by Peter Scherer
Matlock Town are currently third in the NPL and still have hopes of taking the title and gaining promotion.
But them form over the last month or so has been far from title winning. With only one win in the last eight games, they went down 0-1 at home to Atherton last Saturday.
When Mickleover visited Causeway Lane in October, they were unlucky to come away on the wrong end of 0-1 defeat. But three points critical for both sides, with Sports having only taken one point from the last three games.
Wolves loanee Joe Young has been first choice in goal for Matlock since arriving in January. The 20 year old also had a loan spell at Runcorn Linnets last year.
Former Shrewsbury Town Junior Shaun Rowley had been first choice keeper until he was injured. Now fit again he is on a dual registration with Wythenshawe. During his time at Shrewsbury , he had a few months on loan at Watford, as well as spells at Halesowen, Chorley and Tamworth.
After seven years at Shrewsbury he was released in 2018 and then spent a year each at Halifax Town and Solihull Moors. After a couple of months at Kettering, he came to Matlock in September 2020.
Defender Reece Kendall made history when he was signed from Brighouse Town, as he was the first player the Yorkshire club had ever received a fee for. He played at Hyde and Silsden before going to Brighouse, having started out in their own under 21 side. He has recently been selected as part of the England C team too.
Adam Yates in his 13th full season with Matlock having joined them from Shirebrook Town in March 2009 following an impressive performance against Matlock in the 2008/09 Derbyshire Senior Cup semi final. With 500 appearances for the first team underlining his tremendous consistency, mainly as a central defender, he has also played as a full back or in midfield.
He started out as a youth player with Chesterfield before joining Belper Town. He was voted fans player of the year in 2012/13, 2015/16, 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Former Welsh under 17 and under 19 international centre back or defensive midfielder Ioan Evans arrived from Stalybridge Celtic last summer. A former Newport Academy player he had a spell at Sheffield United and was loaned to Boston Utd, before joining Gainsborough Trinity. Moving on to Tadcaster, he spent one year with them before starting this season at Stalybridge.
Centre Back Ryan Qualter came to Matlock in summer 2020 from Alfreton Town. He started his career at Ossett Town and then joined Bradford PA and had a loan spell at Scarborough, before spells at Shaw Lane and Boston Utd preceded his move to Alfreton.
Mark Lees is an experienced defender or midfielder. He had played for Hyde, Altrincham and Stalybridge, before moving on to Stockport County, Telford and Ashton Utd. He came to Matlock summer 2020 after a spell at Mossley.
Winger Alex Byrne has been at Matlock since March 2020. He began at Warrington, before moving to Buxton in Autumn 2019, having previously played for both Shaw Lane and Gainsborough Trinity.
Alex Wiles started his career as a midfielder at Rotherham, before his release sent him to Stocksbridge Park Steels. His next stop was Tadcaster before joining Gainsborough, from where Matlock signed him in pre-season.
Liam Hughes is a well travelled midfielder, having started as a junior at Scunthorpe and Cambridge Utd. After a short spell at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, he returned to England with Barrow and has since played at Guiseley, Billericay, Darlington, Gainsborough, Stratford Town, Bradford PA and Frickley, before arriving at Matlock last summer. He had a loan at Kettering but has been with Matlock full time again since February last year.
Marcus Marshall is a winger that started out at Blackburn Rovers. He made one senior appearance, as well as gaining experience with loans at League Two Rotherham and Macclesfield.
He then joined Bury in League One, but was loaned out to Grimsby Town, before moving on to Morecambe, Lincoln City, Boston Utd, Coalville, Alfreton, Hyde and Basford, from where he joined Matlock in January this year.
Winger Terry Hawkridge played junior football at Barnsley and Tranmere, before returning to Nottinghamshire with Carlton Town. Spells at Hucknall and Gainsborough followed before he joined Scunthorpe Utd. Three seasons with the Irons preceded loans at Mansfield and Lincoln, before a permanent move to Lincoln.
Stays at Notts County, Solihull and Boston Utd followed before arriving at Basford earlier this season. He came to Matlock in January in a double transfer with Marcus Marshall.
Callum Chippendale is another attacking midfielder who went to Bradford PA after his release from Barnsley Juniors. Moves to Boston, Gainsborough and Shaw Lane followed, before joining Buxton in early 2018. He came to Matlock July 2020, from Buxton.
Ross Hannah was a junior striker at both Sheffield Utd and Wednesday. He then joined Worksop Town and Stocksbridge Park Steels, with loans at Gainsborough and Belper Town, before a permanent move to Gainsborough.
He was at Hednesford and Belper before his first spell at Matlock from 2008 to 2011 during which time he won the NPL Golden Boot. Moving onto Bradford City where he played in League Two, then Halifax, Grimsby, Chester, Barrow and Southport , before returning to Gainsborough as player manager. After a spell at Cleethorpes he came back to Matlock in November 2020.
Midfielder Luke Daly came to the Gladiators in November last year. He came out of Burnley’s Academy, before moving to Droylsden, South Shields and Curzon Ashton.
Striker Reece Webb-Foster is a graduate of Bradford City’s Academy. He was loaned to Bradford Park Avenue, Guiseley and Harrogate, before joining Colne following his release. After a spell at Lancaster he rejoined Colne, before arriving at Causeway Lane last month.
Riece Bertam is a recent arrival from Belper Town. He came to Belper after spells at Carlton,Ilkeston and Basford.
Jesurun Uchegbulam is another midfielder who came to Matlock during the summer. He started in the junior teams at AC Milan, and has played for Mossley and Stockport and is a former Bolton Wanderers junior
Kayde Coppin is a player coach at Matlock. The striker has played at Flixton, Trafford, Northwich Victoria, Rossendale United, Atherton LR, Bacup Borough and Glossop North End. He has reached the play-offs with Mossley, Ashton United and Buxton and has also managed Manchester Ladies between 2014 and 2016. He came to Matlock summer 2020
Jamie Sharman is a young centre back who came to Matlock last summer after his release from Chesterfield, and Finlay Phillips is another young defender on the fringe of the first team.
Liam King is midfielder back at Matlock for a second time. He was at Rotherham as a junior, and had a loan spell at Altrincham before a permanent move to Matlock in July 2012. After four years service he joined North Ferriby and moved on to Halifax, Gainsborough, Frickley and Grantham. He managed Gainsborough for a while too, and came back to Matlock last summer.
Kick off is 3pm at the Don Amott Arena.