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Gladiators to host Rams first team in tasty pre season fixture

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Gladiators to host Rams first team in tasty pre season fixture

Matlock Town officials promised fans some tasty home pre season fixtures and as far as Derbyshire football goes there’s probably no bigger attraction than Derby County.

The Rams have confirmed that their first team squad will visit the Proctor Cars Stadium for a prestige game against the Gladiators on Saturday 8 July (3pm).

Although Matlock have faced the Rams under 21’s on a regular basis in recent seasons, you have to go back to the summer of 2014 since Derby’s first team took to the stage at Matlock, a Craig Forsyth strike ensuring that the Rams returned down the A6 with a 1-0 victory.

After a torrid time in which their very existence was threatened, local developer David Clowes bought the Rams last year, Derby having been relegated from the Championship to League One. They had just five first team players signed on and being prevented from paying transfer fees, they put together a host of free transfers and loan signings to mount a spirited promotion challenge, falling short on the final day when a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, coupled with Peterborough United winning 2-0 at Barnsley, saw them swap places with Posh and miss out on a play off spot.

Mr Clowes company also sponsors Matlock’s yellow away shirt.

The Rams have many followers in Matlock and the Derbyshire Dales and Chairman Jay Beaumont says he is looking forward to a great afternoon and a bumper crowd for Derby’s visit.

“Derby County sending their first team here is absolutely fantastic and we send huge thanks to David Clowes, Paul Warne and all associated with Derby for accepting our invitation. Derby are very well supported by people in the Matlock area and it’ll be great for people who cannot get down to Derby for home games to see their team in action closer to home. It’s also an opportunity for us to show everyone what we’re all about, a local community club with great values being able to welcome a big club like Derby to our stadium. It should be a great occasion and one everyone at the club is looking forward to. We’re fostering a good strong relationship with Derby and long may that continue.”

The Town Chairman also paid tribute to Matlock and Cromford Meadows Cricket Club who rescheduled a home fixture to enable the game to take place on a Saturday rather than in midweek.

“A big shout out to Steve Haslam and the officials at Matlock and Cromford Meadows Cricket Club for their help and cooperation in allowing us to stage this fixture on a Saturday. It’s an example of two organisations working together for the good of the local community and we can’t thank them enough.”

Matlock have already announced the visits of Notts County and Mansfield Town on Tuesday 18 July and Tuesday 1 August respectively.

Tickets for the Derby County friendly are available now -

Ian Richardson