PREVIEW: Gladiators return to action

Updated: Feb 1, 2020

Matlock Town will host Hyde United on in the Northern Premier League. They approach this game knowing that a win is vital as they now find themselves just one position above an automatic relegation place after a horrendous run of league results.

To say that a lot has happened to the club since their last match would be a complete understatement. Since the Gladiators defeated Alfreton Town 3-1 at home in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Quarter-Final on January 21st, Steve Kittrick has departed the club by mutual consent, Paul Phillips was announced as his replacement and then, in tragic circumstances, came the terrible news that Jordan Sinnott had passed away.

The past week has been extremely tough for the Matlock Town players and staff and Saturday’s game will not feel like a normal match in the slightest. A minute’s applause will take place before the start of the game plus both sets of teams and the officials will wear black armbands in tribute to Jordan Sinnott.


The Opposition

Hyde United sit right in the middle of the Northern Premier League in 11th place although they have played significantly more games than most teams in the division. In their most recent match, Hyde United beat struggling Grantham Town 3-0 at home to put an end to a three match losing streak in the league. In their most recent away trip, Hyde United defeated Winsford United 4-2 in the Second Round of the Cheshire Senior Cup.

Hyde United are known as the Tigers. They were founded in 1919 and play their home games at the Ewen Fields Stadium in Hyde, Greater Manchester. The stadium can hold up to 4,250 people with a seated capacity of 530. The club’s most recent trophy victory came in 2012 when the Tigers won the Conference North league title. Hyde’s manager is David McGurk. McGurk made almost 250 league appearances for York City during his playing career which concluded with the club he now manages. McGurk is also very young for a manager at only 37 years old.


One to Watch

24 year old striker Tom Pratt will be a key player to keep an eye on for Matlock fans. Before joining Hyde United in 2017, Pratt previously played for the likes of Bury, Mossley, Ashton United and Trafford.

Pratt is popular with Hyde’s fans due to his excellent work rate and he was the club’s top goal scorer for the 2017/18 campaign. Pratt won two awards at the end of last season’s campaign winning the supporters player of the season and the club’s goal of the season.

Pratt has scored in Hyde United’s last two games in all competitions.


Team News

The Gladiators will be without their leading goal scorer for Saturday’s game. Marcus Marshall is currently suspended due to the red card he received in Matlock Town’s 2-1 defeat to Scarborough Athletic.

Jack Rea and Ben Gordon should be available for selection again after their respective injuries. This should mean that Dwayne Wiley can go back to his natural position at centre-half rather than having to keep deputising for Gordon at left-back.

Craig King, Nathan Whitehead and Ben Edgson remain as long-term injury absentees.


Previous Meeting

The last time these two sides clashed was last season in the Northern Premier League on February 9th, 2019. The Gladiators defeated the Tigers 2-1 at the Ewen Fields Stadium thanks to goals from Luke Hinsley and Craig Westcarr.

Nicky Platt scored Hyde’s goal and current Gladiator Chib Chilaka was sent off for a stray elbow that laid out Dwayne Wiley. The attendance for the game was 391.

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