Matlock Town will be desperate to return to winning ways as they travel to Lincolnshire on Saturday to face off against Gainsborough Trinity in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.
The Gladiators are currently five games without a win so an immediate return to form is vital if Matlock are to sustain their title challenge as we enter the business end of the 2021/22 season.
Paul Phillips's men go into this game in third position in the league table and sit four points behind leaders South Shields with the bonus of a game in hand on the Mariners.
Gainsborough Trinity currently occupy 17th position in the NPL Premier Division league table. In their most recent game, Trinity beat Lancaster City 3-1 at home in the league thanks to a brace from Toby Gould and a goal from Jovon Makama. Despite being low down in the table, Trinity actually have an excellent record at home in the 2021/22 campaign.
Gainsborough have only lost one game at home so far this season in the NPL Premier Division. It's Trinity's away record which has really let them down - Gainsborough have only won one game on the road in the league so far in this campaign. Due to this, Gainsborough are still not completely free from relegation worries. Remarkably, despite being 17th, every team in the NPL Premier Division have lost at least two home games this season apart from Gainsborough.
Gainsborough Trinity were founded in 1873 and are also known as 'The Holy Blues'. They play their home games at the Martin & Co Arena in the town of Gainsborough which is in Lincolnshire. The ground can hold up to 4,340 spectators and has a seated capacity of 504.
Their manager is former Cambridge United, Alfreton Town and Chester player Tom Shaw. Gainsborough Trinity is Shaw's first senior managerial role and he took over at the club in April 2021 following the resignation of Curtis Woodhouse.
Previous managers at Gainsborough Trinity include the likes of Neil Warnock, Chesterfield legend and former Matlock Town manager Ernie Moss, Brian Little and current Matlock Town playing duo Ross Hannah and Liam King.
Gainsborough holds the notoriety of being one of the smallest places in England to have had a team play in the Football League.
The last trophy they lifted was the Lincolnshire Senior Cup back in the 2017-18 season. They once reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy in the 2012-13 campaign.
One to Watch
18 year-old forward Jovon Makama looks to be an exciting prospect and could give Matlock's defence a hard time.
Makama joined the Holy Blues on loan this season from Football League outfit Lincoln City. Makama made a fantastic first impression when he scored a goal and provided an assist on his Trinity debut away from home against FC United of Manchester.
The teenager also scored in Gainsborough's most recent game in their league win over Lancaster City.
The Gladiators are boosted by the return of centre-half Ryan Qualter after serving a three game suspension.
Unfortunately, both Reece Kendall and Jamie Sharman will be unavailable for the game at Gainsborough as they begin their two game suspensions.
Since the 1-1 draw at FC United of Manchester, Jack Hindle has departed the Gladiators and joined fellow NPL Premier Division outfit Radcliffe.
The legendary Adam Yates may be asked to cover again with both Kendall and Sharman unavailable.
Matlock Town comfortably beat Gainsborough Trinity 3-0 in August 2021 when the sides last faced each other.
The Gladiators secured all three points at home in this NPL Premier Division fixture thanks to a brace from Jerome Greaves and a goal from Ryan Qualter.
A crowd of 627 watched this fixture at The Proctor Cars Stadium.