|4th May - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Bacup Borough 0 Glossop North End 0
It had been a difficult week for Bacup Borough. Bad weather earlier in the season had produced a fixture backlog like no other, well, not since last season anyway. And we can imagine the thoughts of their management team as this week unfolded.
Just a couple of weeks after their 19th nervous breakdown of the season, as their side lost for the 19th time in the League, they were struggling to find any satisfaction and hoping that their side would not fade away. However, fortunes changed as they displayed a heart of stone in their selections and urged their side to come on. The team picked up some good points and finally rid themselves of any feelings that it might be all over now as they moved away from the relegation zone. “Time is on my side” said all concerned as a little red rooster was seen crossing the pitch. Never mind, it’s nearly all over now and they can start looking to Monday when they will demand an effort from their side for the last time this season.
Glossop North End visited the Westview Stadium in Bacup on Saturday for their last match in what has been a frustrating and ultimately disappointing season. With nothing to really play for, and Bacup Borough playing their fourth match in four days, we could have expected a typical end of season match and, for the large part, that was the case.
A sunny but breezy afternoon greeted players and spectators alike. The pitch was in very good condition for the end of a long season but players of neither side seemed to recognise that as most of the time the ball was played in the air. The first half was typified by a lot of honest endeavour by both sides but a distinct shortage of skill. Both goalkeepers were called into action just once but both responded well with fine saves and half time came with the match goalless.
Something must have been said at half time as the Hillmen started the second half with a series of good passing movements, keeping the ball on the playing surface. Alas, this was not to last as within 10 minutes, and having failed to find the final killer pass, they reverted to playing the ball in the air again and momentum was lost.
As the match wore on, it looked as though a fair few of the Bacup players were beginning to suffer from their exertions over the previous matches and the Hillmen sensed an opportunity to push on to try to win the match. On 75 minutes Dean McGregor was played in. He calmly beat his defender and placed his shot well towards the corner of the net only to see the Bacup goalkeeper John Ogden get smartly down to his right to save. Five minutes later it was Ogden again who thwarted the visitors’ ambition by tipping a powerful long range shot from Ash Smallwood onto the bar and away to safety.
Bacup then found some reserves of energy to force the pace for five minutes but with no reward. As the match reached its conclusion it was the Hillmen who were again on top with good opportunities coming to Sam Marshall and Smallwood. But it was not to be and the match ended goalless with the visitors thinking that they’d done enough to come away with all three points.
Time now for all at Surrey Street to rest then re-group and prepare well for the new season.
GNE Team Proctor, Williams, Jacobs, Hazelden, Jones, Allen, Marshall, Wilson (Winstanley), Connolly, McGregor (D), Hirst (Smallwood).
Sam Marshall sees his shot saved by John Ogden in the Bacup goal. Photo - Steve Dyson
|27th April - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Runcorn Linnets 0 Glossop North End 1
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
The above is from Act 4, Scene 3 of Julius Caesar by Mr. W. Shakespeare and is spoken by Brutus in conversation with Cassius. It relates specifically to the civil war but can be, and has been, used as a metaphor for all sorts of situations.
The relevance of these words came to bear as Glossop North End visited the Millbank Stadium in Runcorn to play Runcorn Linnets in their penultimate NWCFL match of this season. What the 20 or so faithful Glossop North End supporters witnessed was indeed a tide in flood as, by dint of excellent organisation, a willingness to play for each other and a never say die attitude, the Hillmen came away with an unexpected victory. As the verse suggests, if the tide is missed then misery prevails but when the tide is in full flow and we are with it then an opportunity is presented which, if taken, can lead only to improving fortunes.
GNE were down to the bare bones in terms of players for this match. In addition to the now regular absentees due to long term injuries, no less than three players cried off on the morning of the match. Mike Jones arrived at the ground and was struck down with illness meaning that back up goalkeeper Steve Dryden was given the number 10 shirt and the bench consisted of the unwell Jones and the returning Jamie Dickinson who had not played for GNE since being injured in an FA Cup replay at Louth Town way back in August.
The home side looked to have rested a number of players, perhaps with their eye on the League Cup Final match against Formby on Thursday.
With Dryden joining Ben Connolly up front, the Hillmen lined up with captain Kelvin Lugsden at right back looking to mark Linnets winger Chris Lomax. The GNE regulars will remember Mr. Lomax as the winger who gave us a torrid time when playing for St. Helens Town at Surrey Street in a 4-3 defeat at the beginning of February.
Linnets started the match well and a couple of crosses into the area needed to be dealt with by Sean Hazelden and Danny Browne. Linnets were forced into a substitution after only 10 minutes as defender Levi Kennedy picked up a knock and was replaced by Mark Houghton. The visitors were limited up front but were well organised at the back and closed down well in midfield denying the home side any opportunity to test Ben Proctor until, on 28 minutes, a curling shot by Brett Adamson had Proctor worried but the ball went just wide. Right on half time and Adamson had another chance only to see his shot from close range bravely blocked by Browne.
Into the second half and cometh the hour, well, 50 minutes actually, cometh the man. Sam Marshall had started to make some inroads into the Linnets defence and his strong run down the right and cross found Dryden pull away from his marker and sidefoot the ball past the home keeper Adam Judge and into the net to open the scoring. Taken like a veteran striker it could be said. Veteran may be about right but Dryden is not a regular striker by any means, except of a cricket ball perhaps in his summer role as a batsman for Milnrow Cricket Club.
Cue scenes of wild goal celebrations which must have puzzled the Linnets players and management but well justified.
The home side tried hard to get back into the match but the Hillmen were just too organised for them with immense performances from both Hazelden and Browne at the back and Lugsden doing a great job in keeping Lomax out the the game. Indeed, it was GNE who had the chance to double their lead as a run down the left by Jonny Hirst saw him cut inside and unleash a powerful shot which Judge did well to save low to his right.
Dryden had run out of gas by this stage and it was good to see Dickinson returning to action after such a long layoff even though out of position.
Into the final stages of the match and Linnets pushed everything forward but were unable to create any real chances as the Hillmen registered their first win since early March in the most unlikely of circumstances. Man of the match awards to all of the Glossop side but particular mention of Hazelden and Browne who were truly immense.
To go back to Julius Caesar; has the tide turned and will GNE now ride of the crest of the wave of the flowing tide? Too late in this season to find out really although the final match of the season at Bacup on Saturday should be interesting.
GNE team Proctor, Browne, Jacobs, Hazelden, Lugsden, Allen, Marshall, Wilson, Connolly, Dryden (Dickinson), Hirst.
|25th April - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
St Helens Town 1 Glossop North End 1
Many end of season matches have nothing riding on them but this was certainly not the case at Edge Green Street on Thursday evening. St. Helens Town are in danger of relegation from the Premier Division of the NWCFL and were in need of points to try to pull clear of Squires Gate. For GNE it has been a dismal run of form since early February and a confidence boosting win was needed to take them into the last two matches of the season in somewhat better spirits. In the end, neither side would have been entirely happy with the outcome but the home side could count their blessings (and a single point) as the Hillmen missed a host of chances to register a much needed victory.
The match started, on a dry and uneven surface, with the visitors controlling the match in terms of both possession and position on the pitch. Two chances came within the first five minutes as, first, Tom Wilson hit an upright with a powerful shot from close range and then Dean McGregor could not convert a one-on-one with the Saints keeper Lee Novak. After these initial scares the home side settled a little and began to have a little more of the play but the conditions were such that neither side could confidently control the ball so negating any possibility of slick passing moves.
Half time came, with a glorious sunset over the houses close to the ground promising a fine day to come, with the sides tied at 0-0.
The second half was dominated by missed chances for the Hillmen. The forward players showed a lack of composure in front of goal on numerous occasions when to score seemed to be a not too difficult option. GNE brought on the experienced Darren Hamilton up front to give an option and the ploy worked almost immediately as, in the 70th minute, a through ball from midfield found Dean McGregor in a great position. This time he did not squander the chance as his shot flashed past Novak and into the net to open the scoring.
With the way the match had been going it seemed that one goal would decide it but going behind stung St. Helens into action as they had by far their best spell of the match. A fingertip save by Ben Proctor led to the first of a number of corners from one of which Saints forward Phil Williams found himself with a shooting opportunity which he duly converted to level the scores.
From this point both sides looked to kick on and win the match. There were chances at both ends but the majority fell to the visitors who simply could not find the composure to convert any of them. At the end it was a hugely frustrated Hillmen side that would not have been flattered by a 5-1 victory but had to settle for just the one point.
GNE Team Proctor, Jones, Jacobs, Hazelden, Browne, Allen, Wilson, Winstanley, McGregor (D), Connolly. Mehmet (Hamilton).
Dean McGregor scores Glossop's goal at St Helens. Photo - Steve Dyson
|20th April - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 1 Barnoldswick Town 2
Spring arrived at Surrey Street on Saturday and the Hillmen were looking for a change of fortune with the changing season as Barnoldswick Town were the visitors in the last home match of the season. However, GNE have had little to cheer about in matches against Barnoldswick in both League and Cup since Town came into the Premier Division of the NWCFL in 2011 and it was no different in this match as the dismal run of results for the Hillmen continued.
GNE were without suspended skipper Kelvin Lugsden and injured midfielder Adam Oakes for this match meaning yet another change in line-up. The visitors have also experienced injury problems recently and were forced to start with both of their joint managers on the field.
Town started with a 4-3-1-2 formation with the “free” forward midfielder finding plenty of space, giving an outlet ball for his own side and restricting the options for the home side. Throughout the first half the only significant goal threats were coming from set pieces and it was one such set piece which broke the deadlock. On 22 minutes Jordan Jacobs, making his starting debut at left back, was adjudged to have brought down a Town forward in the box. The resultant penalty was converted by striker Mark Threlfall to give the visitors the lead. Barnoldswick pushed forward and three minutes later had an opportunity to double their lead as Nick Allen was penalised for handball in a central position just outside the box. The free kick was taken by Danny Boyle but the wall did its job and the ball ran away to safety.
The Hillmen started the second half quickly and looked to find an equaliser. This they did 10 minutes into the half as a corner from the right was only half cleared by the Town defence leaving Jay Mehmet the opportunity to shoot. His goal bound shot was deflected leaving Sam Arrowsmith in the visitor’s goal with no chance.
Having just equalised GNE looked to impose themselves on the game and calm proceedings down. Sadly, this tactic did not work as just three minutes after equalising they were behind again. The GNE defence was too easily by-passed down their right leading to a one-on-one with Ben Proctor for Aaron Hollindrake. The Town forward made no mistake as his cross shot beat Proctor to restore the lead for the visitors.
As the half continued it looked more like the visitors would add to their lead and the Hillmen were indebted to Proctor for a couple of fine saves. The game entered its final phase with Sam Marshall coming on from the substitute’s bench to replace Dean McGregor and the Hillmen began to force the pace. A number of corners and free kicks were conceded by the Town defence which did lead to a couple of scoring opportunities for the home side. Darren Hamilton had a good opportunity when clear on goal but couldn’t control the ball and a free kick by Ben Connolly narrowly missed the angle of post and crossbar.
Despite the best efforts of GNE the equaliser would not come and the run of poor results continues. With the season now close to the end, all at Surrey Street must be hoping for a change of fortune as thoughts turn to next season.
GNE team Proctor, Williams, Jacobs (Kerrigan), Hazelden, Jones, Allen, Mehmet, Winstanley, McGregor (D) (Marshall), Hamilton, Connolly
Jay Mehmet takes on a Barnoldswick defender. Photo - Steve Dyson
|13th April - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Runcorn Town 3 Glossop North End 2
The recent weather has left most of the pitches in the NWCFL very hard and somewhat bobbly. This leads, almost inevitably, to the sort of match witnessed at the Pavilions, home of Runcorn Town, on Saturday when control of the ball was difficult for both sides and a scrappy match was the outcome.
For the fourth time in a month GNE came up against a championship chasing side and lost by a single goal and it’s now seven matches since that win at Surrey Street over Congleton Town in early March signalled the last time they took three points from a match. In truth, there is not that much between many of the sides in the League this season as witness the scramble for the one promotion place which has four teams within a point of each other at the top of the table. One of these sides is Runcorn Town and a win on Saturday was important to them to keep up their challenge. A win was important for the Hillmen also but for completely different reasons as a change in fortune was required to keep up the spirits as the season meanders its way to a close.
The GNE line-up again saw changes from the previous match with Dean McGregor starting up front supported from a forward mid field position by Adam Oakes. The Hillmen started well on the lively surface showing a lot of energy and the will to get forward. On 8 minutes, a free kick by Oakes narrowly missed the left hand upright but this was the only significant goal attempt in the opening exchanges. The game then came to life as, on 28 minutes, the visitors defence failed to clear the ball. A couple of attempts by the Runcorn Town forwards were blocked but Rob Whyte was on hand to force the ball over the line with his colleagues claiming a handball by a GNE defender.
The home side pressed forward looking to increase their advantage and did exactly that on 41 minutes when defender Danny Toone hit a fine free kick from just outside the area and was delighted to see his effort defect from the underside of the crossbar and into the net. Half time approached and it looked like a 2-0 advantage for the home side but, on the stroke of half time, Oakes won the ball for GNE in midfield. His pass out to Mehmet resulted in an accurate cross which was headed into the net by Rick Winstanley. 2-1 at half time and everything to play for.
The home side started the second half well and the pressure told on 55 minutes as a cross by Toone was headed down by Whyte for Phil Howard to shoot on goal. His deflected shot beat Ben Proctor and restored a 2 goal lead for Runcorn.
This GNE side lack nothing in work rate and attitude and there was no way that they were just going to sit back. Slowly but surely they got back into the match and on 85 minutes substitute Ben Connolly was fouled in the box. With regular penalty taker Adam Oakes having been substituted at half time following a knock in the first half it was Nick Allen who took the responsibility. He took the shot well but Karl Wills in the Runcorn goal guessed correctly and pulled off a fine save down to his left. GNE might have been thinking that their last chance to get back at the visitors had gone but just a minute later a shot from distance by Sam Marshall deflected past Wills to make it 3-2 and set up the potential for an exciting last few minutes.
Alas for the travelling supporters it was not to be as Runcorn Town comfortably played out the remaining time to secure the three points and keep up their place in the promotion chase.
GNE team:- Proctor, Jones, Browne, Hazelden, Lugsden, Allen, Mehmet, Oakes (Wilson), Winstanley, McGregor (Connolly), Williams (Marshall).
Adam Oakes crosses the ball at Runcorn Town. Photo - Steve Dyson
|6th April - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Squires Gate 2 Glossop North End 2
Glossop North End travelled to Squires Gate on Saturday for a fixture hastily re-arranged after their original match away at Bacup Borough was called off due to snow on the pitch. Both teams had a lot to play for as Squires Gate looked to get points to help them in their fight against relegation and GNE were more than keen to end a 5 match losing streak.
Since the reverse fixture back in November, Squires Gate have a new manager in Dave McCann from Myerscough College, Preston. As is often the case, with a new Manager come new players and his side showed seven changes from the eleven which started that match at Surrey Street.
The start of the match was delayed due to two incidents on the motorway route from Glossop but the game finally got away on a dry pitch in fairly calm conditions. From the start there was no real pattern as both sides battled hard to control the ball. Not for the first time in recent matches the Hillmen were struggling to retain the ball in the final third thus putting the midfield and defence under considerable pressure. The home side forced a succession of corners but posed no real threat on goal until the 34th minute when Max Rothwell failed to make contact with a ball swung in from the left.
As half time approached it looked like honours even on the scoreboard until Adam Oakes was adjudged to have fouled Squires Gate defender and captain Lee Baker in the penalty area as the GNE defence failed to clear a right wing corner. The resultant penalty was calmly converted by Rothwell to give the home side a deserved 1-0 lead.
Into the second half and GNE were starting to find an effective outlet ball through Dean McGregor who had replaced Tom Wilson just before half time. However, it was the home side who managed to double their lead as a break down the left by Alex Ralph ended with a cross which cruelly deflected off the outstretched leg of Ash Smallwood to loop over Ben Proctor and into the net.
The Hillmen now had a mountain to climb but a 2-0 lead is never a comfortable lead and this GNE side do not stop working. On 65 minutes a through ball from midfield found McGregor whose shot from inside the penalty area flashed across Ben Fletcher in the Squires Gate goal to nestle in the far corner of the net. Eight minutes later, the visitors were level as Sean Hazelden, up from the back, rose above the home defence to head in a corner from the right taken by Oakes.
At this point there looked to be only one side capable of winning the match as the home side were in some disarray and the visitors very much in the ascendancy. On 75 minutes a good shot by Sam Marshall was well saved by Fletcher. The ball came back off the far post but an onrushing Ben Connolly just failed to slot in the rebound. The momentum remained with GNE as the home side were restricted to infrequent breakaways and from one such breakaway the Hillmen were indebted to goalkeeper Proctor as he made a fine save from a shot from the edge of the area. Squires Gate took heart from this and rallied to increase their threat on goal. With just two minutes to go Proctor was beaten by a low shot from 20 yards but the ball rebounded away from the right hand upright.
In the end it could be said that both sides achieved their initial objective from this match but, equally, both will be disappointed that they didn’t come away with all three points.
GNE Team Proctor, Williams, Browne, Hazelden, Lugsden, Allen, Mehmet (Connolly), Oakes, Smallwood (Jacobs), Wilson (McGregor (D)), Marshall.
Sam Marshall attempts to get a shot at goal. Photo - Steve Dyson
|1st April - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Congleton Town 1 Glossop North End 0
The 3-2 win over Congleton Town at Surrey Street at the beginning of March was the last win for Glossop North End. Since then, four matches had been lost and all were anxious to prevent the loosing streak getting any longer.
