to this day people who are from South Normanton are referred to as ‘Shiners’.

South Normanton is a village in Derbyshire located just two miles away from the town of Alfreton. The club play their home games in the village at the MJ Robinson Structures Arena. The ground can hold up to 3,000 people and has a seated capacity of 300. The Shiners were founded in 1926 and were officially known as South Normanton Miners Welfare until 1990 when the club decide to change its official name to just South Normanton Athletic. Since the change of name, the club have only won one trophy which came in 2015 when they lifted the East Midlands Counties League Cup. The Shiners finished 16th out of twenty teams last season in the Midland Football League Premier Division.


One to Watch

Richard Hanslow will be a key player to look out for in this cup tie. Hanslow is a striker and has scored in three of South Normanton Athletic’s last six games. Hanslow joined the Shiners two years ago.

Between 2010 and 2013, Hanslow played for fellow Derbyshire outfit Gresley. In his time there, he scored 45 goals in 106 appearances.


Team News

The Gladiators are currently blighted by a number of injury issues and it looks likely that Paul Phillips’s match day squad will be a collection of everyone who is left available to participate. As it stands, Jack Rea and Luke Hinsley are still ruled out with injuries and will likely be unavailable for another week at least. Jon Stewart recently suffered an injury while at work and unfortunately will be out of action for 4-6 weeks. Adam Yates has also been ruled out with injury although it is unclear as to what the specific issue is with Matlock’s long standing skipper.

Craig King, Ben Edgson and Nathan Whitehead remain on the list of long-term injury absentees.

Chib Chilaka and Spencer Harris are both doubts and will need to pass a late fitness test to be available for selection. Harris has been struggling with a suspected broken nose which was inflicted during the 4-0 league victory over Radcliffe.


Derbyshire Senior Cup 2019/20 Progress

Matlock Town were one of the clubs granted a bye straight through to the Third Round. In that round, the Gladiators absolutely hammered tenth tier Borrowash Victoria 7-1 away from home. Chib Chilaka netted an extraordinary five goals for himself while Spencer Harris bagged the other two. In the Quarter-Final, the Gladiators shocked National League North side Alfreton Town by beating them 3-1 at home. Nathan Valentine, Marcus Marshall and James Tague scored the goals to book a semi-final spot.

South Normanton Athletic were one of the clubs granted a bye through to the Second Round. In the Second Round, the Shiners defeated Dronfield Town 1-0 away from home. In the Third Round, they secured another victory away from home. This time it was Pinxton who were the victims as they were defeated by the Shiners 2-1. South Normanton Athletic sprang a big surprise in the Quarter-Final after knocking out eight tier Glossop North End (once again, away from home) on penalties following a 3-3 draw after 90 minutes. The Shiners won 5-4 on penalties in a tense shoot-out to reach the latter stages of the competition.

The winners of this tie will face either Belper Town or New Mills in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final at Pride Park on March 25th.

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