THE PREVIEW | MTFC Vs Warrington Town - Pitching In NPL - 23.4.22
Matlock Town host Warrington Town on Saturday afternoon with a huge amount at stake on the final day of the Northern Premier League Premier Division season. Following their one point deduction that was confirmed last Wednesday evening, the Gladiators go into the final day occupying the final play-offs berth with only a one point lead over sixth-placed Bamber Bridge. Quite simply, Matlock Town must beat Warrington Town on Saturday to guarantee themselves their first play-offs finish for 15 years. However, if the Gladiators don't beat their Cheshire opponents and Bamber Bridge beat Nantwich Town in their final game, then Paul Phillips's men will miss out on the play-offs in heartbreaking fashion.
Matlock's home form coming into this game is a big cause for concern. The Gladiators have not won any of their last seven matches at The Proctor Cars Stadium and have only scored one goal in these seven games.
Warrington Town will be very tough opponents for Matlock. Warrington currently sit in third position in the NPL Premier Division and sit two points ahead of the Gladiators in fifth and three points clear of Bamber Bridge in sixth. Due to their vastly superior goal difference to Brig, there is no realistic danger to Warrington missing out on a play-offs place.
Warrington come into this game in good form with ten points collected from the last 12 available. In their most recent game, Warrington beat Witton Albion 2-0 at home in the league thanks to goals from Edmond Clarke and James Harris. In their most recent away trip, Warrington beat Atherton Collieries 2-0 in the league.
The club were founded back in 1949 under the name of Stockton Heath before amending to Warrington Town 12 years later. The club are nicknamed the Yellows. They play their home games at Cantilever Park in the town of Warrington in Cheshire. The stadium can hold up to 2,550 spectators.
The Yellows manager is former Preston North End, Forest Green Rovers and Cambridge United striker Mark Beesley. The 41 year-old was Warrington's assistant manager before making the step up to manager in December of this season when Paul Carden left the Yellows to become the manager of AFC Telford United.
Warrington Town won the Northern Premier League Premier Division play-offs in the 2018-19 season but did not win promotion due to losing in the following 'super' play-off final to King's Lynn Town.
One to Watch
25 year-old striker Jordan Buckley will certainly be a key Yellows player to look out for on Saturday afternoon.
The former FC United of Manchester player has scored 17 league goals this season for Warrington.
Goalkeeper Joe Young is expected to be available for selection again after missing Matlock's last two games due to a concussion. Veteran defender Adam Yates will also be available for selection again after missing the last two matches.
Darren McKnight, Benito Lowe and Adam Blakeley could all potentially make their Gladiators debuts.
Liam King is still a doubt due to his long-term injury.
These two sides last played each other in August this season in the NPL Premier Division at Cantilever Park.
The Gladiators won 2-0 thanks to goals from Jesurun Uchegbulam and Callum Chippendale in front of a crowd of 460.