As this winter seems to go on forever, the teams were greeted by a cold easterly wind blowing across a very dry pitch for this match on Easter Monday. Recent matches have seen something of a pattern emerging in the GNE play. A solid defence complemented by an experienced and hard working midfield but an inability to keep the ball in the final third and, thus, put the opposition goal under threat. Sadly, for the good natured travelling GNE support, this match was to follow this pattern.
The first significant action of the match came in the 10th minute. The Bears worked the ball across the penalty area from the right and prolific centre forward Chris Smith was delighted to see his toe-poked effort go past Ben Proctor in a crowded penalty area to nestle in the corner of the net. The Hillmen reacted well to this early set back and, playing down the slope, forced a couple of corners but could not find a telling effort on goal with Congleton custodian Martin Pearson untroubled.
Gradually, the home side began to dominate possession with ex-Hillman Rick Bailey and midfielder Jack Graham contributing well. Proctor was called into action on a couple of occasions but as half time came it remained the most slender of leads for the home side.
Into the second half and GNE sent on ex-Stockport Sports left back, Jordan Jacobs, for his debut appearance. This saw yet another change in formation as Ash Smallwood dropped into the right back position with Jake Williams pushed forward to join Sam Marshall up front supported by Adam Oakes from an attacking midfield position.
The visitors fashioned an early chance on goal as Nick Allen rose to head a free kick swung in by Adam Oakes goalwards, but his effort went just wide. Congleton hit straight back and good work by Graham and Smith fashioned an opportunity for Bailey but Proctor saved well. Later into the half and a GNE corner was cleared by the Congleton defence leading to a quick break upfield. The ball found Smith free with only Proctor to beat but the striker’s effort was saved by Proctor at the expense of a corner.
Reserves midfielder Andy McKernon came on to make his first team debut for the Hillmen as the match continued to be a largely midfield dominated affair. Proctor was again called into action as the match approached added time as a free kick, given for a foul on the edge of the box by Oakes, was taken by Daniel Bruce. His shot beat the wall but Proctor moved smartly to his right to save well.
Into injury time and GNE had one last chance to get something from the match. A corner from the right was swung in but was just cleared by the Bear’s defence with Kelvin Lugsden and Sean Hazelden up from the back.
Yet again, the Hillmen registered a loss by the odd goal and the loosing streak continues. The next opportunity to reverse what has become a worrying trend will come away at Bacup Borough on Saturday.
GNE Team Proctor, Jones (Jacobs), Browne, Hazelden, Lugsden, Allen, Williams, Oakes, Marshall (McKernon), Smallwood, Mehmet.
Nick Allen heads the ball from a corner but is unable to hit the target. Photo - Steve Dyson
|30th March - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 0 Bootle 1
Less than 48 hours after the encounter between these two sides at the Delta Taxi Stadium, Bootle came to Surrey Street looking to gain points to continue their push towards the single promotion spot available from the North West Counties League.
With so many matches at this time of year it was no surprise to see several changes in line up for both sides. For Bootle, influential player/manager Neil Prince kept himself in reserve on the bench whilst for the Hillmen right back Lee McGregor made a welcome return with Danny Browne taking a position up front.
The match started quickly as both sides tried to exert influence in midfield areas but the flow of play was interrupted by numerous free kicks. It was from one of these free kicks, awarded against the home side, that the most memorable action of the half came. The ball came in from the Bootle right and was met well by Thomas Foley only for Ben Proctor in the GNE goal to pull off a fine save.
Half time came with honours just about even and the scoreline at 0-0.
McGregor had been injured in a challenge in the first half and did not appear for the re-start, his place being taken by Paul Naylor. This prompted significant changes in the GNE formation with Naylor joining Sam Marshall up front with Mike Jones dropping back to right back.
The Hillmen looked to push on to win the match but were struggling to hold the ball up in the final third giving possession to their opponents and putting strain on both the defensive midfield and the defence. Darren Hamilton came on with 25 minutes to go to provide a more robust presence in the attacking third but still the ball could not be held up. However, the GNE defence were holding firm and neither side really looked like scoring until the pivotal action of the match.
Home captain Kelvin Lugsden was dismissed for a second yellow card offence with 10 minutes to play. This signalled the start of a rearguard action by the home side as the visitors sensed their opportunity to push on and seek out a winning goal. Two minutes later Bootle had the ball in the net from a corner but the referee had spotted an infringement in the box and gave a free kick to the home side. Bootle had several more chances as the clocked ticked down towards the final whistle but a draw was looking most likely until, three minutes into added time, the ball fell to Kevin Black whose shot, from a suspiciously offside position, was deflected past Proctor to give the visitors all three points.
A cruel blow for the Hillmen who had defended resolutely but, in fairness, had not provided much of a goal threat themselves.
GNE Team Proctor, McGregor (L) (Naylor), Brown (Mehmet), Hazelden. Lugsden, Allen, Marshall, Oakes, Smallwood, Browne, Jones (Hamilton).
Mike Jones takes on the Bootle defence. Photo - Steve Dyson
|28th March - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Bootle 2 Glossop North End 0
As this seemingly never ending winter continues there is considerable pressure on getting all of the fixtures in before the end of the season. Such a situation puts great demands on players, management and supporters alike and a fairly low attendance at promotion chasing Bootle on Thursday night was testament to that.
The match started quickly on a dry but slightly uneven playing surface with both midfields working hard to close the space down for their opponents. As the half wore on with few, even half, chances at either end, the home side started to exert some influence on the match as player manager Neil Prince showed his undoubted class in midfield. The Hillmen, playing with a strong breeze behind them, stayed strong defensively but were struggling to keep the ball in the top third of the pitch leading to a loss of possession and increasing pressure in their own half.
As the half came to a close both sides could look back on very few goalscoring opportunities with the visitors restricted to one header by Ben Connolly and one shot by Sam Marshall in a largely untroubled half for both goalkeepers.
The second half started much as the first had ended with Bootle, very sharp to the ball, controlling possession in midfield. The first opportunity of the half came in the 52nd minute when the ball was worked in from the right by Bootle and the final pass found Prince with an opportunity to shoot. This he did and his left footed shot beat Ben Proctor in the GNE goal down to his right to open the scoring in favour of the home side. GNE responded by bringing on Darren Hamilton from the bench in an attempt to give more options up front.
The match continued to be in favour of the home side although the Hillmen worked extremely hard to try to match the pace of Bootle.
Bootle brought substitute Kevin Black into the action and he looked lively from his first contribution, constantly threatening to get behind the GNE defence from wide on the right. On 76 minutes it was one of Black’s runs which led to a corner for Bootle from the right hand side. The corner was swung in and partially cleared by the GNE defence. The ball was seemingly coming back comfortably for Proctor to deal with but he mishandled leaving Bootle striker Daniel O’Connor to smash the ball into the net from close range to double the home side’s advantage.
The Hillmen did not give up and kept in working really hard to get back into the match but their efforts were to no avail as Bootle managed to continue to dominate possession and play out the remaining time to end up deserved winners on the night.
By a strange quirk of the fixture schedule, Bootle are the visitors to Surrey Street on Saturday and GNE must hope that some of the players absent on Thursday will be back in action.
GNE Team Proctor, Williams, Brown, Hazelden, Lugsden, Allen, Jones, Oakes, Mehmet, Connolly (Hamilton), Marshall.
Darren Hamilton in action at Bootle. Photo - Steve Dyson
|26th March - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 1 Runcorn Linnets 2
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more … as 108 brave souls (including a fair contingent from Runcorn) ventured forth into the icy wasteland which was Surrey Street on a freezing cold Tuesday night.
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood for the action yet to come as many forsake the frozen terraces in favour of an evening in front of the fire, accompanied by nothing more or less than cheap supermarket beer, watching Montenegro v. England on TV in a World Cup Qualifier.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide as the efforts of the ground crew bear result in collective bad backs but the battle is won, the match is on. And you, good yeomen, whose limbs were made in England, show us here the mettle of your pasture. The game's afoot. Follow your spirit, and upon the first whistle
Cry 'God for Hammy, England, and Glossop North End!'
On a dry pitch the match started at a decent pace with the teams matching each other in terms of possession. Not too many chances were being created as both defences were expertly marshalled by the respective captains in Kelvin Lugsden for GNE and Mike Tomlinson for the Linnets. The chances that came along were no more than half chances until, on 38 minutes, the referee adjudged that a rebound from Lugsden’s knee back to Ben Proctor was a back pass. Indirect free kick from 12 yards out was the rather chaotic result. Nothing came of the freekick and that signalled the end of the goalmouth incident for the first half as the teams went in all square at 0-0.
The snow started to fall as the second half began in much the same way as the first but gradually the visitors started to take more control of the match. The GNE defence was still playing well but the outlet ball just would not stick in midfield gifting the ball back to the Linnets too many times. The breakthrough for the visitors came on 67 minutes as something of a crowd scene developed in the GNE area as a free kick was swung in. The referee spotted a push by a GNE defender and Kyle Hamid stepped up to convert the resultant penalty.
One spot kick in a match could be considered to be enough but the Linnets got a second just three minutes later when Chris Lomax won himself a penalty when up against Danny Browne. Again, Hamid converted from the spot to double the lead for the visitors.
The usual flurry of substitutes rather affected the flow of the match but it was Darren Hamilton, returning to first team action after just about a year out since breaking his ankle, who gave the home side some hope as his shot late in the match beat Richie Mottram in the Linnets goal. Sadly for the home supporters GNE could not capitalise on this lifeline and all three points went the way of the visitors and deservedly so.
GNE Team Proctor, McGregor(L), Allen, Jones, Lugsden, Winstanley, Connolly (Williams), Oakes, Marshall (Brown), Browne, Mehmet (Hamilton).
Sam Marshall attempts to get a shot at goal. Photo - Steve Dyson
|16th March - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 2 Padiham 3
The Hillmen welcomed back skipper Kelvin Lugsden and defender Nick Allen from suspension as they looked to build on the confidence which must have flowed from the recent second half performance against Congleton. Facing them at Surrey Street were a Padiham side sitting proudly on top of the NWCFL table but with something to prove following consecutive defeats. This had all the makings of an excellent encounter and the Surrey Street regulars, whilst being disappointed in the result, were appreciative of a fine display by both sides.
Both sides started the match with great purpose. Some good passing moves through midfield came to nothing until, on 18 minutes, a typically forceful run by Sam Marshall down the left ended with a cross which found Ash Smallwood in the penalty area. His shot was going wide until it struck Padiham defender Sam Morris and deflected past a stranded Sean Davis in the Padiham goal and the home side were one up. The match then became something of a contest between League leading scorer Ben Allen and Ben Proctor in the GNE goal. In the space of five minutes the big goalkeeper was good enough to thwart the efforts of Allen on at least three occasions and, despite a couple of efforts to increase the lead at the other end, it looked as though the home side were destined to take a lead into the half time interval. Not for the first time recently this was not to be as a ball crossed from the right by the impressive Kenny Taylor found the GNE defence struggling to cover. The referee deemed that a foul had been committed by Lee McGregor as he came across to clear and pointed to the spot. A well placed penalty by Allen was saved brilliantly down to his right by Proctor but the Padiham attackers reacted quickly with Elliot Dunn turning in the rebound to level the scores.
Into the second half and GNE, with Danny Browne on as a substitute having missed the previous nine matches through injury, were caught cold as within two minutes the ball was given away in midfield. A fine ball by Marly Gough, inside Nick Allen, found Taylor who shot calmly past Proctor to give the visitors the lead.
The home side went searching for the equaliser but the Padiham defence was equal to every challenge until, in the 78th minute, a free kick was needlessly given away just outside the area. Adam Oakes swung the ball in, with his trusty left foot, onto the head of Browne whose header was well saved by Davis but Marshall was on hand to put the rebound into the net to level the scores and set up an exciting last period.
Both sides looked to play positive football to go on to win the game and half chances were created at both ends. The match was settled with only two minutes to go as a deflected shot by Taylor eluded Proctor to give the away side the three points they were seeking to re-start their title challenge.
Both sides were applauded off the pitch after a great game with the home crowd feeling that GNE had been unlucky on the day to come away from the match without at least a share of the points.
GNE Team Proctor, McGregor(L), Allen, Jones, Lugsden, Winstanley (Browne), Mehmet (Williams), Oakes, Smallwood (Hazelden), Marshall, Connolly.
Glossop attack the Padiham goal in the 2nd half with the score at 2-2. Photo - Steve Dyson
|9th March - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 3 Congleton Town 2
It was a case of fortune favouring the bold at Surrey Street on Saturday as Glossop North End took all three points from the match against Congleton Town in the most unlikely of circumstances.
Suspensions for Kelvin Lugsden, Nick Allen and Nathan Bond, along with the now familiar injury list, meant wholesale changes in the GNE line-up. Congleton came with a side featuring ex-GNE favourite Rick Bailey alongside league leading scorer Chris Smith and set about their task in a determined manner. With the home side looking as though they were running out of ideas in the final third, the Bears were good value for their 2-0 half-time lead. The hard-working Smith managed to fashion a chance for himself in the 31st minute as he beat two defenders on the edge of the box and was delighted to see his left foot shoot fly wide of Ben Proctor in the GNE goal to open the scoring. As the half time break approached the visitors doubled their lead when a quickly taken shot from 20 yards by full back Louis James went wide of Proctor and into the corner of the net.
The Hillmen had been restricted to one meaningful attempt on goal in the first half as a shot from Ben Connolly was well saved by Martin Pearson in the visitor’s goal. Something needed to change for the home side to get into the match and it did. With only two outfield substitutes available it was a bold move by the GNE management to start the second half with both of them in action as Sam Marshall came on for Paul Naylor and Jake Williams replaced Ryan McNee. This left the Hillmen to line up with Marshall up front supported by Ash Smallwood.
Almost from the start of the half Marshall put the Bears defence under pressure with some trademark direct runs. The Hillmen were playing much more positively and looking for the breakthrough which would open up the match. This came with the half barely 10 minutes old as a good spell by GNE culminated with captain for the day Adam Oakes winning the ball and putting Smallwood in. His side-footed finish was too much for Pearson and the Hillmen were back in the match. Some 10 minutes later it was all-square as Marshall latched on to a ball from midfield and his delicate lob gave Pearson no chance.
The Bears did not give up but the momentum of the match had changed and there looked to be only one winner. Jay Mehmet and the hard-working Smallwood both went close with only the woodwork preventing Pearson being beaten again but as the match entered its last 5 minutes a through ball from midfield by Oakes found Mehmet one-on-one with Pearson. The Hillman calmly rounded the keeper before side-footing the ball into an empty net for his first goal for GNE.
The home side played out time comfortably and would have been delighted to secure all three points to take them above the visitors in the League table. A scenario that no-one on the ground would have predicted at half-time.
GNE Team Proctor, McNee (Williams) Kerrigan, Jones, Hazelden, Winstanley, Smallwood, Oakes, Naylor (Marshall), Mehmet, Connolly.
Jay Mehmet beats the Congleton goalkeeper to the ball to score the winning goal. Photo - Steve Dyson
|2nd March - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 1 Colne 1
Yet again the home side’s team selection was compromised by player injuries and non-availabilities. The eleven who started this match against Colne were very experienced in defence, with the exception of reserve team player Ryan McNee who was making his starting debut for the first team at right back. A couple of familiar faces in midfield were joined by a forward duo with only two first team starts between them. Colne are amongst the higher scorers in the League this season and boast 23 league goal man Jason Hart at the point of their attack. The home crowd could have been forgiven for thinking that this match would turn into a very defensive affair but, with due credit to the enterprise and hard work of both sides, this was not to be.
On a dry pitch, both sides tried to play passing football from the off. The visitors created several half chances early on but nothing to trouble Ben Proctor in the GNE goal. The Hillmen also had their fair share of play but goal threats were sporadic and the sides went in at half time all square.
The visitors started the second half very positively and just 3 minutes in centre forward Krystian Evans aimed a powerful shot goalwards from the edge of the area but his effort just cleared the bar. This proved to be just a sighter as two minutes later Evans, from a similar position, kept his shot down this time and beat Proctor down by his left hand post to open the scoring.
Within 10 minutes the home side were level. Paul Naylor drove into the box and was fouled by Colne defender Steven Mercer. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and, with regular penalty taker Adam Oakes on the bench, Nick Allen took responsibility and calmly converted for his third league goal of the season.
Both sides pushed on looking to take all three points from the match and on 68 minutes it was the home side who came close as substitute Ben Connolly was played in down the left hand side by Ash Smallwood. Connolly’s cross was flicked goalwards by Naylor but the effort was well saved by Chris Thompson in the Colne goal.
With 20 minutes to go experienced midfielder Adam Oakes entered the fray from the substitutes bench marking his return to action after missing six matches due to injury.
The visitors also had their chance to seal all three points in the last 10 minutes as the GNE defence lost the ball in a bad area. A cross from the right found Hart in the clear and bearing down on Proctor. The goalie made himself big and Hart’s shot grazed the outside of the upright.
As the game entered added time, Colne resorted to clearing their lines with long balls pumped upfield but the GNE defence was equal to the threat and the game ended 1-1.
In the end a good performance by the Hillmen and they will look to consolidate when Congleton Town are the visitors to Surrey Street next Saturday.
GNE Team Proctor, McNee, Allen, Hazelden, Lugsden, Winstanley, Williams (Connolly), Smallwood, Mehmet, Naylor, Hirst (Oakes).
Nick Allen scores from the penalty spot to make it 1-1. Photo - Steve Dyson
|26th February - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 0 Winsford United 3
Winsford United came to Surrey Street on Tuesday looking to reverse the result of two weeks ago at the Barton Stadium and this they did with an assured second half display against a home side again forced into a number of changes due to work commitments and injuries. Back into the side following a long lay off came right back Lee McGregor.
