It’s Derbyshire for our next two away fixtures, but before we go to Mickleover on New Years Day we head off to Matlock this Saturday.

Considering a poor start to the season Matlock have a very impressive home record, but that is in the main to the appointment of manager Dave Fecklington in October, who has turned around the fortunes of the club. They have 6 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats in their home league games to date, which include a 7-0 thrashing of Grantham.

The last Saturday before Christmas is known to bring about low attendances as Christmas shopping takes a stronghold, so we can be grateful that this day sees us playing away. However, if we are to build on our good win over Hednesford, we could have hoped for a better run of fixtures we will encounter. Remember leaders Nantwich visit us on Boxing Day. I am sure Steve will get the team up for the game and see if we can emulate South Shields and Whitby as the only sides to go away from Causeway Lane with 3 points.

Since our return to the NPL a couple of years ago we have not fared well at Matlock, losing 3-0 and 2-0. However, in the early days of the NPL this was a regular fixture, with Matlock having the brothers Fenoughty, with Nick Fenoughty later playing for Rangers. Who remembers the FA Trophy run of 1978/79, which culminated with our 2-0 win over Kettering at Wembley. In round 1 we drew 1-1 at home to Matlock with Matlock securing a late equaliser and replay at Causeway Lane was repeatedly postponed due to frozen pitch. When eventually played (Rangers won 2-1) the perimeter of the pitch was a three-foot-high bank of snow that had been cleared off the pitch.

For those traveling by car on Saturday please note that there is very limited car parking at Matlock and you cannot park on the street (Causeway Lane) outside of the ground. The best place to park is the car park near to the railway station which is a few minutes’ walk away. If you travel by train, then you need to leave Stafford at 11:03 changing at Stoke and Derby to arrive at Matlock at 13:26. Return from Matlock at 17:37 with changes at Derby and Tamworth to arrive home at 19:36. Return fare is £24.40 for an adult and advance booking and railcards may get that reduced.

Games played on 22nd December this century.

2007 York City H 0-2 Setanta Shield round 4 (Conference League Cup)
The only other game that comes close is 22/12/01 when our Southern League home game with Newport County was postponed. We won 2-1 when eventually played on 19/02/02

Matlock Website HERE