PREVIEW: Matlock head to Coalville for FA Trophy test
Matlock Town take on Coalville Town in the third and final qualifying round of the FA Trophy on Tuesday night at the Mander Cruickshank Solicitors Stadium. Here's Matthew Rhodes' preview of the tie:
This promises to be a rather strange match given that this is sandwiched between the announcement and the beginning of a second national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It was confirmed by the FA on Tuesday that teams from step three and below will not be allowed to play any matches while the second lockdown is in place. This means that after this FA Trophy clash, the Gladiators will not play again until early December.
Coalville Town are based in Leicestershire and play in the Southern League Premier Division Central, which is the equivalent to Matlock Town’s level. They’ve made an excellent start to the 2020/21 campaign. After five wins and two draws from their opening seven league games, Coalville sit right at the top of the Southern League Premier Division Central.
Coalville Town are known as The Ravens and have won their last four games in all competitions. In their most recent match, Coalville beat AFC Rushden & Diamonds 4-1 at home thanks to goals from Thomas McGlinchey, Luke Shaw and a brace from Timothy Berridge.
The Ravens play their home games at the Mander Cruickshank Solicitors Stadium in the town of Coalville. The ground can hold up to 2,000 spectators in normal circumstances and has a seated capacity of 240.
Their manager is Adam Stevens.
One to Watch
Twenty-nine-year-old striker Billy Kee will certainly be a key player to watch out for on Tuesday night. Kee has played for the likes of Accrington Stanley, Torquay United, Burton Albion and Scunthorpe United in his career. He also has international experience with Northern Ireland U21’s with ten appearances for the side.
Last year, Kee went public in admitting that he suffers from depression and anxiety. Since then, he decided to move down several tiers to keep playing his football while also now working as a bricklayer.
Liam Hughes and Kayde Coppin will miss the game through suspension but Adam Yates is now available after his one game ban. Jon Stewart remains on the side lines through injury.
Craig King will be available for selection again after missing out on the last game due to a stomach bug.
Jake Hull’s loan spell has come to an end and he has returned to his parent club Rotherham United. Since Matlock’s last game, Chib Chilaka has made a permanent switch to Belper Town.
This will be the first meeting between these two sides since April 7th, 2018. The Gladiators won the NPL Premier Division encounter 3-1 at the Proctor Cars Stadium thanks to a brace from Harry Limb and a goal from Michael Williams.