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PREVIEW: The Gladiators visit the Boro in league clash

Updated: Oct 19, 2019

Matlock Town visit Radcliffe at the Neuven Stadium this Saturday afternoon in the Northern Premier Division.

The Gladiators have lost four of their past five games and are desperate to regain the form that saw them top the table at the end of August.


The Opposition

Radcliffe currently sit in 16th position in the Northern Premier Division although their league position is a little misleading given that the Boro already have numerous games in hand on almost every single team in the division. Remarkably, for a third of the way through the season, Radcliffe already have five games in hand on Matlock Town. Radcliffe’s most recent match was a 1-0 defeat away at Lancaster City last Tuesday evening whereas their last game at the Neuven Stadium was a 2-2 draw against FC United of Manchester in the Manchester Premier Cup which resulted in a penalty shoot-out defeat.

Radcliffe won promotion to the Northern Premier Division last season after winning the NPL Division One West play-offs. Their management staff will be familiar to a lot of people. The Boro’s manager is former Manchester City and Preston North End striker Jon Macken and their assistant manager is former Premier League defender and Jamaican international Frank Sinclair. Sinclair most notably played in central defence for Chelsea making 169 league appearances and winning the FA Cup, League Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. Sinclair also won the League Cup with Leicester City and played for Jamaica in the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

The club was formerly known as Radcliffe Borough up until the beginning of the 2018-19 season when they decided to rebrand. The Boro have had a few players to represent them and also play in the first tier of English football at some point in their career. These players include the likes of Frank Worthington, Chris Makin and two-time European Cup winner Alan Kennedy.


One to Watch

Attacking midfielder Matty Wolfenden will be a key opposition player for Matlock fans to watch out for. The 32 year-old started his career in the Football League for his hometown club Oldham Athletic. Wolfenden made 48 league appearances for the club before moving to Wrexham.

He then went on to spend seven years with FC United of Manchester where he was the club’s top goal scorer for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. After that, Wolfenden moved to Stalybridge Celtic where he scored 21 goals in 73 league appearances before then moving to the Boro.


Team News

Piteu Crouz and Marcus Marshall are both suspended for Saturday’s game. This will be the second of Crouz’s three game suspension while Marshall is suspended just for this one game after he picked up a fifth yellow card of the season in Matlock’s most recent match at home to Warrington Town.

Centre-half James Williamson has left Matlock Town to join Tadcaster Albion on a free transfer.


Previous Meeting

For the last time these sides met, we need to travel back to 2006. On October 28th thirteen years ago, Radcliffe Borough (as they were known then) drew 1-1 with the Gladiators at the Neuven Stadium in the league.

They’ve played each other a total of six times which has resulted in three Matlock victories and three draws.

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