Matlock Town take on eighth-tier Trafford away from home in a training game on Tuesday night as they prepare for the re-start of the NPL league campaign. Whilst this may be a non-competitive game with nothing on the line, Paul Phillips’s men will be urgently looking for a good result and performance after their poor exit in the FA Trophy first round last week.

This game will also have some added intensity to it following the very recent announcement that Matlock Town will be allowed to re-start their league season on Saturday this week with an away trip to Stalybridge Celtic.

The Opposition

Trafford play one tier below the Gladiators in the NPL Division One North/West league. In this stop/start 2020/21 campaign, Trafford currently sit in 13th position in the table but are still only three points ahead of bottom place in what is an extremely tight campaign so far.

The team have picked up only one win in their opening seven league games of this season.

In the grand scheme of things, Trafford were formed fairly recently as the club were only founded back in 1990. The club are affectionately known as The North and play their home games in Flixton which is a suburb of Manchester. Their home ground is called the Home Estates Shawe View Stadium and can hold up to 1,500 people under normal circumstances.

The most recent trophy that the club won was the NPL League Cup for the 2018-19 season.

Danny Caldecott is The North’s manager and took over at Trafford in the summer of this year. Trafford haven’t played a game of football since October 24 when they drew with Widnes 1-1 at home in the league.

One to Watch

23 year-old striker Max Hazeldine will be a key player for the Gladiators to look out for. The Stockport-born forward started his career at Accrington Stanley and has since played for the likes of Stockport County, Curzon Ashton, Marine and Clitheroe.

He has scored two goals in Trafford’s last six games in all competitions.

Team News

Aside from Jon Stewart’s absence through injury, it’s a full strength team to choose from for Paul Phillips.

With this being a training game, it’s expected that several substitutions will take place so that as many players as possible gain as much match fitness as possible before the re-start of the NPL league campaign.

Previous Meeting

These two sides last met very recently. The Gladiators travelled to Trafford to play The North in a pre-season friendly on August 28. The Gladiators slipped to a surprise 2-0 defeat after goals from Matty Morgan and Keil O’Brien in front of a restricted crowd of 200. Matlock’s Reece Kendall was sent off right at the end of this game.

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