THE PREVIEW | Buxton FC Vs MTFC - Pitching In NPL- 18.4.22
Matlock Town travel to fierce local rivals Buxton on Easter Monday in an enormous A6 derby. A win for the Gladiators would guarantee a play-offs place with one game remaining in the regular league campaign. A defeat though would see the matter of a play-offs spot go right down to the final day if Bamber Bridge beat their local rivals Lancaster City on Easter Monday.
The Gladiators approach this game with a superb defensive record but still have problems in the final third. Bizarrely, in the last five games Matlock have been involved in, only one goal has been scored by any team.
Buxton come into this game at the top of the Northern Premier League Premier Division. Only a better goal difference separates Buxton from South Shields at the top of the table. With only one game remaining after the Easter Monday games, the stakes simply couldn't be higher. Buxton are unbeaten in their last 14 games and haven't lost a match since the 22nd of January. In their most recent game, Buxton drew 3-3 away at Mickleover in a thrilling NPL Premier Division encounter. In their most recent home match, Steve Cunningham's men comfortably beat already relegated Grantham Town 3-0.
Buxton were founded all the way back in 1877 and are affectionately known as the Bucks. They play their home games at The Tarmac Silverlands Stadium in the town of Buxton in Derbyshire. The ground can hold up to 4,000 spectators and has a seated capacity of 490.
The Bucks manager is Steve Cunningham. Cunningham joined the club in November this season following the club's shock decision to sack Gary Hayward. Cunningham previously managed Curzon Ashton in the National League North and also had a spell managing Colne.
The last trophy Buxton lifted was the Derbyshire Senior Cup back in the 2011-12 campaign.
One to Watch
Striker Diego De Girolamo has had a superb 2021/22 season. Considering he was out injured for around three months, his NPL Premier Division goal tally of 20 for this season is extremely impressive.
The 26 year-old forward was born in Chesterfield and started his playing career at Sheffield United. Diego's father is Italian and the striker has made international appearances for Italy's U18, U19 and U20 sides.
De Girolamo is in excellent form for Buxton with seven goals in the club's last six games.
Goalkeeper Joe Young could return to action following the concussion he suffered right at the end of the game against Basford United which forced him to sit out the home match against Nantwich Town.
Liam King is expected to be unavailable due to his injury.
Dual registration signings Darren McKnight and Benito Lowe will now be available for selection for Matlock Town for the rest of this season following the conclusion of New Mills's campaign.
These two sides last met in December earlier this season in the league at The Proctor Cars Stadium.
The Gladiators won the game 2-1 in front of a huge crowd of 2,155.
Bradley Jackson put the Bucks in front after 28 minutes but the whole dynamic of the game changed drastically just two minutes later when James Hurst got himself needlessly sent off. Second half goals from Ross Hannah and Reece Kendall secured all three points for Paul Phillips's side.