PREVIEW: Gladiators look to get back to winning ways

Updated: Sep 24, 2019

Matlock Town will be looking to put an end to a two match losing run on Tuesday night as they face off against Atherton Collieries at the Proctor Cars Stadium in the Northern Premier Division.

Matlock’s superb start to the season has hit a slight wobble with two successive 2-1 defeats at home; the first going down to an impressive South Shields side in the league and the second a surprise defeat to eighth-tier Kidsgrove Athletic in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round last Saturday.


The Opposition

Atherton Collieries currently sit in 14th position in the Northern Premier Division with seven points from seven games played. There has been plenty of entertainment in the Colls’s league campaign so far with a total of 25 goals in their opening seven games. Atherton’s last game was also against Derbyshire opposition where the Colls lost 3-1 at home in the league to Mickleover Sports.

Atherton won the NPL Division One West title last season securing promotion to the Northern Premier Division for the 2019/20 campaign. Michael Clegg has been the team’s manager for the past four years and is a very popular figure with Colls fans. Clegg has consistently performed very well as Atherton’s boss and has played a big part in raising the profile of a small team whose support has to compete against a barrage of other non-league teams in Greater Manchester as well as the obvious Premier League and EFL outfits from the same region. Clegg also led the Colls to glory in recent times when Atherton Collieries won the Integro Cup in the 2017-18 season.


One To Watch

Vinny Bailey will be an opposition player to watch out for. Bailey plays as an attacking midfielder and is a popular player amongst the Colls fan base. Bailey played an important part in Atherton’s excellent run to the last 16 in the FA Vase in 2017 under the stewardship of current manager Michael Clegg. Bailey’s other clubs include Chorley and Marine.


Team News

Luke Dean and Nathan Whitehead were both unavailable for the FA Cup tie against Kidsgrove Athletic last Saturday due to injury and may miss out again for the match against Atherton Collieries.

Dwayne Wiley recently broke his hand but did return to start against Kidsgrove. Once again, due to the short space of time between matches and competitions, rotation may well be key for Kittrick’s plans to get back to winning ways.


Home Attendances This Season

Bamber Bridge (League) – 402

Gainsborough Trinity (League) – 541

Grantham Town (League) – 372

Basford United (FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round) – 431

South Shields (League) – 614

Kidsgrove Athletic (FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round) - 377

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