Gladiators prepare for ‘toughest test so far’

Dave Frecklington
Dave Frecklington

Matlock boss Dave Frecklington believes Saturday’s match against Stalybridge Celtic will be the Gladiators’ toughest game so far.

Stalybridge arrive at the Proctor Cars Stadium one point and three places better off than tenth placed Matlock, buoyed by an FA Trophy replay win at Buxton on Tuesday.

Frecklington said the incentive is there for Matlock to extend their unbeaten run: “It’s probably going to be our toughest game so far in terms of the magnitude of the three points on offer.

“We lost 3-1 up there in my first game in the dug out earlier in the season so we want to right the wrongs of that game. We’re a different animal now and we have the chance to overtake Stalybridge in the table, something that didn’t look possible a few weeks ago.

“We want to keep the run going for as long as possible but Stalybridge have a lot of good players. It should make for an entertaining game.”

Brad Beatson is available after suspension while Shaun Harrad could feature following two months out with a fractured tibia. Michael Williams, Tom Davie, Harry Wood and Lee Beevers are out injured.

The Gladiators scheduled home meeting with Basford United on Saturday 24 November has been called off due to Basford’s continued involvement in the FA Trophy. The League have not as yet announced a replacement fixture for Matlock who are up to schedule with games played. As things stand their next game after Stalybridge will be at South Shields on Saturday 1 December.