The match started quietly with the midfields dominating and for the first 20 minutes attempts on goal were at a premium. The first meaningful attempt came when Jonny Hirst beat a couple of defenders on the edge of the Winsford penalty area before shooting just wide of the right hand upright. Spurred on by this near miss, GNE pressed forward and Andrew Jones in the visitors’ goal was forced into making several saves to keep the match level.
Towards the end of the first half GNE were indebted to goalkeeper Ben Proctor as he pulled off a fine save from a one-on-one and that looked to be enough to send the sides into the break on level terms. But that was not to be as, on 43 minutes, the ball fell to Winsford’s Brian Matthews from a defence clearance and his shot from the edge of the area beat Proctor to send the visitors into half time one goal to the good.
Winsford started the second half in dominant mood having the lion’s share of possession and constructing moves well through midfield. Ironically it was a route one ball from goalkeeper Jones which led directly to the next goal as striker Daniel Egan latched on to his long clearance and delicately lobbed the ball over the advancing Proctor to double the advantage for the visitors.
GNE looked to hit back by being positive as debutant striker Jay Mehmet came on as a substitute closely followed by fellow striker Paul Naylor with Lee McGregor and Jonny Hirst making way.
Winsford continued to control the game as the home side became a little frantic in their efforts to get something from the match, playing too many long forward balls which were confidently dealt with by the Winsford defence marshalled well by Lois Maynard.
The match appeared to be drifting to a conclusion but Winsford had one last effort on goal as Brian Matthews scored his second and his team’s third in added time.
A disappointing result and, in the second half, a disappointing performance from the home side and with games coming thick and fast at this stage of the season work needs to be done in advance of the visit of Colne to Surrey Street on Saturday.
GNE Team Proctor, McGregor (L), (Mehmet), Allen, Hazelden, Lugsden, Winstanley (Williams), Hirst (Naylor), Jones, Smallwood, McGregor (D), Connolly.
The Winsford goalkeeper makes a save in the first half. Photo - Steve Dyson
|23rd February - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Barnoldswick Town 3 Glossop North End 1
A glance at the Barnoldswick Town team sheet before the match on Saturday suggested that Glossop North End would face a difficult afternoon and so it proved to be. The home side fielded a strong, experienced and settled side bolstered by the recent additions of Tom Bradley from Padiham at left back and James Nettleton from Silsden in central defence. In contrast, GNE have struggled to field a settled side all season and this match was no exception as injuries again took their toll. Having said that, the visitors battled well for three quarters of the match but, in the end, the experience of the home side won through.
In contrast to recent matches the opening phase was a quiet affair with both sides looking to exert some control through midfield. The first real goal attempt came after 15 minutes as a typically mazy run by Sam Marshall was ended by a foul on the edge of the box. Nick Allen lined up the free kick, perhaps with memories of his winning effort 10 days previously at Winsford United in his mind, but his effort came to nothing.
The first goal came for the home side on 23 minutes as the back-tracking Mark Battersby was adjudged to have fouled Liam Blades as he broke into the box and lined up a shot on goal. The resultant penalty was confidently converted by Barnoldswick centre forward Mark Threlfall to give his side the lead.
The home side continued to play confidently and with purpose but GNE were fighting hard and fashioned a chance on 32 minutes as Battersby won a ball which should never have been his, fed the ball across to Dean McGregor whose shot from a tight angle went just wide.
The home side started the second half strongly and had a couple of chances to extend their lead in the first three minutes. A free kick by Blades found captain Shaun Airey unchallenged in the box but his header went just wide and then a typically powerful run down the left hand side by Bradley ended with a cross which was deflected towards goal but Ben Proctor in the GNE goal got down to smother the effort.
With only five minutes of the half played, Battersby came off with an injury to be replaced by Tom Wilson who is returning to match fitness after a long lay off. GNE remained positive by pushing Nathan Bond forward to join McGregor up front. This move was almost immediately effective as a powerful left foot shot by Bond, from outside the area, narrowly missed the right hand upright.
GNE continued to compete well and their efforts were rewarded on 63 minutes as a corner from the right hand side was glanced on in the box and the ball fell for substitute Jonny Hirst. His snap shot beat Billy Carrington in the home goal to register his first goal for the senior side and level the scores.
From this point on the home side, again building well through midfield, looked to press forward and win the game. A slick passing move down the right hand side brought handsome reward as a cross was turned in by home striker Danny Morton. Five minutes later the match was effectively over as a mistake in the GNE defence gifted the ball to Bradley who advanced into the area and made no mistake as his left foot shot flew wide of Proctor and into the net.
Barnoldswick looked to shut down the game and did so effectively. Into injury time and the final incident of the match saw the impressive Bradley again threaten from the left hand side but his shot was cleared off the line by Kelvin Lugsden with Proctor beaten.
Overall a fair result and how GNE must wish for the sort of consistency in selection which goes with putting consistent runs together.
GNE Team Proctor, Williams (Winstanley), Allen, Hazelden, Lugsden, Bond, Marshall (Hirst), Jones, McGregor (D), Battersby (Wilson), Smallwood.
Nathan Bond in action at Barnoldswick. Photo - Steve Dyson
|19th February - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 6 AFC Liverpool 2
Neither of these two sides have exactly set the NWCFL Premier Division on fire this season but each side has a contender for the League leading goalscorer this season so we could perhaps have expected some goals. We were not disappointed as GNE, with Mark Battersby leading the line, and AFC Liverpool, with John Lawless fulfilling the same role, served up eight goals on a bitterly cold evening at Surrey Street on Tuesday.
The match started badly for the home side as a foul on the edge of the area after 7 minutes by Sean Hazelden gave Lawless the opportunity with a free kick which he took with great style to give the visitors the early lead. But GNE bounced back within 2 minutes from this early setback as Jonny Hirst won possession in midfield and his forward ball was right into the path of Battersby who made no mistake in levelling the scores. As the half progressed AFC Liverpool found their game in midfield with excellent passing and moving skills putting the home defence under pressure for long periods. GNE were indebted to goalkeeper Ben Proctor on several occasions with some fine shot stopping to keep the scores level. At the other end Battersby was again active just before half time as he beat three men on the edge of the box only to see his shot tipped over the bar by Sean Lake in the AFC Liverpool goal.
1-1 at half time with the visitors playing much the better football.
The Hillmen looked to be much more in the game in the second half and the match took on a much more even feel. The deadlock was broken on 63 minutes as Nathan Bond won a ball in midfield and played it through to Battersby who beat AFC Liverpool substitute River Humphries before shooting past Lake to give GNE the lead. A scant four minutes later it was that man Battersby again as a clearance from AFC defender Darren Torpey was charged down by Sam Marshall, the ball ran for Battersby who completed his hat-trick with a calm, precise finish.
Almost before the crowd had drawn breath GNE were further ahead. A corner from the left hand side was not cleared by the AFC defence leaving Dean McGregor to force home the ball from close range to give the home side a 4-1 advantage. This was not to last long as a mere two minutes later the visitors reduced the arrears from the penalty spot. GNE full back Mike Jones was adjudged to have handled the ball and Lawless stepped up to convert the resultant penalty. Any hope of a comeback by the visitors was swiftly snuffed out as two minutes later the ever alert Bond sensed the opportunity to intercept a throw out from Lake. The ball never reached its intended recipient as Bond nipped in and played the ball into the unguarded net.
AFC were reduced to 10 men as midfielder Liam Loughlin had to come off with a head injury with all three substitutions having been made. The game looked to be heading to a quiet conclusion but there was just enough time for Battersby to look to increase his goal tally as he bore down on goal from the right hand side following a long clearance from Proctor. However, the ball was played across the area for Ben Connolly to tap into an empty net to complete the scoring.
As satisfactory conclusion and result for the GNE faithful but there are still some lessons to be learned from the first half performance.
GNE Team Proctor, Jones, Allen, Hazelden, Lusgden, Winstanley (Smallwood), Marshall, Bond, McGregor (D) (Wilson), Battersby, Hirst (Connolly)
Mark Battersby scores to give Glossop a 2-1 lead. Photo - Steve Dyson
|16th February - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 1 Norton United 2
It can be a fine line between commitment and ill-discipline and the Hillmen fell the wrong side of that line in defeat against Norton United on Saturday.
The GNE line up saw a reward for a fine mid-week performance for Paul Naylor as he took his place up front with the returning Mark Battersby. Nathan Bond was fit enough for a place on the subs bench but both Adam Oakes and Danny Browne were still absent with injury.
The game started quietly enough with Norton playing well in midfield but failing to convert possession into chances. The home side were battling hard for some influence and were nearly rewarded when Sam Marshall went down in the box but the referee waved play on. Minutes later Battersby saw his effort from an acute angle go just over the crossbar with Richard Brandon in the Norton goal beaten.
The match saw a significant change on 31 minutes as Bond came on for Naylor and GNE looked to be operating a 4-4-1-1 formation with Bond playing just behind Battersby. If the Hillmen thought that this would snuff out any threat from the visitors they were mistaken as the first goal of the match came on 33 minutes. A channel ball from midfield found Delroy Fox free and bearing down on goal His shot was just good enough to beat Ben Proctor in the GNE goal for the ball to nestle in the far corner of the net even though the big goalie did manage to get fingertips to it.
The home side hit straight back and a fine combination between Battersby and Bond saw the latter equalise the scores with a fine shot. However, the status quo was not to last too long as a challenge in the Hillmen area by Jake Williams was adjudged to have been a foul and the resultant penalty was converted confidently by Thomas Fogg to give the visitors a half-time lead.
Possibly aggrieved at the penalty disputes, GNE started the second half with considerable purpose which was matched by the visitors. The result was three cautions for dangerous tackles in the first 10 minutes of the half. The third of these meant a second yellow card and the end of the afternoon for Nathan Bond. And so, for the second time in as many matches, GNE were down to 10 men. Another change in formation saw Ash Smallwood enter the fray at the expense of Ben Connolly.
The match settled again into a midfield dominated affair with neither side making clear cut chances. The home side tried to stay positive to get something from the game as Dean McGregor came on to replace Jake Williams and GNE reverted to three at the back. Norton were trying hard to make the extra man count and some last ditch defending coupled with some fine saves by Proctor kept them at bay and gave the home side some hope. All hope was extinguished when GNE full back Nick Allen was dismissed for his second yellow card leaving the home side with only 9 men for the last 5 minutes of the match.
Consecutive Saturday home defeats were not what the new management team were looking for and they will be well aware that, taking nothing away from the performance on the day of Norton United, much needs to improve if the side are to reach their potential.
GNE Team Proctor, Williams (McGregor (D)), Allen, Hazelden, Lugsden, Winstanley, Marshall, Jones, Naylor (Bond), Battersby, Connolly (Smallwood).
Sam Marshall and Sean Hazelden attempt to win the ball in front of goal. Photo - Steve Dyson
|12th February - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Winsford United 1 Glossop North End 2
It’s often the case that a side reduced to 10 men show great resilience in adversity and that was certainly the case at the Barton Stadium on Tuesday. Glossop North End went into this match showing several changes from the side which lost at home to St. Helens Town last Saturday. With Dean McGregor and Mark Battersby unavailable, Nathan Bond and Adam Oakes injured, into the starting eleven came striker Paul Naylor, making his first team debut, and midfielder Rick Winstanley making his first start of the season. Coming onto the bench were Danny Brown and GNE Youth team player Josh Bridge.
On a bitterly cold night the Hillmen started quickly and were ahead in 6 minutes. The home defence failed to clear in the penalty area and Naylor was on hand to shoot confidently past Andrew Jones in the Winsford goal for a debut goal.
Winsford played the ball confidently through midfield but Ben Proctor in the GNE goal was not called into action until the 32nd minute when he got down smartly to his right to turn away a crisp shot from the edge of the penalty area. The constructive play by the home side was rewarded with an equaliser 4 minutes later when, not for the first time this season, the Hillmen defence failed to clear their lines and the loose ball was poked home by Kyle McGonigle from a suspiciously offside position.
The visitors came straight back into the match with two chances from right wing corners which went begging but the final chance of the half came to the home side as Callum Gardner broke away but his right foot shot was well saved by Proctor to send the teams into half time all square.
The second half started cautiously with both sides probing for openings. The first of the chances came on the hour mark when Jones in the home goal was pressurised by Smallwood. The goalkeeper dropped the ball just outside the area and Smallwood was unlucky to see his shot just fade past the far post from an acute angle. Both sides were working hard but no real threats on goal were created until former Hillman Andy Hurst latched onto a dreadful back-pass by Rick Winstanley in the 70th minute. Hurst was bearing down on goal with only Proctor to beat when he was clipped from behind by GNE skipper Kelvin Lugsden. Lugsden had to go and the resultant free kick from just outside the area came to nothing.
Mike Jones dropped into the back four as GNE adopted a 4-4-1 formation expecting an onslaught from the home side as they looked to make the inequality in numbers count in their favour. Naylor came off after a very effective debut to be replaced by Jonny Hirst with Ben Connolly taking the central strikers role. GNE defended stoutly and the outlet ball to Connolly nearly brought unexpected rewards as the striker latched onto two long clearances in quick succession but was unable to make his efforts count on the score sheet.
As the match came towards its close the away supporters would have been happy with a draw but the Hillmen had other ideas. A free kick needlessly given away by the home defence saw Nick Allen carefully line up the ball before thundering a right foot shot past the flailing Jones and into the bottom corner of the net to inspire great scenes of jubilation amongst the GNE players and supporters. The match ran to four and a half minutes of added time but the visitors, continuing to work tirelessly, closed out the match for an unexpected victory given the circumstances.
“From adversity comes strength” as the unknown philosopher said and never a truer quote to sum up this match.
GNE Team Proctor, Williams, Allen, Hazelden, Lugsden, Winstanley, Marshall, Jones, Smallwood, Naylor (Hirst), Connolly (Brown)
|9th February - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 3 St Helens Town 4
A look at the form book would have suggested a banker home win at Surrey Street on Saturday. A confident Glossop North End, bolstered by an excellent away win at Silsden the previous Saturday, faced a St. Helens side which had not won a match in any competition since the end of September. How fortunes can change as it was St. Helens Town who left Glossop at the end of the match with a valuable three points to help them in their quest to avoid relegation into the North West Counties First Division.
The game started well enough for the Hillmen with Mark Battersby getting on the score sheet again as, after only 3 minutes, he latched on to a through ball from midfield and calmly placed the ball past Lee Novak in the St. Helens Town goal and into the corner of the net. The visitors came back well with Craig Fitzjohn and Chris Lomax beginning to dominate the match through midfield. The GNE defence was looking generally shaky and having some difficulty in clearing the lines. It was from such an occurrence that the visitors equalised as Fitzjohn was on hand to poke the ball into the net following a defensive mix-up in the 10th minute.
St. Helens Town continued to trouble the home side through midfield and some enterprising play was rewarded in the 34th minute as a free kick given for a foul on Fitzjohn was hit against the bar by Lomax only for the ball to fall kindly for captain Lee Crompton to convert the rebound.
Before half time Rick Winstanley came on for Mike Jones for GNE as the home side were forced to re-shape by the efforts of, mainly, Fitzjohn and Lomax.
It looked to be a different home side as the second period started. Within 2 minutes of the re-start a short corner routine between Battersby and Sam Marshall resulted in a pinpoint cross by Battersby which was headed home by Kelvin Lugsden. The lead was restored for the home side less than 10 minutes later as a free kick from out left taken by Nick Allen eluded the massed ranks in the penalty area to chalk up a rare goal for the left back.
For the first 20 minutes of the half GNE were dominating the match but then allowed the hard working St. Helens side back into it. On 70 minutes another scramble in the GNE area saw a shot by Crompton deflected and loop into the goal via the inside of the left hand upright.
The match continued with no clear chances for either side and, with time running out, a draw looked certain. However, deep into added time, the Hillmen lost the ball in midfield allowing the impressive Lomax to move forward on goal and crown a fine display by beating Ben Proctor with an accurate left foot shot. The silence in the home crowd was broken only by the sound of the final whistle to mark the end of the entertainment and a disappointing result for the Surrey Street faithful.
It’s a hackneyed phrase but football truly can be “a funny old game”.
GNE Team – Proctor, Jones (Winstanley), Allen, Hazelden, Lugsden, Smallwood, Williams, Bond, McGregor (Connolly), Battersby, Marshall.
A St Helens defender heads the ball away as Glossop attack in the 2nd half. Photo - Steve Dyson
|2nd February - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Silsden 1 Glossop North End 5
After just one match in almost 7 weeks it was back to action for Glossop North End on Saturday. The fears of those spectators who thought that the long lay off would affect the players were soon dispelled as any cobwebs were blown away by a keen north-westerly wind at the rather exposed Angel Telecom ground. To say that the Hillmen hit the ground running was something of an understatement as a side showing just one change from the side which drew at home to Alsager in January, Sam Marshall in for the injured Danny Browne, started very much on the front foot and remained there for the whole of the 90 minutes.
The match kicked off in bright sunlight with the Hillmen playing with the breeze at their backs on a somewhat wet pitch. The first significant action came in the 8th minute as Marshall won the ball in midfield from a misdirected free-kick by the home side. Dean McGregor was played in on goal and he duly rounded Ed Hall in the Silsden goal before sending in a goal bound shot. Somehow a couple of the Silsden defenders managed to get back and scramble the ball off the line.
GNE continued to press and the opening goal came 2 minutes later as a right wing corner glanced off the head of Silsden captain and central defender Danny Husband for an own goal and give the lead to the visitors. More was to follow quickly as in the 14th minute striker Mark Battersby chased the ball towards the dead-ball line taking goalkeeper Hall with him and out of position. He beat the keeper and then, showing tremendous imagination and skill, Battersby lifted the ball into the undefended goal from literally on the dead-ball line for a memorable goal.
