Derby duel as Matlock Town and Belper Town prepare to meet in FA Cup

Matlock Town and Belper Town will go head-to-head in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.

By Duncan Browne
Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 12:00 am
Paul Phillips. Photo: Craig Lamont
Paul Phillips. Photo: Craig Lamont

The first qualifying round will see Paul Phillips' Gladiators host Grant Black's Nailers at the Proctor Cars Stadium, in what promises to be an intriguing game.

For Black, the competition will always bring back special memories after he guided Belper to the fourth qualifying round in October 2019 before losing 2-1 at Notts County.

Now he is hoping to repeat that success on the road to Wembley.

"We've had a taste of it recently," he said.

"Once you have that experience you crave it every year.

"It's not realistic at all, but you still want it. In the FA Cup we go into the game focusing everything we can on try to get through.

"We've not been dealt a kind draw, but we'll prepare for it the best we can."

Saturday's game kicks off at 3pm, with Matlock boss Paul Philips keen to get past the potential banana skin of a derby rival who play one league below.

“If you’re asking me if it’s a good draw, I’ll tell you after the game” Phillips joked.

“But seriously, we’ll have them watched, they’re obviously a good side with some good players.

"It’s a great tie for the football club, it should attract a good crowd, it’s up to us to do our job and get through.”

Phillips has also praised striker Jerome Greaves, the Rotherham loanee making his Gladiators debut in last Tuesday’s win at Nantwich: “Jerome hadn’t played through being ill and I thought he did really well. He has all the attributes to do very well for us."