Matlock Town will be looking to make it five wins in a row on Bank Holiday Monday as they host Lincolnshire outfit Gainsborough Trinity in the NPL Premier Division. The Gladiators have enjoyed an excellent start to the season. Successive wins against Basford United, Hyde United, Nantwich Town and Warrington Town have moved Matlock up into fifth position in the table and just one point behind league leaders Buxton. The Opposition
Gainsborough Trinity are currently in 17th position in the NPL Premier Division table. After five league games so far, Trinity have won one, drawn one and lost three. They recorded their first win of the season in their most recent game when they defeated Whitby Town 1-0 at home thanks to a first half goal from Toby Gould. In their most recent away trip, Trinity were thrashed 5-1 by Bamber Bridge. Trinity's manager is Tom Shaw. Shaw took over the reins earlier this year when Curtis Woodhouse resigned from the managerial post during the long break between this season and the previous mini-season. Shaw is only 34 years old and played as a midfielder during his playing career. Shaw played for the likes of Tamworth, Kidderminster Harriers, Cambridge United, Alfreton Town and Chester. Shaw also made two appearances for the England C team. Shaw was part of the Tamworth team that won the Conference North title back in the 2008/09 season. Gainsborough Trinity were formed all the way back in 1873 and are known affectionately as either Trinity or The Holy Blues. They play their home games at the Martin & Co Arena which is based right in the heart of the town. The stadium can hold up to 4,340 spectators and has a seated capacity of up to 504. Gainsborough is one of the smallest places in England to have ever had a football team play within the English Football League. Trinity haven't been part of the Football League though since way back in 1912. The Holy Blues were founder members of the Northern Premier League in 1968. They were elected into the newly-formed Conference North division ahead of the 2004/05 season. Remarkably, the club were relegated in the 2017/18 campaign for the first time in their entire history. Since then, they have remained members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division. Their biggest derby matches are considered to be against Boston United and Worksop Town. Trinity's former managers include the likes of Neil Warnock, Ernie Moss, Brian Little and Curtis Woodhouse. Trinity won the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup back in the 1996/97 campaign. Their most recent trophy was the Lincolnshire Senior Cup during the 2017/18 season. The team reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy during the 2012/13 season. One to Watch The aforementioned Toby Gould will be a key player to look out for in the game. The young, highly-rated striker scored the winner in Gainsborough's most recent game at home against Whitby Town. Gould loves to run at opponents and is a creative player too with plenty of flair which makes him a crowd favourite and an exciting player to watch. Gould played for the academy sides for Queens Park Rangers and Fulham earlier in his career. Team News The big news for Matlock Town is that skipper and talisman Liam Hughes is available for selection again after missing the season up to now due to suspension and then for personal reasons. Ross Hannah will be unavailable as he serves the last of his three match suspension following his red card against Basford United. John Pritchard is likely to miss out again through injury. Previous Meeting The last time these two sides met technically never happened. A pound please, for every time I use that sentence for this season's previews. Gainsborough hosted Matlock in the NPL Premier Division on New Years Day on the very first day of 2020. The Gladiators were defeated 2-1 in what turned out to be one of Steve Kittrick's last games as Matlock Town's manager. Greg Smith gave Trinity the lead in the 25th minute. Dan Bramall looked to have earned the Gladiators a point when the winger equalised in the 79th minute but Trinity secured all three points when Mitchell Dunne scored with seven minutes remaining of the game. 613 spectators watched the game to start off their 2020.