Although 2-0 down within the first 15 minutes, Silsden were not out of the match as a rather youthful side played some good football into the breeze but lacked the final ball to feed prolific goalscorer Michael Garrod.
Close to the half hour mark it was 3-0 to the visitors as that man Battersby again latched onto the ball close to the opposition area, moved forward and rounded the advancing Hall to place the ball calmly into the unguarded net.
As the wind dropped, much to the relief of the now frozen spectators, the second half started with substitute Nathan Bond on the field for the injured Adam Oakes and it was not long before the Hillmen were celebrating again. With just 5 minutes of the second period played Ash Smallwood played a fine ball inside Husband to find Battersby free in the area. A stunning left foot shot by the striker gave Hall no chance. The game settled a little as the visitors looked to retain possession and snuff out any even remote chance of a comeback from the Cobbydalers.
Rick Winstanley entered the fray as a substitute for Jake Williams who looked to have taken a nasty knock following a heavy challenge. The required re-shaping of the GNE formation did nothing to stop their forward movement and a fifth goal duly came on 74 minutes as a left footed cross by Nathan Bond from the right of the Silsden penalty area was met at the near post by Battersby whose delicate flick was enough to send the ball past Hall and into the net. A true striker’s goal if ever we saw one as Battersby did what all strikers are told to do and that is to anticipate where the ball could come to do the most damage and get in front of the defender. This seems to come instinctively to Battersby who now has 21 goals from his 16 matches for GNE.
The only disappointment for the visiting side was in conceding a late goal to Silsden’s Chris Wademen to spoil the clean sheet which would have been well merited. Nevertheless, great credit to the whole GNE squad, including debutant Jordan Matthew who came on as a late substitute, for a splendid performance from back to front although it will be Mark Battersby who will dominate the headlines again.
GNE Team Proctor, Jones, Allen, Hazelden, Lugsden, Smallwood, Williams (Winstanley), Oakes (Bond), McGregor (D) (Matthew), Battersby, Marshall.
Sub not used Connolly.
Mark Battersby scores his 3rd and Glossop's 4th goal at Silsden. Photo - Steve Dyson
|12th January - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 1 Alsager Town 1
It was back to action for GNE on Saturday for the first time in almost a month and the first opportunity for the new management duo of Paul Williams and Garry Brown to supervise the side.
On a bitterly cold afternoon the Hillmen probably shaded the match overall, particularly in the second half, but were indebted to goalkeeper Ben Proctor to come out of the match with a share of the points.
Following a one minute silence in memory of long term supporter and gateman Barry Mellish who passed away over the Christmas period, the match started with GNE showing a number of changes. With Nathan Bond and Lee McGregor both suspended, Nick Allen found himself in the not unfamiliar position of left back and Ashley Smallwood returned in midfield with a starting role up front for Dean McGregor. On the subs bench was Rick Winstanley, returning to Surrey Street after some 18 months away at Oldham Boro and Colne.
The match started scrappily with neither side able to exert any control through midfield. What was clear, however, was that the Alsager side was well organised and would be difficult to break down. The first real attempt at goal came on 18 minutes when GNE striker Mark Battersby found himself wide on the right. His cross was met by Dean McGregor who forced a fine save from Matt Coton in the Bullets goal down to his right. Having almost provided the spark for the first goal Battersby went one better when he took a 32nd minute free kick from the left hand side of the Bullets area which was met at the near post by the head of a flying Danny Browne to give GNE the lead.
The home side looked to be heading for a half time advantage but on 41 minutes a failure by the Hillmen defence to clear the ball from the edge of their penalty area led to a shot from Bullets captain Ryan Mitchell which was placed wide of Proctor to give Alsager an equaliser.
Early in the second half Sam Marshall came on for the injured Danny Browne for the Hillmen who started the half strongly. It became something of the Mark Battersby show for GNE as the striker did everything but score. On the hour mark he beat several defenders on the edge of the box and his shot produced a fine save by Coton low down to his right. Ten minutes later it was Battersby again as his precisely placed shot from the edge of the area had Coton beaten but the ball was headed off the line by a Bullets defender.
The home side re-shaped as Ben Connolly came on for Mike Jones with Connolly going wide left, Marshall coming to wide right and Jake Williams dropping into the vacated right back slot. Battersby was still influencing the game and a back heel into the path of Adam Oakes saw the midfielder’s precise left foot strike again saved low down to his right by Coton.
With time running out the visitors were awarded a penalty for a foul on the edge of the GNE penalty area. Bullets substitute Leigh Skellern took the responsibility but his rather tame shot was saved by the outstretched left leg of Proctor and a share of the points assured.
Perhaps not the start that the new management team were looking for but a well earned point after several weeks of inactivity against a well drilled Alsager side gives something to work on with plenty of matches to come.
GNE Team: Proctor, Jones (Connolly), Allen, Hazelden, Lugsden, Smallwood, Williams (Winstanley), Oakes, McGregor (D), Battersby, Browne (Marshall).
Danny Browne jumps highest to head in Glossop's goal. Photo - Steve Dyson
|18th December - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 1 Mickleover Royals 4
There was no evidence of pre-Christmas cheer on the pitch at Surrey Street on Tuesday night as Glossop North End bowed out of their last cup competition of this season at the hands of Mickleover Royals in an often ill-tempered match. The Royals came to Surrey Street looking to overturn higher ranked opposition and their tenacity was such that they achieved their objective and deservedly so even though the final score was perhaps a little flattering.
The home side again showed changes in personnel and formation from the win over Bacup Borough on Saturday with midfielder Adam Oakes returning from suspension and full back Lee McGregor making his first start for three months.
The visitors started the match at a tremendous tempo moving the ball quickly when in possession and tackling aggressively when the Hillmen had the ball. There was no pattern to the game and neither goalkeeper was really troubled until the half-hour mark when a shot from Royals midfielder Robert Fox brought the first real save of the match from Ben Proctor in the GNE goal. Encouraged by this the visitors pushed forward and a foul by Nick Allen just outside the box lead to a free kick. Royals striker Dave Carr took responsibility and drilled the ball low to Proctor’s right to open the scoring in the 32nd minute. Nick Allen then had to leave the field with an injury and was replaced by Jonny Hirst.
The second half started with the surprise appearance of Aaron Amesbury who was on from the subs bench to replace leading scorer Mark Battersby. It was later revealed that Battersby had sustained an injury late in the first half. GNE started the half well and had the ball in the back of the Royals net on 55 minutes only for Ben Connolly’s effort to be ruled off-side. Ten minutes later it was Connolly again who had the ball in the net as he slid in on a through ball to get to the ball ahead of Royals goalkeeper Ash Warner. This time the goal stood and the Hillmen were back in the match. There then followed some ugly scenes as Lee McGregor and Royals winger Kirk Francis were involved in an altercation which had its seeds sown in several disagreements between the two players over the previous 10 minutes. McGregor saw red in more ways than one as he sat out the rest of an increasingly fractious match.
Five minutes later Francis got himself on the score sheet as he swept in a cross from the right hand side following yet another of the countless free kicks of the match. Francis’s goal celebration showed that he was still in aggressive mode following his disagreements with McGregor and he was very wisely substituted by the Royals bench having already been cautioned early in the second half. The game gradually settled down and Mickleover played some good passing football. Their third goal came courtesy of a shot by Adam Birch with the GNE formation beginning to breakdown as they searched for an equaliser.
The Hillmen continued to press forward looking to salvage something from the match. Oakes went close in the 83rd minute when his curling shot was headed off the line with Warner nowhere to be seen. With all three substitutes deployed, and playing against 10 men, the Royals finished the game strongly and the final goal came in the 87th minute when Carr again scored from a free kick in what was a carbon copy of his first goal.
There were justified scenes of jubilation from the Mickleover players and supporters at the end of the match. Not the prettiest of wins by any means but effective as a passport to the next round against either Buxton or Alfreton Town. It would be difficult for the Hillmen to take any positives from this match but important League matches await and there are lessons to be learnt.
GNE Team Proctor, McGregor (L), Browne, Hazelden, Lugsden, Gamble, Allen (Hirst), Oakes, Bond, Battersby (Amesbury). Connolly
Ben Connolly scores to make it 1-1. Photo - Steve Dyson
|15th December - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 2 Bacup Borough 0
Former Glossop North End Manager Brent Peters brought a physically strong Bacup Borough side to Surrey Street on Saturday looking for a win which would launch the visitors up the North West Counties League table, but it was not to be. On a squally day and on a pitch which held up remarkably well considering the weather conditions during the week, GNE took control of the match early on and, except for a period at the beginning of the second half, never looked like losing that control.
Suspensions, injuries and work commitments meant that GNE Manager Paul Colgan was again forced to shuffle his pack. Sam Marshall and Adam Oakes were both suspended and Nathan Bond was unavailable meaning that a revised midfield was needed. In came Andrew Gamble for his first start in the blue of GNE. He was joined in central midfield by the versatile Nick Allen with Jake Williams and Jonny Hirst taking the wide midfield slots. Striker Mark Battersby was supported by Martin Ormesher making his Surrey Street debut.
The match was only 7 minutes old when Battersby made his first contribution of the afternoon. Running strongly into the penalty area from the left hand side he was fouled by Bacup full back Shane Birtles and the referee had no hesitation in giving the penalty. With regular penalty taker Adam Oakes missing this match the GNE faithful were wondering who would take the spot kick. In seconds the answer was known as Battersby placed the ball on the spot and then confidently despatched it past Ryan Jones in the Bacup goal to give GNE a deserved early lead.
Bacup came back well from this early set back and worked hard through midfield but failed to convert possession into chances and Ben Proctor in the GNE goal was largely untroubled.
On 31 minutes it was that man Battersby again who doubled the home side’s advantage with another strong run into the box following an exchange with Jonny Hirst down the left hand side. The ball was controlled beautifully before being propelled left-footed by Battersby past the diving Jones. That’s 17 goals in 13 games for GNE this season for Battersby who has just been voted as North West Counties Premier Division Player of the Month for November and richly deserved too.
Bacup again came back into the match and defender Matthew Bryan was unlucky to see his fine free kick rebound to safety from the cross bar before a fine cross from the left by Martin Cosgrave eluded Bacup striker David Gray and ran on to Paul Socha whose effort was wastefully blazed over the bar.
At the start of the second half, the home side brought on Ben Connolly to replace Ormesher leaving Battersby somewhat isolated up front. However, it was the visitors who started the half well with some good control in a midfield effort orchestrated by former GNE player Arron Kirk. Despite this period of control Bacup could muster only the isolated threat on a GNE defence well marshalled by Captain Kelvin Lugsden. The game became something of a stalemate but the Bacup defence could never ignore the menace of Battersby up front even though he was playing something of a lone role.
The best effort of the second half came from GNE substitute Ben Connolly whose 77th minute effort came back off the angle of post and crossbar.
The match finished with the home side good value for their 2-0 win and looking forward to welcoming back at least some of the absent and injured players for the series of matches to come.
GNE Team Proctor, Jones (McGregor (L)), Allen, Hazelden, Lugsden, Gamble, Williams, Browne, Ormesher (Connolly), Battersby, Hirst (McNee)
Mark Battersby scores to make it 2-0. Photo - Steve Dyson
Mark Battersby receives the Supporters Club Player Of The Month award for November. Photo - Steve Dyson
|1st December - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
AFC Blackpool 1 Glossop North End 1
Glossop North End came to a bright and breezy Mechanics Ground at Blackpool on Saturday hoping to illuminate proceedings themselves but they were ultimately frustrated by a tenacious AFC Blackpool side. Yet again, injuries and suspensions meant changes to the GNE line-up with returning centre-half Sean Hazelden making his first start of the season for the first team alongside Kelvin Lugsden in the heart of the defence. New signing Martin Ormesher came straight in for his debut partnering Mark Battersby up front and the absence through injury of Ben Connolly meant a start for Jonny Hirst in wide midfield.
Both sides started quickly but, on a smooth surface, midfield moves were breaking down under constant closing down by the opposition. No pattern to the game could be established and no real goal threats were being generated. The first significant action came on 23 minutes when Glossop midfielder Adam Oakes hit a powerful low shot goalwards, but his effort was saved with his feet by AFC Blackpool goalkeeper Keiran O’Boyle as he saw the ball late through a crowd of players.
On 28 minutes Jonny Hirst had to come off with what looked like a bad leg injury after what many would describe as a dangerous tackle by one of the AFC Blackpool defenders. Sam Marshall came on as substitute.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first with no real shape to the match. A lot of endeavour was being shown by both sides but not much quality was shining through. Just before the hour mark Ormesher, looking short of match fitness, was substituted by Andrew Gamble with Nathan Bond pushing forward to join Battersby. And then, the first bit of real quality in the match as, on 68 minutes, Bond slammed an unstoppable shot from 20 yards leaving O’Boyle with no chance, to open the scoring.
The pace of the match did not slacken and the Hillmen were looking good value for their lead but the advantage lasted for only 7 minutes. A right wing corner by AFC Blackpool led to a scramble in the penalty area as the GNE defence failed to clear. Grant Dell got to the ball for the home side and managed to hook the ball into the net for the equaliser.
As the match came to a close there was a curious incident as the referee gave a free kick to AFC Blackpool well within the GNE penalty area. As the penalty area was occupied by 21 players it was the epitome of a crowd scene as the kick was taken and nothing came from it.
This was never the easiest of matches on the pitch and, at times, it was distinctly feisty. Just before the final whistle a seven or eight man brawl looked to be developing close to the half way line but cool heads prevailed and the referee blew for the end of the match.
It’s always a challenge to come to the Mechanics Ground and take anything from the match. The Hillmen management may well look back on this one as a point gained rather than two points lost even though all three points were definitely on the cards following Nathan Bond’s fine goal.
GNE Team Proctor, Jones, Browne, Hazelden, Lugsden, Bond, Williams (Johnson), Oakes, Ormesher (Gamble), Battersby, Hirst (Marshall).
Mark Battersby takes on AFC Blackpool defenders. Photo - Steve Dyson
|24th November - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Stone Dominoes 3 Glossop North End 2
If Tuesday at Wigan Robin Park was the story of a hat-trick by GNE striker Mark Battersby then Saturday at Stone Dominoes was dominated by a hat-trick from Stone striker Matthew Dodswell and no one really saw that coming.
It was a cold, wet and windy afternoon which greeted the players and spectators at Wellbeing Park, the home of Stone Dominoes and, for the GNE supporters at least, the match did not engender any feelings of wellbeing as the Hillmen suffered defeat at the hands of a team who were without a win all season. Having said that, a new manager was in place at Stone, along with 7 new players signed in the previous week, so nothing was to be taken for granted.
If the circumstances of this defeat were, in the end, somewhat bizarre, there was no indication of what was to come as the match got underway. The Hillmen again showed changes in the line-up with Adam Oakes away ill and Danny Browne suffering from an injury. In came Daniel Johnson, making his starting debut in midfield, with new signing Simon Cryer taking a place on the subs bench.
The Hillmen had much the better of the opening exchanges and were in control of the match through midfield. It was no great surprise when on 15 minutes GNE opened the scoring or, rather, an unfortunate own goal was conceded by Stone right back Daniel Counter as the ball skidded off his outstretched leg and into the net.
The Hillmen continued to control the game but as the half hour mark passed Stone started to get back into it. A shot from Ryan Ball was well saved by Ben Proctor in the GNE goal and then, on 38 minutes, Matthew Dodswell cut in from the left side of the GNE penalty area and beat Proctor with a fierce drive which went in off the underside of the crossbar. As half time approached GNE winger Ben Connolly hobbled off with what looked like an ankle problem to be replaced by Jonny Hirst.
The incessant rain was making the pitch difficult for both sides as the second half got underway. There was no great shape to the game with too many mistakes leading to the surrender of possession. Gradually the Hillmen began to assert some control with several chances falling to their strikers and Sam Marshall managing a header against the Stone upright. Adam Leake in the Stone goal was keeping his side in the match but he was eventually beaten as, in the 83rd minute, a well struck shot by Battersby came back off the body of the keeper only for Battersby to poke the ball home from close range.
New signing Cryer came on for Dean McGregor and went close to opening his account for GNE when he was put through by Battersby only for Leake to deny him with a fine save to his right. Seconds later Stone centre half Matthew Klemperer was sent off following a second yellow card and all that remained was for Glossop to see out the match against 10 men – but it was not to be.
From somewhere the 10 men of Stone summoned the energy to push forward in the increasingly difficult conditions and were rewarded for some fine play through midfield when Dodswell unleashed a great shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 89th minute to level the scores. Sensing an unlikely win, and very much on the front foot, Stone moved forward again as the match went into added time. Much to the amazement, and disappointment, of the travelling supporters it was that man Dodswell who scored with his third fine right-footed shot of the match to complete his hat-trick and give the home side the most dramatic and unlikely of wins.
Credit to Stone who never gave up and celebrated the win in true style leaving the Hillmen with the long trip back home wondering just how that one got away.
GNE Team:- Proctor, Williams, Allen, Jones, Lugsden, Bond, Marshall, Johnson, McGregor (D) (Cryer), Battersby, Connolly (Hirst).
Ben Connolly and Dean McGregor celebrate Glossop's opening goal. Photo - Steve Dyson
|20th November - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Wigan Robin Park 2 Glossop North End 3
The headlines will be all about Mark Battersby but, taking nothing away from three quality striker’s goals, there was much more to this match.
The Robins came into this match on a high having beaten the much fancied Bedlington Terriers of the Northern League in the FA Vase on Saturday. The Hillmen had a comfortable home league win against Ashton Athletic to build on so there was much to anticipate before this match.
