THE PREVIEW | MTFC Vs Bamber Bridge - Pitching In NPL - 22.1.22
Matlock Town host Bamber Bridge on Saturday afternoon in a huge top of the table clash in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.
The Gladiators are unbeaten in their last five league games and currently sit five points clear at the top of the division. This match followed by the trip to South Shields next weekend will be two huge tests of Matlock Town's title credentials.
Bamber Bridge currently occupy second position in the Northern Premier League Premier Division and are five points behind the Gladiators having played a game more than the Derbyshire outfit. They're having an absolutely superb season so far as not many people at all had the Lancashire outfit down as promotion contenders for this 2021-22 campaign. In their most recent match, Bamber Bridge drew 0-0 at home against FC United of Manchester in the league. In their most recent away trip, they beat Radcliffe 3-2 away from home in the league thanks to an 89th minute winner from Jake Thompson. In their last six games, Bamber Bridge have won two, drawn one and lost three. Their away record overall this season is very impressive - nine wins from their 13 away trips so far this season in the league is further evidence that this will be a very tough game for Matlock.
Bamber Bridge were founded in 1974 and they play their home games at The Sir Tom Finney Stadium At Irongate. The ground can hold up to 3,000 spectators with a seated capacity of 554. The club are nicknamed 'Brig'.
Their manager is former Everton, Blackpool and Fleetwood Town player Jamie Milligan. The 42 year-old was appointed Brig's manager back in December of 2019. Milligan has won plenty of praise for Bamber Bridge's progress this season and for his style of play - not least from Matlock's very own Dave Wild!
The last trophy Bamber Bridge lifted was back in the 2004-05 season when they won the Northern Premier League President's Cup. They won the Northern Premier League Premier Division title back in the 1995-96 campaign.
Previous Bamber Bridge players include the likes of Lee Trundle, Brett Ormerod and Jon Macken.
The club's record attendance for a home game was set in 1996 when they played The Czech Republic in a friendly as part of their warm-up for the Euro 96 tournament. A total of 2,300 spectators watched this game between a non-league club and a senior international team who would then go on to reach the final of Euro 96.
One to Watch
Midfielder Isaac Sinclair will be a key player to look out for on Saturday afternoon. He's scored three goals in Brig's last four games.
Sinclair joined Bamber Bridge in September of 2020 from Curzon Ashton.
Sinclair is the son of former West Ham United, Manchester City and England player Trevor Sinclair.
Goalkeepers Shaun Rowley and Paul Cooper are still unavailable due to injuries.
Dan Wallis has departed the Gladiators and has now joined Macclesfield.
In the reverse fixture between these two sides in September at The Sir Tom Finney Stadium, Matlock won 4-2 in an entertaining game.
A brace on his debut from Jamie Cooke plus goals from Liam Hughes and Al Byrne secured all three points for the Gladiators in front of a crowd of 347.
The game was also significant for the remarkable return of Gladiators legend Adam Yates who came out of retirement and played in this game. Yates was called up as an emergency by manager Paul Phillips as the squad was blighted by injuries and unexpected player departures to other clubs.