Matlock Town return to league action on Saturday afternoon as they host Whitby Town in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

The Gladiators have won their last two matches since their home defeat to South Shields. Paul Phillips's men could potentially move six points clear at the top of the league after this game.

The Opposition

Whitby Town are currently in sixth position in the NPL Premier Division and are two points behind the play-off places. In their most recent game which was played last Tuesday night, Whitby lost 3-0 to Bamber Bridge away from home. Whitby are without a win in their last three league games.

The club were founded back in 1880 and are affectionately known as The Seasiders and also as The Blues. Whitby play their home games at The Towbar Express Stadium at the Turnbull Ground in the town of Whitby in North Yorkshire. The stadium is renowned for its excellent and dramatic views. If sitting towards the top of the stadium's main stand, you can see the sea very near to the stadium on the left hand side and you can also see the North Yorkshire Moors on the right hand side. The stadium can hold up to 3,500 spectators and has a seated capacity of up to 505.

The club is led by two joint managers: Lee Bullock and Nathan Haslam. In his playing career, Bullock made over 150 league appearances for York City from the late nineties into the mid-noughties. The 40 year-old also played for the likes of Cardiff City, Hartlepool United and Bradford City before ending his playing days at Whitby Town. Haslam enjoyed a successful stint managing Marske United. He has also managed the likes of Bishop Auckland and Whitley Bay.

Whitby's most recent trophy was the North Riding Senior Cup which they lifted in the 2016-17 season. The Seasiders also won the FA Vase back in the 1996-97 campaign at the original Wembley Stadium.

One to Watch

Striker Jacob Hazel will definitely be a player to keep an eye on in Saturday's game. The 27 year-old forward began his playing career at Chesterfield and had a brief loan spell at Matlock Town during the 2012-13 season where he scored one goal in three league appearances.

Hazel has scored twice in Whitby Town's last three competitive matches.

In the 2016-17 campaign, Hazel scored 13 times in 20 league appearances for Scarborough Athletic and then scored a very impressive 88 goals in 115 league appearances for Frickley Athletic from 2017 to 2020 before making the move to Whitby Town.

Hazel also has international caps to his name. The striker made his debut for St Kitts and Nevis in 2016 and has made three appearances overall for the nation.

Team News

Skipper Liam Hughes will be suspended for this game as will fellow striker Ross Hannah.

Jamie Cooke and Matt Sargent have both recently agreed to extend their loan deals with Matlock Town by another month. Tyreece Onyeka has returned to his parent club Crewe Alexandra.

Previous Meeting

These two sides last met on February 22, 2020 during the first Covid-affected season.

Matlock lost at home 2-0 to the Seasiders in this league fixture. Goals from Alex White and Bradley Fewster secured all three points for Whitby in front of a crowd of 460.

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