Friday, February 06, 2009, 07:30
MATLOCK Town should welcome back trio Dene Cropper, Jamie Jackson and Lee Featherstone for tomorrow's UniBond Challenge Cup quarter-final at Whitby.
However, striker Ross Hannah is still struggling with the ankle injury he sustained three weeks ago at Buxton.
Manager Mark Atkins is hoping his side can continue the run of form that has seen them pick up the award for the UniBond Club of the Month.
The Gladiators are unbeaten in eight matches and Atkins says the award is well deserved.
"We're chuffed to pick up the Club of the Month Award," he said.
"It's good for everyone involved with the club and particularly the players, who've worked extremely hard recently.
"They deserve everything they've got in the last few weeks."
With a posse of strikers to choose from when Hannah regains full fitness, Atkins is happy with the selection headache he faces.
He said: "I'd rather have that dilemma than not being able to put a team out.
"With competition being strong, people have to perform to keep their place. If they do that, they will and that's what we want."
Meanwhile, Atkins was full of praise for Rob Lund, who scored on his debut in last Saturday's victory over Leigh Genesis.
"Rob Lund was excellent," he said.
"I knew what he could do and he gives us that bit of extra pace down the left.
"He can also operate as a central striker. He took his goal very well."
Matlock look set to play their first Sunday game in 20 years when heavily-supported FC United of Manchester come to Causeway Lane next month.
With United regularly taking over 1,000 supporters to away games, Derbyshire Constabulary have ruled that the game cannot go ahead on the scheduled date of Saturday, March 7, because police presence is needed at Pride Park Stadium, where Derby County will be playing Bristol City.
Both FC United and the UniBond League have given their support for the fixture to be put back 24 hours while Matlock are still waiting to hear from the relevant police authorities.