Matlock Town will be looking to strengthen their grip at the top of the Northern Premier League Premier Division on Saturday afternoon as they host Ashton United.
This will be Matlock's first game in 2022 after their scheduled away trip to Gainsborough Trinity on New Year's Day was postponed. The Gladiators will be going into the Ashton game full of confidence after beating local rivals and fellow title challengers Buxton 2-1 in their most recent game.
Ashton United currently occupy 18th position in the Northern Premier League Premier Division and sit four points ahead of the automatic relegation spots. In their most recent game, Ashton lost 4-3 in the league away from home against FC United of Manchester in a thrilling encounter. In their last six games in all competitions, Ashton have won two matches and lost four.
Ashton United are known as the Robins and were formed back in 1878. The Robins play their home games at the Hurst Cross Stadium which is based in Ashton-under-Lyne within Greater Manchester. The ground can hold up to 4,500 people and has a seated capacity of up to 250. The most recent trophy that the Robins lifted was back in 2011 when they won the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup. Ashton's manager is former Manchester United, Oldham Athletic and England U21 player Michael Clegg. The Hurst Cross Stadium will be a very familiar setting for some of the Gladiators contingent. Matlock's gaffer Paul Phillips used to play for and manage the Robins, whilst Mark Lees has also played for the club previously.
One to Watch
21 year-old forward Florian Yonsian will be a key player to look out for in Saturday's game. Yonsian is from The Ivory Coast and has scored five goals in Ashton's last four games across all competitions.
The striker started his career at Rochdale where he made three appearances for the club in the 2018-19 season. Yonsian moved from Rochdale to Salford City where he went on to have loan stints at Stafford Rangers and Marine.
Yonsian joined the Robins in October this season.
Goalkeepers Shaun Rowley and Paul Cooper are both still unavailable due to injuries
Jerome Greaves left the Gladiators within the last few days. He's now joined Farsley Celtic on loan from his parent club Rotherham United.
These two sides last met on the opening day of this season's league campaign.
Ashton took full advantage of a poor Gladiators performance at Hurst Cross to win the game 2-0 in front of a crowd of 458.
First half goals from Tom Bentham and Jack Redshaw secured the three points for the Robins.