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GLADIATORS TAKE ON THE PICS IN FA TROPHY ENCOUNTER


Matlock Town travel to Rushall Olympic on Saturday afternoon for the first round proper of the FA Trophy.

While the league certainly remains the main focus for the Gladiators this season, Paul Phillips's men will be eager to put in a good performance and secure a victory to put last weekend's very disappointing performance against Whitby Town firmly behind them.

The Opposition

Rushall Olympic currently sit in the play-off places in fourth position in the Southern League Premier Central division. This league is at the same tier of English football as the Northern Premier League Premier Division that the Gladiators play in.

In their most recent game, Rushall lost 1-0 away at Banbury United in the league. This brought an end to a seven match unbeaten run in all competitions and a run of six successive wins. In their most recent home game, Rushall beat Alvechurch 3-1 at home in the league thanks to goals from Danny Glover, Rackeem Reid and Owen Parry.

Rushall Olympic were founded back in 1951 and they play their home games at Dales Lane in the Rushall area of Walsall in the West Midlands. The club are affectionately known as The Pics.

Rushall's manager is Liam McDonald and the club play in amber and black shirts, black shorts and black socks for their home kit.

The club's most recent trophy success was back in the 2015-16 campaign when they lifted the Staffordshire Senior Cup. The Pics have already equalled their best ever run in the FA Trophy this season. The last time the Pics reached the first round proper of this competition was back in the 2012-13 campaign but Rushall have never gone further than this stage of the competition.


One to Watch

32 year-old striker Danny Glover will be a key player to look out for in Saturday's game.

Glover started his playing career at Port Vale where he made 41 league appearances for the club. Since then, Glover went on to play for the likes of FC Halifax Town, Stockport County and Nantwich Town.

Glover joined Rushall Olympic in October of 2020 after an impressive season at Hednesford Town where he scored 18 times in 37 league appearances.

The forward was part of the Nuneaton Town side that won the Conference North play-offs in 2012 and was also part of the Nantwich Town side that won the Cheshire Senior Cup two years ago.

Glover has scored eight league goals so far this season.

Team News

Matlock Town will be boosted by the return of skipper Liam Hughes following a one match suspension.

First choice goalkeeper Shaun Rowley will be unavailable for eight to ten weeks after he sustained a broken hand during Matlock's most recent training session. Second choice goalkeeper Paul Cooper will start Saturday's game.

Striker Ross Hannah serves the last of his four game suspension this afternoon.

Jamie Cooke will be unavailable for the game following a deal agreed with his parent club, FC Halifax Town, to avoid being cup-tied for the West Yorkshire outfit.

Callum Chippendale should hopefully be available for selection following the recent injury he sustained.

Previous Meeting

These two sides last played each other on April 17, 2018 in a league game. This was back when The Pics used to be a member of the Northern Premier League rather than the Southern League.

The Gladiators won the game 2-1 at home in front of a crowd of 242.


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