The Robin Park Arena is an unusual place to watch football. At this level, supporters are used to being close to the action and to be able to hear every word said out on the pitch but not here. The Arena is an athletics stadium and the presence of a running track between the pitch and the spectators leads to a rather muted atmosphere. Having said that, every comment from the spectators echoes around the big stand and is clearly heard by everyone.
Wigan started the match much the quicker and were a goal up within three minutes as a speculative ball forward from midfield eluded the GNE defence leaving Sean White with the task of beating Ben Proctor from 12 yards out, which he did, to open the scoring. The Hillmen were being out played in midfield denying them any real opportunity to launch attacks and the game went through a somewhat scrappy phase. It was through this midfield pressure that the Robin’s second goal came. On 25 minutes the Glossop’s midfield lost the ball on their right hand side giving the Robin’s left back Adam Howard space to make a storming run down the wing. An excellent cross cut out the retreating GNE defenders, and Proctor, leaving striker Joseph Hull unmarked in the area to convert with the simplest of tap-ins.
Something had to change if GNE were to get anything from this match and it did. Nick Allen was pushed up from full back into midfield leaving Lugsden, Browne and Williams as a back three. Gradually, GNE got back into the match and on 43 minutes Battersby got a goal back with a fine shot from the right of the area across Robin’s keeper Jason Foulds and just inside the far post.
The Hillmen started the second half very much on the front foot and had early chances to level the scores and more. The match was now being played almost exclusively in the Wigan half as the GNE midfielders mopped up everything leaving Wigan with no outlet ball. The physical exertion of the match at Bedlington may have been telling on the Wigan players but take nothing away from the way the Hillmen were dominating the match. The pressure told on 69 minutes as a typical scampering run down the right by Sam Marshall ended with a well weighted cross which was swept in expertly by Battersby past a rooted Foulds. The scoring was completed in the 78th minute as Battersby added his third goal of the evening by rounding Foulds for a simple tap in to seal a victory which had looked most unlikely after 25 minutes of the match.
Another confidence booster for the Hillmen who now head off to Stone Dominoes on Saturday looking to continue their current winning ways.
GNE Team Proctor, Allen, Williams, Browne, Lugsden, Bond, Marshall, Oakes, McGregor (D), Battersby, Connolly
|17th November - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 3 Ashton Athletic 0
For the second time in as many weeks Glossop North End faced a side with a new manager and all of the unknowns that brings. Jimmy McBride brought his Ashton Athletic side to Surrey Street looking for a change of fortune but it was not to be as the Hillmen dominated the match and ran out comfortable winners.
Again there were a couple of changes in the GNE line-up with Jake Williams taking over from Sam Marshall on the right of midfield with Nick Allen and Danny Browne taking the full back slots. Mark Battersby returned up front having missed the mid-week Derbyshire Senior Cup victory over Whaley Bridge.
On a pitch softened by significant overnight rain, GNE were in the ascendancy from the off and could easily have been 3-0 up in the first five minutes as chances came and went, two of them falling to Battersby.
Ashton Athletic weathered this early storm and looked to play constructively through midfield but their moves invariably broke down and the Hillmen continued to show the greater goal threat. The one opportunity of the first half for the visitors came in the 33rd minute when forward Godfrey Umokoro-Emu set off on a strong run from midfield, beating two defenders, only to loose control of the ball at the vital moment as he shaped to shoot with only Ben Proctor in the GNE goal to beat.
Half time arrived with the match scoreless and the home crowd hoping that GNE would not rue those missed chances early in the half.
Any possible nervousness was dispelled within three minutes of the re-start when Dean McGregor cut into the area from the right hand side, beat Ashton Athletic defender Michael Burns, and calmly steered the ball past Hayden Buckley-Smith in the Ashton Athletic goal to register his first goal since early September. Just reward for some good performances which had been missing the final touch. Flying winger Marshall came on as a substitute for Nathan Bond and immediately set about making it an uncomfortable afternoon for Ashton Athletic full back Chris Rogers.
Just before the hour mark, Battersby made things comfortable for the home side as he rounded Buckley-Smith to slot the ball home. GNE did not sit back but continued to push forward. In the 73 minute the scoring was completed as Marshall stormed down the right wing yet again, his cross found Battersby in the penalty area and his fine right foot shot left Buckley-Smith clutching at thin air.
The game degenerated into a flurry of late tackles, punished with cautions by the referee, until the home side resumed control and played the match out to register a comfortable victory.
GNE Team Proctor, Allen, Browne, Jones, Lugsden (Bockarie), Bond (Marshall), Williams, Oakes, McGregor (D) (Johnson), Battersby, Connolly
Mark Battersby scores Glossop's 2nd goal. Photo - Steve Dyson
|14th November - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 2 Whaley Bridge Athletic 1 (after extra time)
Whaley Bridge came to Surrey Street in confident mood on Wednesday having had a good start to their campaign in the Cheshire League and looking to overcome the two step difference between the two sides in the football pyramid. And indeed they started well but in the end it was the higher ranked team who prevailed but it was never easy.
With a couple of players unavailable for this match, the GNE management had to shuffle the pack a little with Sam Marshall starting up front supporting the versatile Nathan Bond and Reserve squad regulars Ryan McNee and Jonny Hirst coming into the side.
The match started in a somewhat scrappy fashion in front of a very good crowd of 209 including a large contingent of Whaley supporters. Neither side could gain any control through midfield and chances in front of goal were minimal. All that changed after 32 minutes as Whaley Bridge forward Lee Morris, who had an outstanding all round match, latched on to a through ball from midfield and was composed enough to slide the ball calmly past the onrushing Ben Proctor in the Hillmen goal to open the scoring. Whaley were starting to exert a bit of control on the match at this point but the last chance of the half fell to the Hillmen in the shape of Danny Browne whose left foot shot, on the stroke of half time, clipped the crossbar and bounced harmlessly away for a goal kick.
GNE started the second half with a couple of positional changes as Browne moved forward to support Bond with Marshall and Hurst taking the wide slots in midfield. Whaley continued to have the better of the play but the Hillmen were thrown a lifeline when, on 64 minutes, Whaley keeper James Tattersall fumbled the ball which fell to Browne just inside the penalty area. Tattersall then grabbed Browne’s legs and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Adam Oakes obliged with his usual calmly taken effort to level the scores. Glossop got more and more into the match as the second half wore on but Whaley were by no means out of it and came close to regaining the lead when a fine shot by George Burgess brought an excellent save by Proctor.
The match was heading towards extra time but there was one last incident when Daley Rothwell went down in obvious pain from a challenge close to the half way line. Rothwell needed to be helped off the pitch and took no further part in the match; a circumstance which left the home side down to 10 men for the rest of the match as they had already used all of the available substitutes. Still there was time for the Hillmen to push on to try to win the match in 90 minutes. First Ben Connolly hit in a wicked free kick following a foul on Nick Allen only for Tattersall to bring off a fine save. Then deep into injury time a GNE corner was played in from the right into a crowded 6 yard box. The Hillmen supporters were convinced that a Whaley defender had handled the ball preventing a simple headed winner for captain Kelvin Lugsden. However, play was waved on and the whistle for full time blown.
Into extra time, the 10 men of GNE needed to dig deep and they did. After just three minutes a corner from the left was met with a diving header from Browne and the home side were ahead for the first time in the match. Whaley threw fresh legs into the action with three substitutions during the extra time period but with Nathan Bond dropping deep to help out the defence GNE held firm helped significantly by a fine save low down by Proctor from a shot late in the second period of extra time. Just one last chance for Whaley as keeper Tattersall came up for a corner in the dying seconds but it came to nothing to leave GNE the victors in a very well contested match.
The reward for the home side is another home tie in this competition against Mickleover Royals in a match to be played week commencing 10th December.
GNE team Proctor, McNee (Bockarie), Allen, Jones, Lugsden, Browne, Marshall, Oakes, Bond, Rothwell, Hurst (Connolly).
Danny Browne's diving header makes it 2-1 to GNE. Photo - Steve Dyson
|10th November - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Norton United 5 Glossop North End 3
Glossop North End made their first ever trip to play North West Counties Premier League newcomers Norton United on Saturday full of confidence following excellent performances in the previous two matches. But the bubble was quickly burst as the Hillmen found themselves 4-0 down after a mere 31 minutes and looking down the barrel of a severe embarrassment.
The afternoon had started quietly enough as the players lined up wearing poppies on their shirts for the one minute silence to commemorate the victims of the many conflicts around the world. GNE started in a 4-5-1 formation with new signing Harry Bockarie coming in at centre back for the suspended Kelvin Lugsden, Sam Marshall and Ben Connolly taking the wide slots and Mark Battersby up top.
Norton were ahead within 3 minutes as the Hillmen defence failed to clear a cross from the left leaving Norton midfielder Rob Heath to strike past the isolated Ben Proctor in the GNE goal. Glossop nearly got back on level terms just before the quarter hour as Bockarie, having stayed up from a set piece, found the ball at his feet but his shot produced a fine save from Norton goalkeeper Daniel Lloyd-Weston. This was just the prelude to a frantic 12 minutes as Norton scored three times thanks to a penalty by Tom Fogg following a foul by Proctor, a fine shot under pressure by Niall Green after a defensive mistake and a beautifully struck free kick from fully 25 yards out by Norton captain Richard Smith.
To say that the Hillmen were under pressure would have been a complete understatement as the home side were dominant and looking threatening with every forward movement. Somehow the tide was turned and on the stroke of half time a through ball by Battersby found Nathan Bond free on goal his shot eluding the onrushing Lloyd-Weston to bring just a hint of respectability back into the score line.
Something had to change for the Hillmen to have a chance of taking anything from this match and it did. Marshall and Connolly were substituted for the start of the second half with Daley Rothwell and Dean McGregor taking their places in a 3-4-3 line up – Bond and McGregor joining Battersby up front. GNE needed a quick goal to gain some confidence and it came within 8 minutes of the re-start as Lloyd-Weston did well to save an effort from Battersby only for the ball to fall for Jake Williams who calmly slotted the ball into the unprotected net. Game on perhaps as Glossop were gaining in confidence and continued to push forward. On 72 minutes the ball fell to Adam Oakes just inside the area and his trusty left foot did what was needed to make the score 4-3 to the home side – definitely game on now. But Norton were not about to give up and went straight down the other end where a strike worthy of winning any match was unleashed by Green giving Proctor no chance. Still the Hillmen did not give up despite the forced substitution of the injured Battersby by returning defender Sean Hazelden. And it was Hazelden, playing in an unaccustomed forward role, who had a chance to score as a cross from the left by Oakes found him unchallenged in the box but his header just went over the bar.
GNE continued to look to get forward in what turned out to be a forlorn hope of taking something from what had been an entertaining but, for the GNE supporters, an ultimately disappointing match with the home side worthy winners on first half performance alone.
The only slight consolation for the travelling fans was to be found in a very good pint of Hurricane Bitter (Cross Bay Brewery – Morecambe) in the adjoining Social Club.
GNE Team Proctor, Williams, Browne, Jones, Bockarie, Allen, Marshall (Rothwell), Oakes, Bond, Battersby (Hazelden). Connolly (McGregor (D)).
Mark Battersby shoots through a crowd of Norton United players. Photo - Steve Dyson
|3rd November - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 4 Squires Gate 0
Glossop North End returned to Surrey Street on Saturday, following an entertaining 0-0 draw at Stockport Sports in midweek, looking to maintain that form in a League match against Squires Gate. The Hillmen side showed a couple of changes as front man Mark Battersby returned to action with the versatile Nick Allen slotting in at full back. Squires Gate came to Surrey Street with a new manager in Garry Hargreaves and somewhat low on confidence following a difficult few weeks on the pitch.
GNE started well and took the lead after only 7 minutes as winger Sam Marshall headed in from a poorly defended corner. Neil Beesley in the Squires Gate goal was much the busier of the two keepers and made some excellent saves, particularly from efforts by Connolly and McGregor, as Glossop pushed forward at every opportunity.
It was beginning to look as though the Hillmen would go into half-time with a slender one goal advantage, which would not have been a fair reflection of the nature of the game, but on 43 minutes their lead was doubled as Battersby broke clear of the defence and found time to control the ball inside the box before accurately placing the ball wide of the advancing Beesley and into the corner of the net to make it 2-0 to the home side.
The crowd were entertained during the half time interval by a match played out around the centre circle involving players from the Glossop Juniors under-10 squad.
GNE started the second half quickly with Marshall continuing to torment his marker. After just three minutes he was fouled by Squires Gate defender and captain Thomas Benfield inside the area. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot and Adam Oakes converted from 12 yards with his usual aplomb.
The Hillmen continued to dominate the match showing excellent passing movement and sharpness to the ball. Marshall and Ben Connolly swapped wings a couple of times looking to stretch the Squires Gate defence yet further. Beesley was again kept busy as Ben Proctor in the GNE goal must have been the coldest player on the pitch, so little was he asked to do.
Several opportunities to increase the lead came and went until on 73 minutes Battersby latched on to a through ball and beat his defender both inside and out before firing his shot precisely past Beesley for one of the best goals seen at Surrey Street for quite some time.
Squires Gate tried to repair at least some of the damage in the last 15 minutes but it was not to be as the referee’s whistle brought a most satisfactory end to the match for the GNE faithful with a 4-0 victory to the home side – richly deserved after an excellent performance.
GNE team Proctor, Jones, Allen, Browne, Lugsden, Bond, Marshall, Oakes, McGregor (D) (Rothwell), Battersby, Connolly
Sam Marshall heads in Glossop's first goal from close range. Photo - Steve Dyson
October Player Of The Month Mark Battersby receives his award from Supporter's Club Vice-Chariman Dave Hampson. Photo - Steve Dyson
|30th October - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Stockport Sports 0 Glossop North End 0
Both sides returned to League action on Tuesday evening, following defeats in the League Cup at the weekend, for this match played on the synthetic surface at Stockport Sports Village. This is a magnificent facility boasting an array of pitches, a fully equipped gym and an excellent lounge/bar area. The only real downside is that the fence at the side of the car park allows for viewing of the match from outside the enclosed area and it is this aspect of the ground which led to the demotion of the previously named Woodley Sports side from Evo-Stik 1 North into the NWCFL Premier Division at the end of last season.
The reverse fixture at Surrey Street back in August had seen an excellent game of football between these two sides, in a match which ended in a 2-2 draw, and all were looking forward to a repeat of that match in terms of entertainment as the Saxons looked for a win to propel them towards the top of the League table.
In front of the biggest home crowd of the season, bolstered by significant numbers of Hillmen supporters, the match started at pace on a fast, consistent playing surface. The first significant action came within the first 10 minutes when GNE striker Dean McGregor found a powerful shot from inside the area which was well saved to his right by Callum Tongue in the Saxon’s goal. The match then became something of a midfield battle with both sides playing good passing football but with no direct threat to the opposition goal until a shot late in the half from Sports midfielder Kyle Hamid rebounded from Ben Proctor’s crossbar after the GNE defence had failed to clear a corner from the right hand side. Half time came with no goals in a match which was fairly even.
Into the second half and an early break forward from defence by experienced midfielder Melford Knight set up Matty Ward but his shot from the edge of the area narrowly missed the left hand post. The match settled again into a midfield battle as the rain came down to make the pitch even slicker. The visitors were generally having the better of the play but chances on goal were at a premium with the GNE defence, expertly organised by Captain Kelvin in front of a voluble Proctor, were up for everything the Saxons could throw at them. At the other end, GNE created several half chances but could not find the killer strike.
The match came to an end with honours even on the score sheet but the Hillmen probably edging the game in terms of the overall play and the Saxon’s undefeated home run in League matches this season continues.
Team Proctor, Williams, Browne, Jones, Lugsden, Allen, Marshall, Oakes, Bond, McGregor (D) (Keane), Connolly (Hirst)
|27th October - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Barnoldswick Town 4 Glossop North End 2 (after extra time)
Glossop North End’s campaign in the NWCFL League Cup started on a bright but cold Barnoldswick on Saturday and, sadly, that’s where it ended. In a match which could have been considered excellent entertainment for the neutral and a heartbreaker for the GNE supporters, Barnoldswick prevailed in extra-time and now move on to the next round of the competition.
The Hillmen started brightly with Sam Marshall proving to be a handful for joint Barnoldswick Manager Kevin Richardson who was returning at left back from a long injury lay-off. After only two minutes a cross from Marshall found Nick Allen in the centre but the midfielder skied his effort on goal. The Barnoldswick defence insisted on trying to play out of defence and this caught them out on 9 minutes as a mis-controlled ball by Bill Williams allowed the prolific Mark Battersby a run on goal and he coolly beat goalkeeper Marko Marosi to open the scoring.
The match was firmly in the control of the Hillmen with Marshall continuing to torment his marker but failing to deliver the killer ball. On 32 minutes the dominance paid off when a strong run down the left by Nathan Bond ended with him calmly placing his shot wide of Marosi and into the far corner of the net. 2-0 at the half time interval with GNE in control of the match.
Something must have been said in the Barnoldswick dressing room at half-time as they started the second half with renewed energy playing towards the delightfully named Sewer End. Glossop seemed to have adopted a plan to try to defend the two goal lead but still carried a threat on the Barnoldswick goal. None more so than when a powerful shot by Bond rattled the woodwork with Marosi beaten. However, in the 61st minute Barnoldswick forward Mark Threlfall followed up a shot which had been well saved by Ben Proctor to fire in from the right hand side of the box. The Hillmen tried again to settle the match down by good ball retention in the midfield areas with Bond dropping into midfield as Dean McGregor came on as a substitute for Marshall.
Barnoldswick continued to press and were rewarded in the 80th minute when Neil Chapman was well positioned at the near post to flick in a corner from the left and level the scores. The last 10 minutes were frantic as both sides looked to win the match but could not do so and the match went into extra-time.
