Matlock Town on the up as they travel to FC United of Manchester

Matlock Town look as though they might be returning to form as they prepare for their first ever trip to Broadhurst Park on Saturday to take on FC United of Manchester.

After being very much second best in the home defeat by Stalybridge Celtic, the Gladiators have since progressed in both the Buildbase FA Trophy and the Integro NPL Cup and looked on course for a welcome three points at Grantham Town last Saturday until thick fog descended on The Meres.

“One or two of the players have gone through spells when they weren’t at it and it happens to everyone,” said manager Steve Kittrick. “They look now as if they’ve got their mojo back and it was a great performance at Grantham, Everyone looked on top of their game.”

Kittrick says his team are relishing the clash at Broadhurst Park which could attract a crowd in excess of 1,800.

United made a slow start to their return to the NPL since being relegated from National League North at the end of last season.

United have only lost one of their last 13 league and cup games and are currently in eighth spot, five places and five points ahead of the Gladiators who have played one match less.

“It’s a great place to go and play football,” said Kittrick.

“United have a good manager and some good players who are now finding their feet like I thought they would. We’ve got to go there and have a go.

“I’ve managed teams who have big crowds where expectations are high and teams tended to lift their game as everyone wants to beat you.

“There’ll be a good atmosphere, I want us to go there and enjoy our football on Saturday.

“It was a shame the fog came in last week, it definitely helped Grantham more than it helped us, but we need to go to FC United and play in the same way, stay positive.”

Kittrick expects to be able to name a virtually unchanged squad although midfielder Jack Rea is likely to be back in contention after illness.

Meanwhile, there is a change of date for Matlock’s home Derbyshire Senior Cup quarter-final with Alfreton Town.

The game has been put back by seven days to Tuesday, 17th December which gives Matlock a clear week to prepare for their home FA Trophy First Round Proper clash with Conference National Chorley on 14th December.

Should the Chorley game be drawn, the replay in Lancashire will take precedence and be played on that night.

The Gladiators' Integro Cup match at Basford has still to be arranged.