Matlock Town host League Two outfit Mansfield Town on Tuesday evening in the first home match of Matlock's pre-season friendly schedule ahead of the 2022/23 season.
The Gladiators have played two pre-season friendlies so far this summer; last Friday night, Matlock lost 1-0 at arch-rivals Buxton and then drew 1-1 at Northwich Victoria less than 24 hours afterwards. Summer signing Jake Day scored his first ever Gladiators goal in the game against Northwich.
Mansfield Town came very close to earning promotion to League One last season. Mansfield were beaten 3-0 by Port Vale at Wembley Stadium in the League Two play-off final at the end of the 2021/22 campaign. Automatic promotion will certainly be the aim for Mansfield Town for this coming season. After making some impressive summer signings, Mansfield are expected to field a strong side against the Gladiators.
Mansfield Town are affectionately known as The Stags and were founded in 1897 under the guise of Mansfield Wesleyans. They play their home games at the One Call Stadium in the town of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. The stadium can hold up to 9,186 spectators.
Mansfield Town have played one pre-season friendly so far ahead of the new season. The Stags thrashed Retford United 6-0 away from home on July 9.
Mansfield's main rivals are Chesterfield and Notts County. The deep rivalry with the Spireites has strong links to the famous miners' strike from 1984 to 1985.
The Stags manager is Nigel Clough, who is famously the son of football legend Brian Clough. Nigel started his playing career at Nottingham Forest before moving to Liverpool. He played at Burton Albion for the final ten years of his playing days. Clough also played for England 14 times. As a player, Nigel won the League Cup twice and the Full Members Cup on two separate occasions. After retiring as a player, Nigel turned his hand to management just like his father. Clough enjoyed plenty of success during two separate spells as Burton Albion's manager. Clough can actually claim to have a Northern Premier League Premier Division league title on his CV! In his second stint as Burton's manager, he guided the Brewers to promotion to the Championship in the 2015/16 season which was a phenomenal achievement. Clough has also managed the likes of Derby County and Sheffield United. Clough was appointed as Mansfield Town's manager in November of 2020.
The most recent trophy that the Stags lifted was the Conference Premier league title back in the 2012/13 campaign during a brief stint in the club's history when they were a non-league club.
One to Watch
32 year-old full-back/attacking midfielder Stephen McLaughlin will be a key player to look out for in the Mansfield Town team.
The Irish player joined the Stags in September of 2020 and made 40 appearances last season scoring five goals in that time.
McLaughlin started his career at Irish club Finn Harps and went on to play for Derry City, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City, Notts County and Southend United.
He was part of the Southend United side that won the League Two play-offs in the 2014/15 season.
Joe Ferguson is a doubt ahead of this game after he picked up a back strain in the recent pre-season friendly against Buxton.
A small contingent of players may be missing due to already arranged work and family commitments.
The Gladiators played Mansfield Town in a pre-season friendly ahead of last season. Matlock pulled off a big surprise too as they beat the Stags 1-0 at Causeway Lane on the 16th of July.
A goal from Callum Chippendale after 14 minutes was the difference between the two sides in a match that was watched by a good crowd of 971.