As is often the case, the start of the extra-time period was something of an anti-climax after the excitement of the last 10 minutes of normal time. But Barnoldswick were in the ascendancy and a fine save from Ben Proctor from a shot by Paul Fildes was followed by a last ditch tackle by Danny Browne as Threlfall lined up to shoot before Fildes ran on to a pass from Threlfall to beat Proctor from inside the box.
The second period of extra-time followed the pattern of the first and Barnoldswick finished the game off in style with Threlfall converting well when given too much time in the area.
Final score Barnoldswick Town 4 Glossop North End 2 in a match which the Hillmen were in control of at half time leaving many of the travelling GNE supporters wondering how the team came away from this physically draining match with nothing.
GNE Team Proctor, Williams (Rothwell), Browne, Jones, Lugsden, Allen, Marshall (McGregor), Oakes, Bond (Gamble), Battersby, Connolly.
Nathan Bond scores Glossop's 2nd goal. Photo - Steve Dyson
|20th October - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 3 Runcorn Town 2
Runcorn Town came to Glossop on Saturday sitting proudly at the summit of the North West Counties Premier Division, but it was the Hillmen who took the spoils from a match rated by many as the best seen at Surrey Street this season.
The match started quietly in calm sunny conditions with both sides playing good passing football but failing to initiate real threats on goal. All that changed after 19 minutes when the game came to life and GNE entered a purple patch.
With memories of disputed goals and calls for goal-line technology at higher levels of football, a shot in the 19th minute by Glossop striker Mark Battersby came back off the underside of the crossbar and bounced down. Over the line or not was the decision to be made by the officials who, after a slight hesitation, gave the goal and with it the lead to GNE. In the next five minutes the Hillmen had several opportunities to increase their advantage but a combination of good goalkeeping by Karl Wills in the Town goal and the intervention of the woodwork denied efforts by Ben Connolly and Battersby whilst a free kick by Adam Oakes narrowly missed the angle of post and crossbar.
The feeling around the ground was that GNE may come to regret not adding to their goal tally during this period and this proved to be the case as a foul inside the area by Glossop full back Jake Williams resulted in a penalty which was well converted by the prolific James McShane to level the scores.
Into the second half and the visitors started very much on the front foot and their enterprise was rewarded on 53 minutes. A strong run from the back by Runcorn Town captain Ste. Latham set up Paul Shanley to strike the ball from just inside the penalty area into the bottom right hand corner of the net. The home side must have been wondering just how Latham was allowed to run so far without being challenged.
The Hillmen hit back with their second purple patch of the match when they had enough opportunities to put the match out of sight. Great work by Wills thwarted goal bound efforts from Sam Marshall and Battersby and a close range effort by Nick Allen came to nothing. But a goal was coming and it duly arrived when Battersby held on to the ball well in a crowded penalty area to set up Connolly for the equaliser.
The crowd in the Trenches sensed a possible victory for the home side and the volume increased as GNE continued to press forward. There was a moment of controversy in the 74th minute when Sam Marshall appeared to be taken out in the area but the claims for a spot kick were waved away by the referee. This just increased the noise level and, inspired, the Hillmen continued to work hard and found the net in the 85th minute when the impressive Battersby picked up the ball on the right and cut inside, into the box, to finish sweetly with his left foot to make it 3-2 to the home side.
Runcorn Town were not yet beaten as they pushed everything forward searching for the equaliser. As the 90 minute mark passed, goalkeeper Wills tried to dribble the ball forward but was dispossessed by a combination of Battersby and Nathan Bond. The ball fell to Oakes whose shot from fully 40 yards went agonisingly wide of the right hand post with Wills in “no man’s land”. The 4 minutes of added time seemed much longer but the final whistle was greeted by a roar from all of the supporters around the ground and both teams departed the scene of the action to an appreciative and prolonged round of applause. Great stuff!!
Team: Proctor, Williams, Browne, Smallwood, Lugsden, Allen, Marshall, Oakes, Bond, Battersby, Connolly (Hirst)
Subs not used: Jones, Keane, Lewis, Hall
Mark Battersby battles through the Runcorn defence to set up Glossop's 2nd goal. Photo - Steve Dyson
|15th October - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 1 Curzon Ashton 4
Monday night is an unusual night for football at Surrey Street but such are the number of fixtures at this time of the season that there was no real alternative for this Manchester Premier Cup tie. A decent crowd of 157 witnessed an entertaining match between a Glossop North End side showing a number of changes from Saturday and a strong Curzon Ashton squad featuring two former Hillmen in Lee Blackshaw and Nathan Neequaye.
Into the GNE side came Liam Nolan, Luke Kerrigan, Ryan McNee and Jordan Nightingale to make up a defensive formation with an average age of 18 and they acquitted themselves very well against an experienced Curzon line-up.
The match started at a high tempo with some good passing movements from both sides. On 9 minutes GNE winger Jonny Hirst, making his starting debut in the first team, had the ball in the Curzon net only for his effort to be ruled out for offside. The Hillmen defence held together well during a couple of absences by Jordan Nightingale for running repairs but was eventually breached on 24 minutes when a cross from the left by Curzon wingman Matty Purcell was deflected in the penalty area with the ball falling for Tony Evans to finish comfortably.
Five minutes later Glossop were two behind after Luke Kerrigan was adjudged, harshly according to many in the crowd, to have fouled Nathan Neequaye in the area and Curzon skipper Sam Walker converted the resultant penalty.
The Hillmen bounced straight back and Josh Ollerenshaw in the Curzon goal needed to be at his best to keep out a goal-bound effort by Mark Battersby. The reward for some enterprising play by Glossop came in the final minute of the first half when a shot by Ste. Muir was well saved by Ollerenshaw but the ball broke clear to Battersby who stroked the ball into the empty net.
Curzon started the second half strongly and in the 53rd minute Tony Evans was first to a corner, in what was a bit of a crowd scene, and headed home firmly.
The usual flurry of substitutions by both sides saw Danny Browne coming on for the Hillmen to replace Ste. Muir and go up front to partner Battersby. Good versatility from a player who has featured in defence, midfield and attack for GNE this season.
Curzon continued to press and, on 65 minutes, a shot from the right by striker Evans was well saved by Ashley Hall in the GNE goal with the ball seemingly going away for a corner. However, Scott Metcalfe had other ideas as he chased down the ball and converted from the tightest of angles. The game then largely fizzled out with Curzon controlling the game in midfield and both defences coping well with occasional threats. The final action came late in the second half as a foul on the irrepressible Sam Marshall resulted in a free kick to Glossop fully 30 yards out. The shot from Simon Thompson appeared to be goal-bound but just passed the outside of the left hand upright with Ollerenshaw beaten.
An entertaining game but it is Curzon Ashton who progress to the next round of the competition.
Team: Hall, Nolan, Kerrigan, Allen, McNee, Nightingale, Marshall, Oakes (Smallwood), Muir (Browne), Battersby, Hirst (Thompson)
Subs not used: Keane, Adby
Mark Battersby scores Glossop's goal against Curzon Ashtonl. Photo - Steve Dyson
|13th October - Match Report by Tim Barnett|
Glossop North End 4 AFC Blackpool 4
On official non-league Saturday, and with many of our NWC neighbours involved in FA Vase ties, this league fixture was brought forward to today. The Visitors were AFC Blackpool, who at the start of play lay 2 places above North End in 13th position, although having played two games more. Consistency in this league is a rare thing, and the Hillmen hoped for a change in form away from the previous two back to back losses.
The first half started in frenetic fashion, with AFC hitting the crossbar within seconds of the referee’s opening whistle, and the away team then enjoyed the better of the early exchanges. After 8 minutes, Glossop were forced into an early substitution as Michael Jones left the field to be replaced by Jake Williams at right back. Shortly after this, GNE’s towering keeper Ben Proctor was felled by a nasty challenge from the approaching forward. Both players reacted angrily, and both were shown a yellow card by the referee. (Proctor for his reaction, and the other player for the challenge-but not the reaction?). The Glossop keeper did well to continue for 90 minutes, and a quote I read post match said…”I caught a glimpse of the injury afterwards and like the game itself, it wasn't for the faint hearted. How he managed to play through 90 minutes with it, I've no idea”.
On 20 minutes, an excellent Glossop passing move flowed down the far side of the pitch, culminating in Connolly releasing Battersby who calmly slotted home for 1-0. Just 2 minutes later, GNE won a corner which was swung in by Oakes for Danny Browne to rise unchallenged and power his header past the Luminous Yellow shirted AFC Keeper for 2-0.
Blackpool then surged forward towards the Trenches end of SS and a sweet strike from the edge of the box gave Proctor no chance. 2-1.
Further good home pressure next saw the front line pressing and Battersby hauled back in the box for a penalty and (only) a yellow card to the visiting goalkeeper. Step up Adam Oakes for 3-1 and much excitement on the terraces with just 40 minutes played!
However, this was short lived as the visitors cut the lead to 1 goal with another quality strike, and the half time score was GNE 3-2 AFC. Could the lead be maintained, or built on in the second 45??
With the visitors always attacking, there were bound to be more goals in this exciting game! GNE started the second half strongly with early pressure and early chances. However it was Blackpool who scored the next 2 goals, despite some heroic defending, to take the game to 3-4.
A turning point came on 70 minutes when the referee finally put a stop to a string of nasty challenges by issuing a straight red card to the same player who had clashed with Proctor in the first half. The Hillmen now poured forward with Marshall as the perpetual outlet and in the end it was Bond who popped up in the box to prod home for parity at 4-4.
As the sun set low over Surrey Street, the home team pressed and pressed, but the vital 5th goal never transpired. An exciting afternoon for the large Surrey Street crowd, and 8 goal thriller and another point gained!
Team: Proctor, Jones (Williams), Allen, Browne, Lugsden, Smallwood, Marshall, Oakes, Bond, Battersby, Connolly (D.McGregor)
Subs not used: McNee, Hirst, Kerrigan
Danny Browne heads in Glossop's second goal against AFC Blackpool. Photo - Steve Dyson
|6th October - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Padiham 2 Glossop North End 1
The Arbories at Padiham is set in picturesque East Lancashire landscape and was bathed in autumn sunshine for the visit of a Glossop North End side still smarting from a mid-week home defeat at the hands of Maine Road.
This match marked the debuts for GNE of Michael Jones, at right back, and Nathan Bond in midfield and it was just seven minutes into a match played on a very damp pitch when Bond made his first contribution for the side. Adam Oakes swung in a corner from the left hand side and Bond rose, effectively unchallenged, to head firmly past Sean Davis in the Storks goal.
After this eventful start, and with the Hillmen playing down the slope, the match settled into a midfield battle with both defences coping well with isolated threats on goal. Glossop looked solid with Simon Thompson playing as a lone striker and Jones making his presence felt at right back.
Half time duly arrived with GNE good value for their 1-0 lead.
Midfielder Alex Elliott had picked up a knock on the knee in the first half and he was not to be seen in the action again as Dean McGregor came on as a substitute at the beginning of the second half. This meant something of a re-shuffle in the GNE ranks as Thomson went to left midfield with Ben Connolly coming into centre midfield as McGregor took the lone striker role.
Now playing down the slope, the home side started the brighter and had the best of the possession. This period of possession, punctuated by some good passing movements, had its reward in the 65th minute as midfielder Martin Broderick scored directly from a corner. Sensing the possibility of all three points, Padiham continued to press forward, a sequence only broken occasionally by the Hillmen. Sam Marshall showed his skills by beating a number of Padiham defenders and unleashing a firm strike which was expertly saved by Davis.
As the match entered the last 10 minutes Padiham continued in their search for all three points and their efforts were rewarded on 82 minutes as a slick passing sequence down the right hand side found substitute Joe Garvin in space. His fine shot, from just outside the penalty area, gave Ash Hall in the Glossop goal no chance. GNE responded by pushing Bond up front to join McGregor and went searching for the equaliser to at least take something from a match they had largely dominated in the first half. But the effort was to no avail and Padiham quietly played out time to take all three points and continue their good start to the season. For GNE a week to come with no matches and a chance to lick their wounds and to regroup before the home league match against AFC Blackpool on Saturday.
Simon Thompson in action at Padiham. Photo - Steve Dyson
|2nd October - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 1 Maine Road 4
Confidence was high at Surrey Street on Tuesday following good wins for GNE in their previous two North West Counties League matches but it was not to last. An experienced Maine Road side proved to be too much for the Hillmen on the night and they ran out comfortable winners.
With a strong breeze blowing from the South West and the threat of showers, Maine Road started the match very much on the front foot. Within the first minute Ashley Hall in the GNE goal was tested by a screamer of a shot but was good enough to tip the ball over the bar for a Maine Road corner.
With the Hillmen struggling to compete in midfield with the lively Maine Road outfit, due reward came to the visitors when on 10 minutes Martin Hill rose high above the GNE defence at a corner to head firmly past Hall. Futher reward for their workrate came just 10 minutes later when the Hillmen defence failed to clear in the box and Maine Road full back Josh Gittings calmly converted to double the lead for the visiting side.
Glossop tried hard to compete with some good movement forward from the lively Sam Marshall however when GNE lost the ball in midfield on 36 minutes a through ball to ex-Hillman Tom Bailey gave him the opportunity to increase the visitor’s lead which he did with some ease. As half-time came the disappointing crowd of 103 were somewhat stunned by what they had seen.
The second half started much the same as the first with striker Tom Bentham screwing a shot wide for the visitors in the first minute. Marshall continued to show well for GNE and a long run from midfield was only ended by a foul on the edge of the box by Maine Road midfielder Andrew Kilheeney. Unfortunately for the Hillmen, the resulting free kick, taken by Adam Oakes, came to nothing.
At 3-0 up Maine Road were well in control and showing some good passing skills as GNE tried to chase the game. On 65 minutes influential Maine Road midfielder and leading goalscorer Matthew Warburton was allowed to run across the edge of the Glossop penalty area and given time to shoot past Hall from 18 yards to make it 4-0 to the visitors.
As for much of the evening, Marshall continued to trouble the Maine Road defence with some mazy running. In the 87th minute he was at it again and his run towards goal was only stopped by a foul inside the penalty area. Up stepped Adam Oakes to convert the resultant penalty with his usual aplomb.
A disappointing result for the GNE faithful but there was no denying that Maine Road were good value for their win on the night.
Team: Hall, Williams (Keane), Allen, Smallwood, Lugsden, Elliot, Marshall, Oakes, D.McGregor, Thompson (Gamble), Connolly (Adby)
Subs not used: McNee, Kerrigan
Sam Marshall is tripped by a Maine Road defender leading to Glossop's penalty. Photo - Steve Dyson
|29th September - Match Report by Tim Barnett|
Glossop North End 2 Silsden 0
After a much desired victory last time out versus AFC Liverpool, spirits were somewhat brighter in the Glossop camp as they prepared for Saturday’s visit of Silsden to Surrey Street. The Hillmen needed to erase memories of the home and away defeats to this same side towards the end of last season as their push for the top faltered. Although today’s visitors lay two league places higher at the start of play, GNE would have been hoping to recreate the second half form of the game in Prescot and hit the ground running.
Big news from the manager as I spoke to him pre Kick Off was that Ben Proctor was suffering from back spasms and therefore would be sitting out the next week. In his place, Paul had drafted in reserve team goalkeeper Ashley Hall to fill the big keeper’s gloves! The home fans were delighted to see 2 goal hero and new signing Mark Battersby named again in the starting XI and on a bright and blustery afternoon hopes were high approaching the kick off.
The first half started with Glossop very much on the front foot and looking to play the ball on the floor to counter the strong wind. Stand-in keeper Hall was rarely troubled in the first period and it was the home side with a clearer sight of goal although Dean McGregor failed to hit the target on three separate occasions as good positions were carved out. The front line of Connolly, McGregor, Marshall and the once again impressive Battersby ran the channels and found space beyond the Silsden defence on several occasions. Alex Elliott’s move to centre midfield allowed him and Adam Oakes to combine and spray passes forward and again skipper Lugsden held the back line together ably to protect the rookie keeper.
With the scores level at 0-0 at the break, it was a positive home crowd who trooped to the bar and the pie hut to enjoy some half time refreshment.
As the second half began, it was Glossop again who immediately pressed forward. Battersby muscled his way into the thick of it whenever possible and Marshall and Connolly swapped wings to pose a different threat. After Elliott and Battersby both having chances to break the deadlock, it was on 62 minutes when a turning point came. Having been tricked and outpaced, the Silsden number 7, Holmes, was shown a straight red card after a reckless challenge on Glossop’s diminutive number seven.
Home pressure now surely had to tell and just ten minutes later, and after a fine flowing move, Ben Connolly was found in the box to calmly slot home for 1-0. Now against the ten men of Silsden, the home side found acres of space and willing runners at all times.
In the final moments, and seconds after a rare Silsden attack had resulted in a goal line clearance, Dean McGregor surged forward only for Battersby to miscue in front of goal, but Alex Elliott was there to place the ball home for 2-0 as the match drew to a close.
All told, an excellent performance and a fantastic three points. The experienced defenders protected Hall well at all times and all of this bodes well for the visit of Maine Road next Tuesday evening.
Team: Hall, Williams, Allen, Smallwood, Lugsden, Elliot, Marshall (Adby), Oakes, D.McGregor, Battersby, Connolly
Subs not used: Keane, Sheldon, Nolan, Browne
Mark Battersby in action for Glossop North End. Photo - Steve Dyson
|22nd September - Match Report by Tim Barnett|
AFC Liverpool 1 Glossop North End 2
Battersby double lifts the Hillmen
In the light of recent results, and with murmurs of discontent circulating the stands at Surrey Street, Saturday’s game against AFC Liverpool had become a must win. The early exit from the FA Vase at the hands of Winsford in the midweek replay had only served to enhance the calls for change and therefore the victory was a must. This aside, however, the day was also marked by an emotional tribute to the 96 supporters who perished at Hillsborough, in the light of the recent justice ruling.
