Young Gladiators secure Division Cup North trophy

Matlock lift the trophy.
Matlock lift the trophy.

The Matlock Town Development Sector achieved yet more success last week as they claimed a back-to-back Derbyshire Divisional Cup North trophy.

After the Young Gladiators’ history-making campaign of last season, where they defeated Tintwhistle Athletic 2-1 in the competition’s final to collect the Derbyshire Divisional Cup North for the first time in 25 years, the youngsters have managed to retain the cup.

Town were tasked with defeating Furness Vale in the final held at Causeway Lane last Wednesday night and they made no bones about it by racing in to a two-goal half-time lead.

First-half strikes from record-breaking goal scorer Billy Whitehead and a brace from full-back Jordan Wells, with Furness Vale also finding themselves on the scoresheet, ensured a two goal lead for the Gladiators at the break.

The Vale managed to claw another goal back during the second-half, however it wasn’t enough to halt Matlock from claiming a 3-2 victory and retaining the trophy.

A joint Man of the Match award was given to scoring pair Wells and Whitehead for their crucial role in securing the victory.

The Cup victory comes off the back the side’s exploits at the Holland Cup over in the Dutch city of Almere.

The set-up had three age groups competing during the tournament in the Netherlands, which secured a fourth-placed finish and two runners-up trophies against teams from across Europe.

Speaking after the development sector’s recent successes, academy head coach and first team player Jamie Yates was delighted with his players.

“We are really pleased and proud of them and what they’ve achieved,” he said.

“We’ve seen things from players that we’ve not quite seen before so it’s given me and the coaches a lot to think about.

“So in the future we’ve turned a page and we’ll test them even more if we can.”