THE PREVIEW | MTFC Vs Grantham Town - Pitching In NPL - 8.2.22
Matlock Town host Grantham Town on Tuesday evening as they look to return to winning ways in the Northern Premier League Premier Division following a very disappointing defeat last weekend against Lancaster City.
Despite not picking up any points against the Dolly Blues in their most recent game, the Gladiators are still two points clear at the top of the league after South Shields were held to a 2-2 draw away at Buxton on the same day.
Grantham Town currently sit bottom of the Northern Premier League Premier Division and have a mountain to climb if they are going to avoid relegation this season. Grantham are unbeaten though in their last two games with both of these matches coming away from home. In their most recent game, Grantham grabbed a last gasp equaliser to draw 3-3 in a thriller away at promotion contenders Warrington Town. However, they have won only one of their last six competitive games. Bizarrely, Grantham have not won a single match at home in the league so far this season. Out of their 19 points picked up overall in this campaign, only three of those have come from their home games.
Grantham Town were founded in 1874 and are nicknamed the Gingerbreads. They play their home games at The South Kesteven Sports Stadium in the town of Grantham in Lincolnshire. The stadium can hold up to 7,500 spectators and has a seated capacity of 750. The stadium also has an athletics track around the pitch.
Grantham's manager is former Boston United and Tamworth boss Dennis Greene. During his playing career, Greene played for Wycombe Wanderers under Martin O'Neill and ended his career in Finland where he played for FC Haka. Greene was part of the FC Haka side that won the Veikkausliiga title (Finland's equivalent to English football's Premier League) and also played for the team in the following season's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Greene was only appointed as Grantham's manager in November of this season. Greene replaced former England international Carlton Palmer following his resignation from the managerial role.
The last trophy the Gingerbreads lifted was back in the 2011-12 campaign when they won the Northern Premier League Division One South league title. They also won the Lincolnshire County Shield in that same season.
One to Watch
Former Matlock Town defender Ashton Hall will be a key player to look out for on Tuesday evening.
The 21 year-old centre-half only joined the Gingerbreads very recently from Sheffield and scored Grantham's dramatic injury time equaliser last weekend away at Warrington Town.
Hall has previously played for Sheffield United's academy side and has also had a loan spell with Guiseley in the past.
New signings Reece Webb-Foster and Riece Bertram will both be available for selection for Tuesday night's game. Webb-Foster has joined the Gladiators very recently from Colne while Bertram has joined Matlock from local rivals Belper Town.
Jesurun Uchegbulam will be unavailable as he has joined Colne on a one month loan deal.
Ryan Qualter will be available for selection for Tuesday night despite the red card he received in Matlock's home defeat to Lancaster City. After the Grantham game, Qualter will be suspended for the following three matches.
In the reverse fixture of this game, Matlock Town beat Grantham Town 3-1 away from home in October.
A brace from Al Byrne plus an own goal from Finlay Shrimpton gave the Gladiators all three points while Thierry Latty-Fairweather scored Grantham's only goal of the game.
The match was played in front of a crowd of 221.