REPORT: Matlock look to recover league form against the Gingerbreads

The Gladiators travel to the South Kesteven Sports Stadium on Saturday afternoon to play Grantham Town in the Northern Premier Division.

Matlock have shown great form in cup competitions over the past month but they need to now replicate this form in the league. The Gladiators have reached the first round proper of the FA Trophy, the second round of the Integro League Cup and the quarter-final of the Derbyshire Senior Cup within the past thirty days but in that time Matlock have slipped from a play-off place down into twelfth position in the league.


The Opposition

Grantham Town currently lie in 14th position in the Northern Premier Division and have lost their last three competitive games in a row. In their most recent match, the Gingerbreads lost to Nantwich Town away from home 2-0 in the league and in their most recent home game they defeated Scarborough Athletic 2-1 in the league. Steve Kittrick will be well aware of Grantham’s defensive frailties this season. Despite occupying a mid-table slot in the league, Grantham have conceded the second most amount of goals in this Northern Premier Division campaign so far. Only Bamber Bridge have let in more than Grantham’s 33 goals conceded.

Grantham’s joint managers are Paul Rawden and Russell Cousins. The South Kesteven Sports Stadium is notable for having an athletics track around the pitch and can hold a crowd of up to 7,500 people with a seated capacity of 750. The club was formed back in 1874 and their last trophy victory came in 2012 when they won the Northern Premier League Division One South title.


One to Watch

Veteran forward and former Gladiator Craig Westcarr will be a key player to look out for in this game. The 34 year old has scored four times in Grantham’s last six games. Westcarr played for Matlock Town last season before joining the Gingerbreads.

He started his career at Nottingham Forest and went on to play for numerous clubs in the Football League including Notts County, Chesterfield, Walsall, Portsmouth and Mansfield Town. He also spent two seasons in Derbyshire playing for Alfreton Town where he scored 25 goals in 63 appearances.

Westcarr scored at Wembley Stadium in 2012 to help Chesterfield beat Swindon Town 2-0 and win the Football League Trophy. He was also a part of the Notts County team that won the League Two title for the 2009/10 campaign.


Team News

Jon Stewart is still unavailable due to the suspension he received from the FA due to a breach of gambling rules. Jack Rea may be a doubt for the clash against Grantham Town as he wasn’t in the squad altogether in Matlock’s most recent match against Belper Town last Tuesday night. Nathan Whitehead has suffered a further setback with his ACL injury and will remain with Craig King for some time on the injury list.


Previous Meeting

Matlock’s last encounter with the Gingerbreads was earlier on this season on September 3rd in the league at the Proctor Cars Stadium.

Current Gladiator Chib Chilaka and Ryan Hall had given Grantham Town a 2-0 lead but a late James Berrett own goal and a last-ditch effort from Luke Hinsley rescued a point for Matlock in front of a crowd of 372.

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