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GLADIATORS MEET THE GINGERBREADS IN TOP VERSUS BOTTOM CLASH


Matlock Town will be looking to return to winning ways and maintain their stay at the top of the league on Tuesday evening as they travel to bottom of the table Grantham Town in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

The Gladiators lost their most recent game 2-1 away at Atherton Collieries but a win at Grantham could see them move six points clear at the top of the table if other results go their way too. This is also Matlock's last game before their intriguing clash this weekend at home against title favourites South Shields.

The Opposition

Grantham Town have the same number of points as Radcliffe and Ashton United but find themselves right at the bottom of the table based on goal difference. It's been a poor start to the season for Grantham; with only two wins recorded so far this season and 34 goals conceded in 14 league games, it looks like the Lincolnshire outfit will be in a relegation dogfight for the 2021/22 campaign.

Grantham's most recent match was a 2-1 home defeat to Bamber Bridge. They've lost their last two games in a row and have picked up four points from their last six games. Grantham are also the only team in the division to have not won a home game so far this season.

Grantham Town were founded all the way back in 1874 and have an excellent nickname: The Gingerbreads. The Lincolnshire team are one of the very few clubs in this division that has its own mascot; for Grantham, the mascot is a giant gingerbread man which has to be one of the most unique mascots in England's football pyramid.

The Gingerbreads play their home games at The South Kesteven Sports Stadium on Trent Road in the town of Grantham. It's one of the more unique grounds in this division as it has an athletics track around the pitch. This means that the crowd is quite far away from the action on the turf which is very rare in non-league football. The stadium can hold up to 7,500 spectators with a seated capacity of 750.

Grantham's manager is former Sheffield Wednesday and England player Carlton Palmer. Palmer joined the Gingerbreads shortly before the start of this season's campaign. While it's fair to say Palmer has had a very tough start as Grantham's boss, he is still very confident that things will turn around for the club. Palmer made 18 appearances for England's senior team and scored one goal. He was also part of the Sheffield Wednesday squad that won the League Cup in the 1990/91 season.


One to Watch

Nico De Girolamo will be a familiar face to keep an eye on. The defender used to play for Matlock Town and is the brother of Buxton striker Diego De Girolamo.

As well as the Gladiators, Nico has previously played for the likes of Buxton, Heanor Town, Mickleover and Clipstone. The centre-half was chosen as the team's captain by Carlton Palmer when he first joined the Gingerbreads.

Team News

It still remains doubtful as to whether Jamie Sharman and Jerome Greaves will be ready for selection just yet. Sharman has been absent for a little while due to personal reasons while Greaves hasn't returned to action yet since picking up a hamstring injury.

Reece Kendall will be available for selection for the game against Grantham but will be suspended for Saturday's clash against South Shields.

Previous Meeting

The last time these two sides met was almost exactly one year ago today. On October 20 in 2020, Matlock beat Grantham 1-0 at The South Kesteven Sports Stadium in the NPL Premier Division thanks to a 24th minute Declan Walker penalty. The game was watched by a crowd of 182.

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