The match kicked off at 3.08, after at 3.06, the precise time the game in 1989 ended, the teams entered the pitch carrying a Justice campaign flag, followed by the playing of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and 2 minute’s applause. Flowers from both teams were then received by a representative of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign to be taken to Anfield the following day.
With emotions then running high, the game started in rather frantic fashion. GNE new face Mark Battersby tried to link up with Dean McGregor and AFC hit the bar, all within the opening moments! On 8 minutes, the home side found the back of the Glossop net with a fine scissor kick only for the strike to be ruled out for offside. In the 11th minute, they found the net again, only for the referee to pull them back to a free kick for an earlier infringement. First blood to the home team!!
The next period of the game was played mainly in the middle third with Glossop coming more to the fore having switched Smallwood and Birch from their starting berths. Williams looked dangerous several times, causing problems down the right flank and he was unlucky not to find a Glossop head with his cross after being put through by Oakes.
Eventually, the home side build up a head of steam and the pressure told as they broke through to score after a 1v1 situation was created in the 26th minute. They thought they had doubled their lead on the half hour only to see the ball bounce back from Proctor’s far post as the GNE goal lead a charmed life. From then on, it was all about AFC, and Glossop struggled to get a foot on the ball or pick up the pieces!
The Half Time team talk needed to be an inspiring one, and so it was proven!
The proverbial rocket must have been dealt as immediately Battersby and McGregor appeared sharper, ably supported by Marshall and Elliott who was switched to the right wing in a swap with Williams. Fine forward play also involving Adam Oakes saw Battersby scoring on 48 and 52 to fire Glossop ahead. Indeed our new striker was unlucky not to complete his hat trick later in the half.
As Glossop still pressed, finding space all over, any AFC attacks were repelled manfully by a combination of Lugsden and Proctor, and it was to be the referee who then took centre stage.
On 60 minutes, he booked both skippers for some ‘handbags’ at a corner, and a string of further cards for both sides followed. With Glossop now firmly on the front foot, the referee was further called into the spotlight as on 84 minutes, he sent off both the AFC Liverpool Captain from the pitch and their manager from the dugout!
Glossop managed to keep their heads while all around were losing theirs to hold on even into the 5 added minutes and win 2-1.
A fantastic result for players fans and management sees us all looking forwards to next week’s visit to Surrey Street of Silsden.
Many thanks also to the warm welcome that we received from all at AFC Liverpool.
Sam Marshall challenges an AFC Liverpool defender. Photo - Steve Dyson
|18th September - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Winsford United 4 Glossop North End 1
Glossop North End’s progress in the FA Vase this season came to an earlier than hoped for end away at Winsford United on Tuesday evening. Under a lowering sky, on the first cold night of the season, Winsford controlled the game, particularly in the second half, and ran out worthy winners of a match made necessary by the 1-1 draw in the first match at Surrey Street last Saturday.
Proceedings began with an impeccably observed one minute’s silence for quiet reflection on the tragic events in Hattersley previously in the day. The first significant action on the pitch came as early as the 5th minute when a short back pass left Ben Proctor in the GNE goal stranded and Winsford United midfielder Andy Keogh took the opportunity to open the scoring with a precision shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
The Hillmen responded positively with Dean McGregor going close from a corner before, in the 18th minute, a mazy run from midfield by Sam Marshall seemed to have been contained by the Winsford defence only for the ball to bobble kindly off a couple of outstretched legs back to Sam Marshall who coolly finished to equalise. The effervescent Marshall had made his own luck with this one and he was close to doubling his tally only 3 minutes later when a misplaced pass by Winsford’s Brian Matthews led to a shot from the GNE winger which slid agonisingly wide.
Winsford responed positively to the threat from the Hillmen and on 23 minutes Andy Hurst converted to restore Winsford’s lead following a defensive mix up in the aftermath of a corner from the left hand side. The remainder of the first half was somewhat scrappy but still everything to play for in the second half.
Winsford started the second half the brighter of the two teams being quick to the ball and quick to close down. Their reward was a goal in the 63rd minute as Matthews fired home from the edge of the box following a somewhat speculative cross from the right hand side which managed to elude the GNE defence. The match settled to a rhythm in which Winsford controlled possession with good passing and restricted Glossop to occasional forays into the opposition half.
As the half wore on GNE committed more men forward as they went searching for goals but found a well organised Winsford defence who were effective in quelling their ambitions. As the match reached its conclusion, Winsford cente forward Hurst added his second goal and Winsford’s fourth as a breakaway found the Hillmen short of numbers at the back.
Both sides were applauded off the pitch by the GNE travelling supporters who numbered a fair proportion of the Tuesday evening crowd of 89. As the players disappeared into the changing rooms the heavens opened as perhaps a final comment on what had been a difficult evening for the men from Surrey Street.
|15th September - Match Report by Tim Barnett|
Glossop North End 1 Winsford United 1 (after extra time)
After a fine victory coming from behind to beat Barton Town Old Boys and progress to the next round of the FA Vase, last Saturday saw the visit of Winsford United to Surrey Street at the second qualifying stage of this year’s competition. As GNE are traditionally placed in the Southern section of the Vase, meetings with other NWCL clubs are relatively rare and this was only the third in the last 12 years. The other two being a victory against New Mills in 2008 and the loss to Runcorn Town last year. Winsford went into the game 2 places above Glossop in the league but with the home side hoping they could rediscover the form that was being shown before the away defeat at Colne.
As the players arrived at the ground they were (as is usual) faced with the immaculate playing surface, and not only that but bright September sunshine!
For the most part of the first half, it was the tall, athletic Winsford side in the ascendency with only a glimmer of attacking aptitude shown by the home team. When Glossop did press forward, it was always Marshall as the outlet and he both tested the keeper and worried the centre back into a rash challenge resulting in a yellow card.
The Winsford team constantly looked for their pacey front runners, led by Glossop old boy Andy Hurst and Wayne Wellbeck. Indeed it was Hurst who broke through some fragile defending to pass the ball past Proctor to put the visitors ahead after 12 minutes.
After that, it was the Glossop defence who were busiest, lead competently by skipper Lugsden, but when they did manage to keep the ball on the floor and pass their way out, both Connolly and Allen drew saves from Jones in the Winsford goal.
Having gone in a goal down at the break, Glossop needed things to improve drastically on the pitch and in the opening moments of the second period, they managed to force a string of corners and there was a hint of the Winsford defence creaking! However the away side soon found their passing radar and the Hillmen were seemingly chasing shadows. Stirred into action, the home midfield started to make their passes stick, and Marshall began to rule the right hand flank.
When Connolly found himself through on goal in the 62nd minute, his shot was parried by the defender’s hand, and the referee pointed immediately to the spot. Cue Adam Oakes with a cool penalty to restore parity.
Glossop’s heads were now up and the pressure started to tell in midfield. The introduction of Elliott and then Thompson bolstered the forward line, and more home chances ensued.
Ultimately, neither side could find the critical goal and the game headed into the agonising prospect of an extra 30 minutes.
In the first period, both sides pushed for the winner with Elliott firing over for Glossop and then Wellbeck rattling Proctor’s bar moments later. As both sides started to tire, the game became fractious and tetchy with at one point Lugsden and Wellbeck both being booked after an altercation!
As the minutes moved on, it was either “Smash & Grab” or “Time for a hero” time, and on 106 minutes, Winsford flashed wide and on 109 Oakes fired over after some more good work from Marshall. Hurtling towards the 120 minute mark, and when it seemed the visitors had settled for a replay, Glossop managed to force a string of corners once more, one of which saw a Nick Allen effort cleared off the line.
Team: Proctor, Williams, Browne, Birch (Smallwood), Lugsden, Allen, Marshall, Oakes, D.McGregor (Elliot), Rothwell (Thompson), Connolly
Subs not used: Brown, Keane
Adam Oakes equalizes from the penalty spot in the second half. Photo - Steve Dyson
|8th September - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Colne 3 Glossop North End 1
North End travelled to Colne on Saturday for their seventh league game of the season and went into it buoyed by recent results. In a new rich vein of form, they had won the previous three matches and finally found some scoring boots. The travelling fans were glad that this game arrived on a sunny September Saturday and not in the depths of winter when the weather can be mighty inclement up at the XLCR Stadium. Indeed GNE Matchday Secretary Stewart Taylor was heard to describe it as “The warmest, driest and most pleasant matchday in recent memory”!
Playing up the steep incline in the first half, Glossop made a bright start, and winger Ben Connolly hit the bar with a long range header with only two minutes on the clock. Almost immediately, the home side sprung into action, and proving that they know how to play the slope, they quickly won a free kick on the left flank. With their first attacking move, the free kick was whipped into the Glossop box and the onrushing James Crorken glanced his header neatly past Ben Proctor for 1-0 (5 minutes).
Colne continued to press and Glossop were struggling to gauge their passes up the hill. Sam Marshall was a willing runner, but was outmuscled on numerous occasions, and unlucky not to receive any decisions from the nearest official. On 13 minutes the home side were let in again, when defensive frailties led to a speculative attempt from Paul Fildes that bounced high several times before evading everybody and crossing the line for 2-1.
Moments later, the away fans were given some hope, as Dean McGregor forced his way through the defence to register his first goal of the campaign and reduce Colne’s lead to one goal.
The next phase of the game became very scrappy as the home side’s previous nice passing play was replaced by speculative pot shots that rarely troubled Proctor. And when they did hit the target, in one mad moment, a combination of the crossbar, Proctor and then a Nick Allen goal line clearance came to Glossop’s rescue!
The hope at half time was that the Hillmen would be able to use the downhill slope to their advantage and exploit the pace of their wingers to unlock the Colne defence.
As it happened, however, Glossop did try to press down the hill, but all too often they resorted to the long ball which never troubled the tall Colne defenders, and indeed at times became an exercise in heading practice for them! First McGregor, then substitutes Rothwell and Williams, all supported by right back Elliott, tried to find a way through, but it was to no avail, and the second goal remained elusive. All game some of the decisions from the officials appeared odd, and a strong penalty claim for a foul on Connolly was again waved away by the referee as time was running out.
Eventually the Colne forwards found another way through and, despite Proctor’s earlier heroics, a flowing move lead to a sweeping ball to the back post that was headed in unchallenged by Jason Hart to seal the win on 79 minutes.
The chances that never came is now a headache for Paul Colgan and his staff as they prepare for the next game, the important FA Vase tie versus Winsford United.
Team: Proctor, Elliot, Browne, Smallwood, Lugsden, Allen, Marshall (Williams), Oakes, Wilson (Rothwell), D.McGregor (Thompson), Connolly
Subs not used: Birch, Bamber
Sam Marshall chases the ball uphill in the first half at Colne. Photo - Steve Dyson
|4th September - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 1 Wigan Robin Park 0
NWCFL Premier League newcomers Wigan Robin Park were looking to continue their good League form when they came to Surrey Street on Tuesday Evening but went away empty handed as a fine display by the Hillmen led to what was described by many as a “comfortable 1-0 victory” for the home side.
A lively start by both sides saw much of the football played in midfield but on 14 minutes a cross from the right found GNE winger Ben Connolly unmarked in the box and his fine strike curled round Wigan goalkeeper Jason Foulds to nestle in the bottom corner of the net. A sublime strike invoking memories of the contributions of ex-Hillman winger Dave Hodges in the minds of many of the GNE supporters.
The vistors were stung into a response and pressed forward with purpose but were confined to long range efforts, mainly by Philip Howard and the influential Colin Quirk, which did not trouble Ben Proctor in the GNE goal.
Weathering this brief storm, the Hillmen relaxed and started to play good passing football which created a number of chances. On the half hour Foulds was well beaten by a shot from Tom Wilson only to see the ball ricochet off the crossbar. As the half came to a close GNE forward Dean McGregor found himself one-on-one with Foulds but the goalkeeper made a fine save from a well struck shot.
The second half started at a pace with an early “shout” for a penalty for GNE as Sam Marshall appeared to be tripped in the area by Foulds. The referee waved the appeals away and this led to a short period where tempers were running a little high and the game was marred as a spectacle by frequent free kicks.
The match soon settled down and more fluid play from the Hillmen ensued with balls into the channels seeming to be the preferred method of putting pressure onto an increasingly busy Wigan Robin Park defence. Numerous chances for the home side came and went with only sporadic raids from the visitors ensuring that Proctor had probably his quietest evening of the season so far.
Into the last 10 minutes and GNE midfielder Nick Allen must have thought that he had scored his first goal of the season as a firm header from a corner beat Foulds comprehensively but Allen, and the home supporters massed at the Clubhouse end, were disappointed to see the crossbar come to the aid of Wigan Robin Park again.
A fine reception greeted the Hillmen as they left the field of play at the end of the match with 3 league points in the bag although who said 1-0 was “comfortable”?
Team: Proctor, Elliot, Browne, Smallwood, Lugsden, Allen, Marshall, Oakes, Wilson (Williams), D.McGregor (Bamber), Connolly
Subs not used: Rothwell, Hirst, Thompson
Glossop captain Kelivn Lugsden clear the ball in the first half. Photo - Steve Dyson
|1st September - Match Report by Tim Barnett|
Glossop North End 2 Barton Town Old Boys 1
Marshall Law - speedy winger puts the Swans to the sword
Saturday saw the return of GNE's favourite cup competition as we welcomed Barton Town Old Boys to Surrey Street in the first round qualifying of the FA Vase. Spirits were good in the Glossop camp going in to the game on the back of the battling 3-2 victory away at Maine Road last Monday. The opposition could not be underestimated as, only a matter of weeks ago, they had beaten our fellow NWCFL side Barnoldswick Town in the FA Cup.
As the teams entered the pitch, many fans were pleased to see Nick Allen wearing the number 6 shirt, again pushed forward into the midfield role where he had been so effective the previous game. The opening exchanges saw Glossop pushing forward, with Dean McGregor going closest as he fired narrowly wide on 10 minutes. After that, however, the away side began to make their physical presence felt, and on 21 minutes, their towering number 9, Barlow, was allowed to head unchallenged past Proctor to make it 0-1.
The Hillmen were then forced to dig deeper, and the runners started to be found, with once again, Sam Marshall being the outlet down the right. Indeed, on 31 minutes, Marshall found himself in space on his wing, powered towards the goal and finished emphatically past the Barton keeper to make it all square! A further 8 minutes of fine play ensued by the Hillmen, and on 39 minutes, Ben Connolly found himself free on the left, and in an almost exact mirror image of the first goal, score to make it 2-1. Cue excitement in the stands!!
With the lively finale to the first half still fresh in the mind, the second half rapidly turned into the Sam Marshall show. His ever willing running and raw pace had the defenders constantly backing off, and he was always the outlet that GNE looked for. Unfortunately, the lead couldn't be added to, despite a series of corners, and towards the crucial 70 minute phase, the away team started to press and Proctor was forced into his first real save after a quick break. As the game reached it's end, another string of saves from Glossop's big number 1 coupled with a goal line clearance from Lugsden at the death would prove crucial in seeing The Hillmen through!
The last ten minutes were a tense affair and a nail-biting conclusion, as either side could have scored and the home side found themselves regularly in excellent positions. The Hillmen's forwards seemed to have too much time to think, and couldn't find the telling blow.
Eventually, the whistle blew, and to an excellent crowd reaction, the victory was ours. Onwards to Winsford at home in a fortnight as the prize!
Man of the match, player of the month...SAM MARSHALL. Well done young man!
Team: Proctor, Elliot, Browne, Smallwood, Lugsden, Allen, Marshall, Oakes, Wilson (Williams), D.McGregor (Nightingale), Connolly (Hirst)
Subs not used: Brown, Nolan
Sam Marshall attacks the Barton Town goal in the 2nd half. Photo - Steve Dyson
|27th August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Maine Road 2 Glossop North End 3
In the only North West Counties League match on Bank Holiday Monday, Glossop North End secured their first league win of the season at a windy Brantingham Road but it was a close run thing in the end.
Maine Road have had a good start to the season and were looking to consolidate their position in the League following an FA Cup win over Bacup Borough the previous Saturday. Their team included a couple of Ex-Hillmen in defender Richard Gresty and utility player Tom Bailey.
The GNE side showed a number of changes both in personnel and position with ever present Nick Allen occupying a defensive midfield position as Danny Browne slotted in at left back. Dean McGregor and Sam Marshall providing the options up front.
Maine Road started brightly with several shots in the early minutes but nothing to threaten Ben Proctor in the GNE goal. The first significant action came in the 20th minute when a free kick taken by Adam Oakes from the right hand side was met by Ben Connolly. His goalbound shot was expertly tipped onto the cross bar by Greg Hall in the Maine Road goal but the resulting rebound fell nicely for Tom Wilson who volleyed an unstoppable shot past the recovering Hall.
The GNE lead was doubled just seven minutes later as a cross from the right hand side eluded several Maine Road defenders and was tapped into the net by Ben Connolly.
Half time came with the Hillmen good value for a 2-0 lead.
GNE seemed to sit back a little as the second half started and Maine Road, now playing with the wind behind them, began to control the game. The best opportunity of the early exchanges fell to Maine Road attacker and leading goalscorer this season Tom Bentham but his shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Proctor. This was a warning to GNE which was not heeded as Maine Road continued to press forward. Their reward for some enterprising play came in the 78th minute as a mix-up in the centre of defence led to an easy tap in for Maine Road defender and captain Neil Chappell.
Encouraged, Maine Road pressed forward looking for an equaliser and along it came in the 83rd minute as confusion in the Hillem defence gave Bentham the chance to add to his season’s goal tally by rounding Proctor to slot home comfortably bringing the scores level.
