Gladiators… Are You Ready?… Again!

by Peter Scherer

At the second time of asking we are off to Causeway Lane on Tuesday night, taking a break from the league campaign to visit Matlock Town in the Derbyshire Senior Cup. 

Those of you who made the wasted to Matlock a couple of weeks ago, when the referee called the game off just before kick-off, hopefully it will be second time lucky.

Following Saturday’s home league success, it will be interesting to see Sports line-up, as Ryan Wilson, Joe Bateman and Lewis Cunningham continue to edge closer to full fitness and we await the return of Fin Delap from suspension.

Our hosts are currently 14th in the Northern Premier League, following 3-0 win at home against FC United of Manchester. But it’s been a mixed season so far for Martin Carruthers side, with five wins and one draw.

Former Derby County, Burton Albion and Notts County goalkeeper Saul Deeney is first choice goalkeeper, having arrived from Ilkeston in January last year. A former Republic of Ireland Under 21 International, he has also played for Gresley Rovers, Hull City, Hucknall and Basford.

His deputy is Alex Akers, a former Nottingham Forest Junior who signed for the club in October.

Long serving centre back Adam Yates has spent most of the last 15 years at Matlock, since singing from Shirebrook in 2009. Originally a Chesterfield Junior, he also had a spell at Belper Town.

Former Under 19 and Under 17 Welsh International centre back Ioan Evans came from Stalybridge back in September 2021. He started his career with Sheffield Utd and after a loan at Boston Utd, signing for Gainsborough on his release. He also had a season with Tadcaster before his Stalybridge move.

Left back Joe West was initially with Sheffield Wednesday, before joining Farsley Celtic on his release. Frickley was his next stop before arriving at Matlock pre-season, having spent last season at Gainsborough.

Right back Kornell McDonald started out in Derby Count’s Academy. He moved on to Kettering, before a short stop at Bedford Town preceded a spell at Redditch, where he ended last season. He started this season at Gloucester City and came to Matlock just before Christmas.

Midfielder Finlay Armond came through Boston Utd’s Juniors. He was one of Matlock’s pre-season signings, having spent last season with Queens Knights, a US College team.

Connor Dimiao is a central midfielder, capped by the Republic of Ireland at Under 17, 19 and 21 levels. From starting at Sheffield Utd, he joined Chesterfield and played 47 games in league one and two.

Stockport County, Boston Utd and Curzon Ashton were his next stops, before arriving at Causeway Lane last February.

Captain John Johnston plays on the right side of midfield. He started with Kidsgrove Athletic and is fairly well travelled. He joined Crewe Alexandra after a spell at Leek Town, and has played for Alfreton, Salford City, Nantwich, Altrincham and Chester, before coming to Matlock from Guiseley in October 2022.

Striker Anthony Dwyer came from Alfreton in October. He started as a Mansfield Town Junior and has been mainly Midlands based during his career. He previously played for Matlock in 2016 and spent last season at Basford.

Winger Nathaniel Crofts is another pre-season signing from Guiseley, he also spent three years in the US and Canada College football.

Scott Boden has only recently arrived from Buxton and scored on his debut last Saturday. He is another very experienced striker, having also played locally for Chesterfield and Alfreton.

Midfielder Nathan Whitehead returned to Matlock in October from Long Eaton. It’s his third spell at Causeway Lane and has also played for Spalding, Lincoln Utd, Leek, Frickley and Loughborough Dynamo.

Harry Wood was another October returnee, a midfielder who came through the clubs own youth scheme. He has played for Grantham and Stamford too as well as a spell in Malta.

Defender George Wilkinson and winger Alex Duhameau are both on loan from Chesterfield. Michael Williams is another returnee. He originally came from Ilkeston in 2016 and came back just before Christmas from Clay Cross.

Jamie Sharman is another defender and ex Chesterfield Junior and midfielder Ollie Clarke is a pre-season signing from Basford.

Since the original game was postponed, Derby County youngster Callum Moore has also joined the Gladiators squad on a months loan, he can play right or left back.

As Moore arrived regular goal scorer Jonny Margetts has left, joining National League North side Kings Lynn.

Kick as usual is 7.45pm and your support would be welcomed.

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