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GLADIATORS LOOK TO TAME THE TIGERS

Matlock Town will be looking to make it two wins in a row as they host Hyde United in the NPL Premier Division on Saturday afternoon. After a disappointing opening day defeat, the Gladiators got their first win of the season on the board following an impressive 2-1 victory over Basford United on Tuesday evening. The Opposition Hyde United are known as the Tigers and are still looking for their first points of the season. At this extremely early stage of the season, Hyde find themselves in second bottom position after losing their first two games in the league. On the opening day, the Tigers lost at home to Atherton Collieries 1-0 and last Tuesday night they were defeated 4-1 away from home by Bamber Bridge. The Tigers have played as high as the top tier of non-league football in the past. Hyde won the old Conference North title in the 2011-12 season to win promotion to the Conference Premier. Hyde have also won the Northern Premier League Premier Division before back in 2005. The Tigers have also reached the FA Trophy semi-finals on three separate occasions. The club play at the Ewen Fields Stadium in the Hyde area of Greater Manchester. The stadium can hold up to 4,250 spectators and has a seated capacity of 530. Hyde's manager is former York City and Darlington player David McGurk. McGurk played over 250 league games for the Minstermen. The 38 year-old became Hyde's manager in May 2019. The club's president is none other than England's world cup winning hero Sir Geoff Hurst!

One to Watch Striker Liam Hardy will be a familiar opposition figure to keep an eye on. The 33 year old has a vast amount of experience now at this level having plied his trade for the likes of Buxton, Grantham Town and Darlington. He also played a part in Harrogate Town's extraordinary rise up the non-league pyramid. Hardy has finished within the top ten goal scorers of the NPL Premier Division for five of the past 6 full-length seasons and ended up winning the league's golden boot for the 2017/18 campaign. Hardy has scored Hyde's only goal of the season so far - their consolation goal in their 4-1 defeat to Bamber Bridge in their most recent game.



Team News Skipper and talisman Liam Hughes serves the last of his three game suspension today. Despite his straight red card in the Basford game, Ross Hannah will be available for selection for today's game. Hannah's suspension would begin in the following Matlock game away at Nantwich Town but this is pending the results of Matlock Town's appeal against the referee's decision. Matlock's two new signings, Ashton Hall and loan addition Jerome Greaves, are available for selection and so could make their debuts. Or rather, in Hall's case, his second debut for the club!


Previous Meeting The last time these two sides met technically never happened at all - please give me a pound for every time I'm going to type that one out for the next few months. The Tigers met the Gladiators on March 7, 2020 at the Ewen Fields Stadium. Hyde won the game easily 3-1 in what was a terrible Gladiators performance. Popular striker Chib Chilaka scored a very late consolation goal for Matlock in the game. Just looking at the date of this game does give you an air of poignancy about it. This ended up being Matlock's penultimate game of the null and voided 2019/20 season. It was at this time that the news was dominated by growing concerns over a new virus that appeared to be running rife in Europe. Within a week, life had been turned upside down completely.

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