THE PREVIEW | Whitby Town Vs MTFC - Pitching In NPL - 12.2.22
Top of the league Matlock Town will be looking to return to winning ways on Saturday afternoon as they travel to the North Yorkshire coast to face play-off contenders Whitby Town.
Paul Phillips's men will be desperate to get three points on the board following a couple of frustrating results at The Proctor Cars Stadium recently in where the Gladiators conceded a 90th minute goal to lose 1-0 to Lancaster City and then were held to a goalless draw by bottom of the table Grantham Town.
Whitby Town currently sit in eighth position in the NPL Premier Division table but are just one point behind the final play-off spot as we head towards the business end of the season. In their most recent game, Whitby lost 2-1 away from home to their fierce local rivals Scarborough Athletic. In their most recent home game, Whitby drew 1-1 against fellow play-off contenders Warrington Town. The North Yorkshire outfit have won two of their last six competitive games.
The club were founded in 1880 and are affectionately known as the Seasiders. They play their home games at The Towbar Express Stadium at the Turnbull Ground within the town of Whitby. The stadium can hold up to 3,500 spectators and has a seated capacity of 505. One has an excellent view right at the top of their main stand: to the left, you have the sea just a short distance from the stadium; while to the right, you have an excellent view of the North Yorkshire Moors.
The Seasiders joint managers are Lee Bullock and Nathan Haslam. In his playing career, Bullock played for the likes of Hartlepool United and Bradford City before ending his playing career in non-league with the Seasiders. Haslam has previously managed Marske United and Whitley Bay.
The most recent trophy Whitby lifted was back in the 2016-17 campaign when they won the North Riding Senior Cup. The Seasiders won the FA Vase in the 1996-97 season and won the NPL First Division league title in the season afterwards.
One to Watch
Striker Jacob Hazel will be a key player to look out for during Saturday's game.
Hazel has enjoyed an excellent season so far - he is the NPL Premier Division's joint leading goal scorer with 17 goals. He's scored two goals in Whitby's last four games.
The 27 year-old striker has previously played for the likes of Chesterfield, Scarborough Athletic and Frickley Athletic (with whom he had an outstanding goal record). Hazel also had a short loan spell with Matlock Town in the 2012-13 campaign.
The striker also has senior international experience - Hazel has three caps for St Kitts and Nevis.
Centre-half Ryan Qualter starts his three game suspension today following the red card he received in the game against Lancaster City.
Riece Bertram will be available for selection and could make his Gladiators debut.
Matlock Town and Whitby Town last played each other on November 6 last year in the NPL Premier Division.
The Gladiators lost to the Seasiders 3-2 at The Proctor Cars Stadium in front of a crowd of 753.
Jerome Greaves and Jesurun Uchegbulam scored Matlock's goals while Soni Fergus, Bradley Fewster and Harry Green scored Whitby's goals.