THE PREVIEW | MTFC Vs Stalybridge Celtic - Pitching In NPL - 23.8.22
Matlock Town aim to return to winning ways on Tuesday evening as they host Stalybridge Celtic at The Proctor Cars Stadium in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.
An encouraging opening day victory at Causeway Lane over Whitby Town has been followed by two defeats in a row on the road: a 1-0 loss to Radcliffe and a 2-0 defeat at Morpeth Town.
Manager Paul Phillips will be anxious to restore some momentum ahead of a very busy schedule of games within the next couple of weeks.
Stalybridge Celtic currently occupy 16th position in the NPL Premier Division which is one below the Gladiators. Like Matlock, Stalybridge have won one and lost two of their opening three games of the 2022/23 season. They've scored only one goal so far this season which is also identical to the Gladiators. On the opening day, Stalybridge lost 2-0 at South Shields. This was followed by a 1-0 home defeat against Warrington Town. They picked up their first victory of the league campaign last weekend as they beat Lancaster City 1-0 at home.
Stalybridge Celtic were officially founded back in 1909 and they play their home games at Bower Fold in the town of Stalybridge in Greater Manchester. The stadium can hold up to 6,500 spectators and has a seated capacity of 1,300. The club are affectionately known as The Celts.
Their manager is Chris Willcock who took over from Simon Haworth back in May. Willcock is a very experienced manager at non-level. He's managed at the likes of Mossley, Stocksbridge Park Steels and Glossop North End. It was at Glossop where Willcock secured a promotion and also reached the FA Vase final. Chris joined Stalybridge from Workington.
It's been a while since the Celts last lifted a trophy. The most recent occasion was in 2003 when they won the Northern Premier League President's Cup. Stalybridge have also won the Northern Premier League title on two occasions with the most recent time being the 2000-01 campaign.
One to Watch
Angolan striker Raul Correia will be a key player to look out for on Tuesday night.
Correia moved to England at the age of nine and has played for the likes of Barrow and Southport along with Welsh outfits Bala Town and Aberystwyth Town.
The 29 year-old forward joined the Celts in January last season and scored five goals in 16 league appearances.
Correia scored a penalty in Stalybridge's 1-0 victory over Lancaster City last weekend.
Reece Kendall is available for selection again after completing his three match suspension.
Kallan Murphy and Leigh Whelan remain doubts as they await international clearance to start playing for the Gladiators.
These two sides last played each other in December last season in the NPL Premier Division at Bower Fold.
Matlock won the game 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Ryan Qualter and Jesurun Uchegbulam. The match was watched by a crowd of 437.