Gladiators kick off with trip to Ashton

By Ian Richardson

A VISIT to League Cup winners Ashton United on Saturday, August 13, is Matlock Town’s season opener in the 2011-2012 season after the fixture list was released this week.

The Gladiators suffered two defeats on the Hurst Cross ground late last season, losing the League Cup semi-final 1-0 before going down 3-1 in the league.

Matlock’s opening home match on Wednesday, August 17, sees fancied Chasetown visit the Reynolds Stadium and this is quickly followed by another tough home game against Kendal Town on Saturday, August 20.

Title favourites Chester FC visit Matlock on Saturday, March 24, with the Gladiators travelling in the opposite direction on Saturday, November 19.

Holiday games see Matlock host Buxton on Boxing Day, although the wintry weather has blanked out the fixture for the past two seasons. Matlock travel to Silverlands on Easter Monday, while August Bank Holiday Monday sees Mickleover Sports at the Reynolds Stadium in a repeat of last season’s fixture, the return at Station Road being scheduled for Monday, January 2.

Old adversaries Stafford Rangers, back in the Northern Premier after an absence of 25 years, are at Matlock on Wenesday, September 7, and Matlock also make the trip to Marston Road in midweek on Tuesday, November 22. The end of the season is on Saturday, April 21 with a visit to newly promoted Rushall Olympic.

The draws for the 1st Qualifying Rounds of the FA Cup and FA Trophy have also been made, with Matlock being blessed with home advantage in both competitions.

The FA cup game on Saturday, September 17 will see Matlock face either Evo-Stik First Division South Hucknall Town, Northern Counties East League Premier Division Lincoln Moorlands Railway or United Counties League Premier Division Holbeach United.

First Division South opposition also awaits in the Trophy as either Stamford or last season’s beaten FA Vase finalists Coalville Town come to the Reynolds Stadium on Saturday October 22.

For the full fixture list, see this week’s Matlock Mercury.