Formed 130 years ago, Matlock’s most successful period came when they had been in existence for about a century when they were FA Trophy winners at Wembley in 1975 before later reaching the 3rd Round of the FA Cup in 1976/77 and winning the Northern Premier League Cup in 1978.
Under the management of former England and Sheffield Wednesday centre back Peter Swan, Matlock beat Scarborough by a record 4-0 scoreline, a game where all three Fenoughty brothers, Tom, Mick and Nick starred. For good measure two days later Matlock beat Glossop to lift the Derbyshire Senior Cup. Earlier in the campaign, Matlock reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup for only the second time, losing 4-1 at home to eventual Third Division champions Blackburn Rovers.
When Tom, the eldest of the brothers replaced Swan as manager, Matlock had their best FA Cup run, beating Telford United and Wigan Athletic (the Latics were then a NPL club),before thrashing eventual 3rd division champions Mansfield town 5-2 at their Field Mill ground. The run ended with a 5-1 loss at Carlisle.
Matlock beat Boston United 3-0 at Maine Road, Manchester to win the NPL Greenalls Cup in 1978, thus qualifying for the prestigious Anglo Italian Non League tournament in 1979. They lost 2-1 to both Chieti and Pisa in Italy but beat Juniorcasale and Cremonese 2-0 at home to narrowly miss out on the final, finishing as English runners up to Sutton United.
Another successful season came in 1983/84 when the Gladiators finished as runners up to NPL champions Barrow and won the Derbyshire Senior Cup.
In their early years Matlock had found success hard to come by but they came to prominence in 1959/60 when they reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing a home replay to Crook Town. After finishing as Central Alliance League Champions in 1959/60 and 1960/61, they were promoted to the Midland Counties League, winning the title at the first attempt. Promotion to the NPL came after they won the Midland Counties League championship again in 1968/69.
After relegation to the UniBond First Division in 1995/96, Matlock had to wait until 2003/04 before bouncing back to the top tier as they finished as runners up to Hyde United. Matlock were also Derbyshire Senior Cup winners in that season. Then in 2004/05 Matlock defeated Whitby Town to lift the UniBond League Challenge Cup.
In 2006/07 Matlock reached the UniBond Premier Division play offs but lost to Witton Albion. In that same campaign they were beaten finalists in both the UniBond Challenge Cup and Derbyshire Senior Cup.
Their form dipped in the following two seasons as they flirted with relegation. They finished 16th in 2007/08 and 15th in 2008/09.
Matlock are currently managed by former Premiership title winner Mark Atkins, who played an integral midfield role in Blackburn Rovers victorious side of 1994/95. Atkins replaced joint bosses Phil Brown and Gareth Williams in November 2008 and guided Matlock to safety from a perilous looking position at Christmas. Matlock were also runners up in the Derbyshire Senior Cup.
Atkins’ first full season in charge at Causeway Lane saw a big improvement as a tremendous second half of the season eventually led to a 7th spot finish. The Gladiators also won the first ever Derbyshire Senior Cup Final to be played at Derby County’s Pride Park Stadium with a comfortable 2-0 victory over neighbours Belper Town. In 2010/11, Matlock looked odds on for the play offs in early March but a dip in form saw them finish in 11th spot. Last season they finished in a disappointing 14th spot and will be out to do better during the coming campaign.
Off the field a brand new ground development project has recently been completed with the new Twigg Stand which includes brand new changing facilities, plus the new Social Club, two developments that everyone at the club is immensely proud of. An episode of the Sky One TV series Starlings was filmed at their ground and screened during the summer. It featured players, officials and supporters acting as extras.
FA Challenge Trophy Winners 1974/75
NPL Cup Winners 1977/78, 2004/05
NPL Cup Runners Up 2006/07
NPL Shield Winners 1978/79
NPL Runners Up 1983/84
NPL (UniBond) Division 1Runners Up 2003/2004
Evans Halshaw Floodlit Cup Winners 1988/89, 1990/91
Derbyshire Senior Cup Winners 1974/75, 1976/77, 1977/78, 1983/84, 1984/85, 1991/92, 2003/04, 2009/2010
Derbyshire Senior Cup Runners Up 1960/61, 1963/64, 1971/72, 1973/74, 1975/76, 1980/81, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1989/90, 1993/94, 2006/07, 2008/09
Central Alliance Division North Champions 1959/60, 1960/61
Midland Counties League Champions 1961/62, 1968/69
FA Cup 1st Round Appearances: 1959/60-lost 1-0 to Crook Town in home replay;
1974/75-lost 4-1 at home to Blackburn Rovers;
1975/76-lost 4-1 away at Wigan Athletic;
1976/77-beat Wigan Athletic 2-0 at home;
1989/90 – lost 4-1 away at Scunthorpe United.
FA Cup 3rd Round Appearances: 1976 77.