Matlock Town make their competitive return on Tuesday night in the FA Trophy first round against Coleshill Town following the second national lockdown. Unfortunately, this game will take place behind closed doors due to the town of Coleshill falling under Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.

The Gladiators played in a friendly last weekend in order to boost match fitness ahead of this FA Trophy clash with the NPL season being suspended until further notice. Matlock took on tenth-tier Wythenshawe Town in Greater Manchester and dominated the game to win 5-0 thanks to goals from Sam Egerton, Ross Hannah, Reece Kendall, Liam Hughes and Nathan Whitehead.

The Opposition

Coleshill Town play in the Southern League Division One Central division which is one tier below the Gladiators. The Colemen currently sit in 13th place in what is an extremely tight league table. Only nine points separate first place from bottom place! It’s been a mixed start to Coleshill’s 2020/21 league campaign with the team picking up three wins and five defeats in their opening eight league games.

Coleshill have won their last two games – albeit their last game took place over a month ago on November 2. In that game, the Colemen defeated Wantage Town 2-0 at home in the league after goals from Josh Willis and James Harrison. In the match previous to that, Coleshill beat Bromsgrove Sporting 1-0 away from home in the final qualifying round of the FA Trophy.

Coleshill Town play their home games in the town of Coleshill in Warwickshire which is close to the city of Birmingham. The club were founded all the way back in 1885 and their stadium is called Pack Meadow. The ground can hold up to 2,000 spectators under normal circumstances.

The Colemen are managed by Cameron Stuart who played in Aston Villa’s youth team right at the beginning of his playing career.

Coleshill’s last trophy came in 2008 when they clinched the Midland Combination Premier Division title. The club also reached the FA Vase semi-final in the 2016-17 season.

One to Watch

24 year-old midfielder Josh Willis will be a key player for Matlock to watch out for on Tuesday night. Willis scored in Coleshill’s most recent game and has played seven games so far in the Colemen’s 2020/21 campaign. Willis has previously played for the likes of Worcester City and Rushall Olympic.

Team News

Matlock Town have made two new acquisitions since their last competitive game before the second national lockdown began. Club legend Ross Hannah has made a dramatic return to the club after moving from Cleethorpes Town and is in line to make his second competitive debut for the Gladiators on Tuesday night.

Craig Carney has recently been signed from fellow NPL Premier Division outfit Warrington Town and the attacking midfielder could make his competitive debut for Matlock Town.

Star striker Liam Hughes and player/coach Kade Coppin will be unavailable as they serve the last of their three match suspension.

Goalkeeper Jon Stewart suffered another setback as he was substituted early in the friendly against Wythenshawe Town after picking up another injury and is doubtful for Tuesday night.

Joe Bunney has departed the club since Matlock’s last competitive game and has moved to Hartlepool United in the National League.

Previous Meeting

This will be the first time ever that these two sides have played each other.

Key Information

The draw for the second and third round of the FA Trophy will be made on Wednesday at 1pm.

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