Sensing an unlikely victory, Maine Road continued to play positively but from an increasingly rare foray into the Maine Road half GNE snatched the winner in the 89th minute. Substitute Jonny Hirst was fouled by Chappell on the Glossop left. The resulting free kick was swung into the box by Hirst. The Maine Road defence failed to clear and the ball was tapped in by GNE captain and central defender Kelvin Lugsden.
This was the last significant action of the match and as the rain started to come down the referee blew for full time and the Hillmen went away happy to have taken all three points from a fixture which had been less than kind to them in recent years.
Ben Connolly is congratulated by Dean McGregor after scoring Glossop's second goal. Photo - Steve Dyson
Loughborough Dynamo 3 Glossop North End 0
Ben Connolly of Glossop takes on a Loughborough defender. Photo - Steve Dyson
|21st August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Glossop North End 2 Stockport Sports 2
Tuesday Evening at Surrey Street and a delayed start to this much anticipated match as traffic problems meant a late arrival for a number of of players. The delay extended to 8.10 pm and then a little longer as the new “tape on socks” rule found out two of the Stockport Sports players. The match kicked of with 11 v 9 but was back up to 11 v 11 within three minutes as the required red tape had been located and applied by the Stockport Sports kitman.
A fast paced start by both team saw the first threat to goal in the 8th minute as a free kick awarded for a foul on the Saxons full back Ricky Anane was driven goalward by Callum Gardner. Ben Proctor in the GNE goal was relieved to see the ball smash onto the cross bar and bounce away to safety.
The tempo continued as both sides employed some slick passing on the excellent Surrey Street playing surface and the game was developing into quite a spectacle for the 180 supporters in the ground.
On 25 minutes, Dean McGregor broke clear chasing a high ball to be one on one with Russell Saunders in the Stockport Sports goal. The Saxons keeper “stayed big” and pulled off an excellent save as McGregor tried to lob the ball over his head and into the net.
Half time 0-0
Into the second half and the play continued much as in the first. In the 48th minute a shot from the left hand side of the penalty area was expertly saved by Saunders but the rebound fell kindly for the influential Sam Marshall who converted the chance to give the Hillmen the lead.
This inspired the youthful Stockport Sports side to push forward with renewed enthusiasm and their pressure was rewarded in the 53rd minute. With the Hillmen bench disputing a throw-in on the dug out side, a quick free kick close to the half way line found the Saxons winger Gardner in space on the right hand side of the box. His wicked shot came back off Proctor’s far post and was tapped in from close range by John Marsden.
Stockport Sports took control of the match, forcing GNE onto the back foot, and a number of chances were created by the men in red. Much of the approach work coming from the right hand side courtesy of some fine play from Anane. The pressure finally told as, in the 68th minute, another cross from the right hand side by Anane was rifled in from close range by Marsden to chalk up his, and his team’s, second goal of the match.
The “never say die” approach of the Hillmen was then seen at its best. Coming back from a difficult spell under pressure and a goal down was never going to be easy but, showing great resolve, they started to get their own passing movements going again.
Andrew Sensale, coming on as a substitute for the last 15 minutes, was showing good pace and awareness and troubling the Saxons defence. The reward for all of the effort came with less than 5 minutes to play as GNE man of the match Marshall chased a seemingly lost cause but managed to reach the ball close to the corner flag at the Trenches end of the ground. His excellent cross was calmly slotted in by Ben Connolly much to the delight of the home crowd and the GNE players.
Into injury time and the Hillmen were sensing the possibility of taking all three points from the match. A corner won by McGregor was swung in by Adam Oakes but only half cleared by the Stockport Sports defence. The resulting cross was met by the head of Sensale and appeared to be goalbound until Saunders got down to his right to save the ball at the right hand upright.
A huge round of applause greeted both sets of players as they left the field after what had been a memorable match played in an excellent spirit. If both teams continue to play football to the standard shown on the night they will be occupying slots at the top end of the league table at the end of the season rather than the lower half as now.
An excellent advert for NWCFL football.
Team: Proctor, Elliot, Allen, Browne, Lugsden, Rothwell (Sensale), Marshall, Oakes, Smallwood (Wilson), D.McGregor, Connolly
Subs not used: Harrison, Kirk
Dean McGregor in action for Glossop North End. Photo - Steve Dyson
|18th August - Match Report by Tim Barnett|
Ashton Athletic 1 Glossop North End 0
After the drama of a midweek FA Cup replay and battling to an extra time win, it was back to league action for the Hillmen on Saturday as they travelled to Brocstedes Park to face Ashton Athletic. This had been a happy hunting ground for GNE last season when they had won by 5 first half goals to nil, and today, they lined up against the side propping up the North West Counties table.
However, on this occasion, things were not going to go completely to plan!
Paul Colgan was forced into a last minute reshuffle of his team after Lee Mcgregor was injured in the warm up and Daley Rothwell was promoted from the bench with Alex Elliot dropping to right back. The opening salvoes saw North End pressing forward and forcing several goalward efforts, to the delight of their army of travelling supporters. Andy Sensale made a nuisance whenever possible up front, and he was supported by Callum Harrison and Ben Connolly who raced forward at every opportunity. The final member of the frontline, Sam Marshall was an ever willing runner, and his pace was always a threat down the right hand side. As the half progressed, the home side grew into the game, and on the 35th minute, the sucker punch arrived when a pacy break ended with their striker cutting inside and calmly slotting the ball past Ben Proctor in the Glossop goal. This registered the home side's first league goal of this campaign.
Dean Mcgregor was introduced at the beginning of the 2nd half to replace Harrison and reform the partnership with Sensale which had impressed in the early season. Glossop started brightly, forcing a corner in the opening seconds but this was not converted and the home side were able to show their pace and danger on the break. Ashton were bossing the game at this point, and Proctor the busier keeper. After a long break for a home injury, GNE then forced a series of 5 corners, the first resulting from a fine save after Sensale's chip seemed certain to be heading for the back of the net.
The impressive Ash Smallwood, playing at centre half, was called into action on the 72nd minute to clear off his own line after another home team break. GNE were always looking for Marshall, but the final ball was too often off target or he found himself without support. Both sides had penalty appeals waved away by the rather inconsistent officials, and indeed Marshall found himself poleaxed against a cement post as play was allowed to continue with the Hillmen forward lying prostrate on the ground.
On 88 minutes, the ball was finally in the Ashton net via their goalkeeper's gloves. However the strike was ruled out for a foul as is the want when a keeper is hardly touched in this position.
Final score Aston Athletic 1-0 GNE
Glossop now face difficult games against Stockport Sports and Loughborough Dynamoes and somehow, they need to find their way to goal and convert some of the many created chances.
Sam Marshall of Glossop North End gets away from an Ashton defender. Photo - Steve Dyson
|15th August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Louth Town 1 Glossop North End 2 (after extra time)
Glossop North End travelled to deepest Lincolnshire on Wednesday evening attempting to complete unfinished business in this, the very first, round of the FA Cup this season. That this match was necessary was due to the 0-0 draw between the two teams at Surrey Street last Saturday and to suggest that there was little between the two teams in that match was re-inforced in this match.
With GNE showing a number of enforced changes in line-up from Saturday, the match started brightly with both sides showing a similar urgency and work-rate. The first significant incident came in the 13th minute when a heavy foul on Glossop midfielder Ashley Smallwood led to a free kick from a central position some 40 yards from the Louth goal. The free kick was met in the box by Smallwood and his flick on was converted by Danny Browne at the far post. Shortly afterwards, a long range screamer by the Hillmen forward Dean McGregor was expertly saved by Ian McTaggart in the Louth goal. Glossop continued to press and a cross from the right was missed 6 yards out by Dean McGregor with the goal at his mercy.
Louth came back into the match and their efforts were rewarded on 21 minuteswhen centre forward Danny Kilmore converted a deep cross into the box from the right hand side with a spectacular volley giving Ben Proctor in the GNE goal no chance.
The match continued at the same high tempo with both sides looking to create openings. On 35 minutes a cross from the right by GNE playmaker Adam Oakes was met with a deft header by Andrew Sensale with the ball coming back into play from the underside of McTaggart’s crossbar.
As the match reached half-time GNE could look back on a half they shaded in terms of possession and chances but it was still all to play for.
The second half started with Louth Town in the ascendancy. Slick passing movements through mid-field were putting the GNE defence under some strain. Any attempts to reverse the flow of play by the Hillmen were quite comfortably repulsed by McTaggart and Louth captain and central defender Carl Martin. Louth continued to press and in the 80th minute came what was probably the turning point of the match and the tie. What has since been described as “a wonder save” was pulled off by Proctor with everyone in the ground thinking that the ball was already past him. From that point the game quietened down somewhat as both sides seemed to accept the inevitability of extra time.
The first period of extra time was fairly uneventful but the match came to life again in the second period. With 6 minutes of the match remaining GNE susbstitute Callum Harrison was adjudged to have been fouled by a Louth defender just inside the penalty area. This was hotly disputed by the Louth supporters but referee Mr. McGrath was not for changing his mind and Oakes stepped up to convert with some ease.
As the game reached its conclusion, Louth attacked at every opportunity the closest effort coming in the very last minute as a shot from Louth substitute Robert McSpadden beat Proctor in the GNE goal but was cleared off the line by a rapidly covering Browne. Seconds later the final whistle was blown and the match came to an end with GNE the victors.
Over the two matches these teams were very evenly matched but it is the Hillmen who progress to the next round with an away match at Loughborough Dynamos on Saturday 25th August.
Team: Proctor, Williams, Thompson, Browne (Dickinson (Kerrigan)), Lugsden, Smallwood, Marshall, Oakes, Sensale, D.McGregor (Harrison), Connolly
Subs not used: Hirst, Wilson
|11th August - Match Report by Tim Barnett|
Glossop North End 0 Louth Town 0
Only 2 games into the new league season, North End found themselves starting out on their first cup journey of the year with the visit of Louth Town to Surrey Street on Saturday in the Extra Preliminary round of the FA Cup. The League programme had started with Played 2, Scored 2 and Points 2. It was this kind of symmetry that the faithful Northenders hoped to see broken with a much desired victory.
As the game progressed, however, it became apparent that the visitors would not be broken down easily, and a game against a lower level side that would usually be seen as a home banker was not going quite to plan.
With Sensale and McGregor (D) both named in the starting XI, this strike pair looked to press forward from the off, but the through balls did not find their target on too many occasions, and with 30 minutes played, only Proctor in the Glossop net had been called into action. Finally on 32 minutes, Glossop’s best chance of the half arrived when a neat flick from Sensale saw McGregor’s cross shot send the away keeper flailing only to see the ball clear the post.
As the teams took to the pitch for the second period, Glossop looked to press forward from the off, and forced a series of corners in quick succession. However, the breakthrough still couldn’t be forced, and too many times the final ball across the box failed to find an onrushing blue shirt.
A string of substitutions ensued, and still the killer ball couldn’t be found and the questions “Can their keeper save a direct shot?” and “Will our superior fitness tell?” remained unanswered.
In the final minutes, and with the irrepressible Sam Marshall having been introduced, the home side pressed and pressed but the Louth defence stood tall and the prospect of a midweek away replay loomed large. It was then that in the 90th minute-plus, that the Hillmen had the chance to “Smash and Grab”! The catalyst, strangely, was a Louth attack that ended with the shot hitting Proctor’s post and then bouncing out to safety. The home side swept forward only for the final shot to blaze wide. And even later than that, a final Glossop attack ended with the ball being cleared from inside the six yard box over the Louth bar by one of their own.
Final score GNE 0-0 Louth Town and the Hillmen now face a long midweek trip to Lincolnshire for the replay on Wednesday night. The fans who can’t make this trip on a ‘school night’ will be wanting to hear favourable reports to restore faith in their side before the League trip to Ashton Athletic on Saturday.
Team: Proctor, L. McGregor, Allen, Dickinson, Lugsden, Rothwell (Smallwood), Heaton (Connolly), Oakes, Sensale, D.McGregor, Elliot (Marshall)
Subs not used: Thompson, Birch
|7th August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor|
Alsager Town 0 Glossop North End 0
The first away match of the new League season saw Glossop North End pitch up at the Town Ground, Alsager. Still suffering the effects of a devastating fire last summer, the ground still needs much re-development but it was good to hear that plans for a new clubhouse are well advanced.
On a calm evening with the local midges in fine biting form, GNE started the match well playing towards the tea hut end. A number of dangerous looking crosses were swung across the box but the attackers could not get on the end of any of them and the goal was never really threatened. Alsager came back into the match and started to play well through the midfield but never threatened Ben Proctor in the GNE goal.
Half time came with no reward for either side from what had become quite an entertaining match with a lot of effort and no little skill shown by both sides.
The second half started much as the first with neither side looking to have a penetrating edge. The normal flurry of substitutions by both sides failed to alter the pattern of the match.The only significant goal threat came in the 74th minute as Alsager’s Antony Marshall just failed to connect with a deep cross from the right hand side with the goal at his mercy.
A match of a few hard tackles but no great controversy burst into life within the final 10 minutes. A deliberate handball outside the penalty area by Alsager goalkeeper Ryan Moss led to a yellow card and a free kick to the Hillmen with just about everyone in the ground expecting a staight red card for the goalkeeper. It was later confirmed by the referee that a straight red card was only appropriate if the actions of the goalkeeper had denied a goalscoring opportunity and, in his opinion, it did not although GNE forward Andrew Sensale and the vast majority of those who saw the incident would disagree.
Stung by this apparent injustice, Glossop pressed forward with renewed energy. This was matched by the Alsager side and the last five minutes became somewhat frantic as both sides searched for that elusive winning goal. GNE thought they had it when, deep into added time, Sensale drifted between the two Alsager central defenders to head the ball into the back of the net past the stranded Moss. As the players, bench and the GNE supporters started to celebrate it was noted that the assistant referee had flagged for off-side to cancel out what was one of very few real touches of class on the night.
Seconds later the match was over leaving all of the Glossop contingent to consider what might have been.
Team: Proctor, L. McGregor, Allen, Dickinson, Birch (Lugsden), Smallwood, Heaton (D. McGregor), Oakes, Marshall (Elliot), Sensale, Connolly
Subs not used: Thompson, Browne
|4th August - Match Report by Tim Barnett|
Glossop North End 2 Stone Dominoes 2
Glossop leave it late to break down the dominoes.
On the day dubbed “Super Saturday” by the broadcasters of the London Olympic Games, for Glossop North End fans, this signified the return of their team to North West Counties action against Stone Dominoes, a side who they had inflicted heavy defeats on during last season.
Pre-season had been busy for the Hillmen, and although they struggled to find a win, the calibre of the opposition had been very high, with the likes of Welsh Premier side Bala Town and Northern League (and 2009 Wembley opponents) Whitley Bay visiting Surrey Street.
As the game began, the home crowd were treated a very bright start from their side with Andy Sensale working the keeper, Steve Heaton flashing wide from long range and new starter Simon Thompson looking a threat as part of the forward line. After 14 minutes, the away defence finally cracked when midfield man Ash Smallwood found himself free in the box to calmly slot past Cippola in the Stone goal to make it 1-0. Could this first home goal of the season be the stepping stone to push on and convert the created chances?
Unfortunately, the GNE lead lasted only a matter of minutes, when Stone’s first attack of real note lead to their muscular number 9, Dwayne Spence, bearing down on the Glossop defence, and on twenty minutes he was allowed space to finish past Ben Proctor and equalise.
During the next period of the game, neither side managed a further breakthrough, although it was noted that the home team needed to ‘get their foot on the ball’, and the midfield four needed to gel more cohesively. With the interval approaching, it seemed that the sides would go in level until on the 44th minute, the impressive Angelo Errico surged down the right hand side to cross across the penalty box and the ball found itself in the back of Proctor’s net via one of a mass of forwards’ and/or defenders’ outstretched limbs! Half Time 1-2.
As the second half unfurled, and with all the goals having thus far come in the first period, many of the crowd may have been thinking that the most exciting moment of the second 45 had been a spectacular fork of lightning that had struck over the hills somewhere in the direction of Stockport!
Yet, as both teams still tried to press, the Hillmen to rescue a point, and the away team to cement their victory. For Glossop, however, too many passes were going astray, and the midfield needed to be bolstered from the bench. Sensale had been the stand out forward, both in his early partnership with Thompson, and now when on 60 minutes he came on for Heaton, Dean McGregor. This forward pairing had impressed versus Bala in pre-season, and now were given the chance to search for the equaliser. On 82 minutes, the home side were given a glimmer of hope when the Dean McGregor was hauled down in full flight approaching the penalty area, only for the referee to signal a free kick and not the penalty the home crowd were baying for. Adam Oakes stepped up to the dead ball, but could only send his left footed drive over the bar and into the Trenches!!
At this late stage, with the rain persistent, this correspondent started to compose his post-match radio report on a sodden pad, only for North End to push strongly forward, and for onrushing skipper Kelvin Lugsden to fire home the equaliser from close range after ping pong in the away team’s area. 89 minutes 2-2. (Post-match report restarted!!)
And even that wasn’t quite the end of the drama. With the final whistle imminent, Glossop continued to pile forward, with another strong penalty claim waved away, and a ball fired across the box from Alex Elliott managing to avoid a meaningful touch from any of the four blue shirts that ended up prostrate on the ground!
One point, not three. Or one point instead of none?
It’s now therefore not completely back to the drawing board for Paul Colgan and his management team, but with the next game versus Alsager away on Tuesday, and then important FA Cup and FA Vase ties approaching, some big decisions may be required.
Final Score GNE 2-2 Stone Dominoes.
Team: Proctor, L. McGregor, Allen, Dickinson, Lugsden, Smallwood (Rothwell), Heaton (D. McGregor), Oakes, Sensale, Thompson (Connolly), Elliot
Subs not used: Birch, Marshall
Goals: Smallwood(15), Lugsden(89)