Matlock Town will host National League outfit Chorley in the First Round of the FA Trophy on Saturday afternoon. The Gladiators have navigated through three qualifying rounds to make it to this stage of the competition.
Despite poor form in the league, Matlock will be looking to cause a big upset by defeating a side who play two tiers above them.
Chorley currently occupy bottom place in the National League this season but they have started to show an upturn in form in their quest to avoid an immediate relegation back to the National League North.
The Magpies have won three of their last five matches. Victories over Chesterfield, Torquay United and Dagenham & Redbridge have given Chorley a new lease of confidence that a relegation great escape might actually be possible. Steve Kittrick will be hoping that the FA Trophy might act as an unwelcome distraction for the Magpies. In their most recent match, Chorley were defeated 4-2 at Stockport County.
Chorley were founded in 1883 and their most recent honour was the National League North play-off trophy at the end of last season. Their best performance in the FA Trophy was a semi-final appearance in the 1995-96 season.
Their manager is Jamie Vermiglio and the club play their home games at Victory Park which is named after the outcome of World War One. The stadium can accommodate up to 3,700 fans with a seated capacity of 900.
One to Watch
33 year old club captain Andy Teague is my key player to watch out for. His previous clubs include Macclesfield Town, Tamworth, Hyde United and Lancaster City. Teague is a very popular player for the Magpies.
The centre-half signed for Chorley back in 2011 and he has been part of a promotion-winning Magpies team three times. He’s scored an impressive 35 goals in 369 appearances for Chorley and was also voted the fourth best player to feature in the Northern Premier League in a poll conducted last year.
Piteu Crouz is a big doubt for Saturday’s clash with a tweaked hamstring while Jack Rea is also struggling to be fit in time. They join long-term absentees Nathan Whitehead and Craig King on the injury list. Jon Stewart is still unavailable following his one month suspension from the FA for breaching betting rules.
Matlock Town’s most recent encounter with Chorley was back on November 16th, 2013 in the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy. Chorley won the tie 2-0 at Victory Park. The Magpies have defeated the Gladiators in their last four encounters.