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PREVIEW: Gladiators start the new decade with trip to Gainsborough

Updated: Jan 1, 2020


Matlock Town travel to Gainsborough Trinity on New Year’s Day in the Northern Premier Division following a hugely disappointing Boxing Day derby defeat to Buxton.


The Gladiators will look to start 2020 with a bang as they aim to put a desperately inconsistent 2019 behind them.

 

The Opposition


Gainsborough Trinity have had a surprisingly poor season so far. They currently sit third from bottom in the Northern Premier Division and have only won three times in their nineteen league games so far in this campaign.


Having said that, their most recent match on Boxing Day will have come as a huge confidence booster as Gainsborough defeated Lincolnshire rivals Grantham Town 5-1 away from home. In their most recent game at home, they drew 0-0 with Nantwich Town in the league.


Gainsborough’s manager is former Sheffield United, Rotherham United and Birmingham City player Curtis Woodhouse. Woodhouse also made four appearances for England U21’s. Before going into football management, Woodhouse also enjoyed a spell as a professional boxer. He recently took over the reins at Gainsborough when he replaced the joint leadership of Ross Hannah and Liam King.


Gainsborough are known as the Holy Blues and play at the Gainsborough Martin & Co Arena. The stadium can hold up to 4,340 people and has a seated capacity of 504. The club were founded in 1873 and their most recent trophy victory was in 2018 when they won the Lincolnshire Senior Cup.


The Holy Blues finished just outside the play-off places last season in the Northern Premier Division.

 

One to Watch


Curtis Morrison will be a key player to watch out for on New Year’s Day. The striker joined the Holy Blues from Hednesford Town but will be better known to Gladiators fans for his short loan spells at Matlock Town whilst at Chesterfield. The 22 year old forward has also had a spell with National League North outfit Guiseley as well as a short stint at Buxton.


Morrison scored twice in Gainsborough’s 5-1 thrashing of Grantham Town on Boxing Day.

 

Team News


Dwayne Wiley will miss the game due to the hamstring injury he sustained during the second half of Matlock’s Boxing Day derby against Buxton.


He joins long-term absentees Craig King and Nathan Whitehead on the injury list. Jack Rea should finally have recovered from a bout of illness to be available for New Year’s Day.

 

Previous Meeting


Matlock Town last played Gainsborough Trinity on August 26th this year in the league. The Gladiators won the game 2-1 in front of a crowd of 541 thanks to own goals from Nathan Hotte and Joe Green.


Ashley Worsfold scored from the penalty spot for the Holy Blues. The win gave the Gladiators a fourth win from the first four games of this season’s campaign and kept Matlock at the top of the table.

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