2013/14 SEASON

News & Reports

16th April - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Bacup & Rossendale Borough 2 Glossop North End 0

The conditions at Bacup on Wednesday Evening were ideal for football. A calm, mild evening and a dry pitch with plenty of grass on it promised a veritable feast of fine football. It’s only a pity that neither side had read the script.

Although the end of the season is nigh and, quite often, matches have nothing resting on them, that could not be said of this match. The home side were engaged in one of their not infrequent fights against relegation whilst the visitors were looking for all three points to keep the pressure on Runcorn Linnets, just one place ahead of them in the league table.

Bacup fielded two ex-Hillmen in midfielders Aaron Kirk and Andrew Gamble and gave a starting position, leading the line, to veteran Barry Massey. GNE lined up with a strong looking midfield supporting Kieran Lugsden taking the number 9 shirt from the injured Tom Bailey.

The match started quickly with the home side, clearly up for the task, asking questions of the resolute GNE defence. There were sporadic episodes of decent passing but they led to nothing as the frequent free kicks meant that no flow could be established. The first significant action came after 20 minutes as the veteran Massey was forced off with what appeared to be hamstring problems. His replacement was young Ryan Humphries and this proved to be an inspired move by Bacup Manager Brent Peters.

As the match meandered along to the interval only one direct threat on goal had registered in the 45 minutes, that being when Greg Hall in the visitor’s goal was forced into a smart save by Omar McKenzie following a powerful run into the GNE area from the right hand side.

Things could only get better the travelling supporters thought but, sadly, they were wrong. The pattern of the second half followed exactly that of the first with neither side troubling the opposition goalkeeper until, just past the hour mark, a speculative forward ball from the Bacup midfield eluded the GNE defence and fell kindly into the path of Humphries. His fine shot beat Hall to open the scoring. The Hillmen looked to respond but could construct nothing to trouble Kieron O’Boyle in the Bacup goal.

The stop/start nature of the game continued until, on 76 minutes, Humphries ran on to a flicked header by Adrian Bellamy to outstrip the GNE defence and finish well, giving Hall no chance. And then, remarkably, the match degenerated as a spectacle yet further as a flurry of yellow cards, including a second for Bacup captain Laquan Esdale, were doled out by the referee.

GNE tried to push forward with an attack including substitute Lincoln Adams and supplemented by occasional forays into the opposition half by keeper Hall. But it was to no avail. O’Boyle was to make one save in added time from a header in a crowded penalty area but it had taken over the 90 minutes of play for the visitors to trouble him at all.

In the end, without taking anything away from a highly committed display from a motivated Bacup side, the Hillmen went away from this lofty corner of East Lancashire with what they deserved – nothing.

GNE team - Hall, Byrne (Adams), Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Young, Weston (Malkin), Richardson, Brown, Kieran Lugsden (Riley), Hare, Blackshaw.

The Bacup goalkeeper collects the ball under pressure from Lee Malkin. Photo - Steve Dyson

12th April - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 4 Alsager Town 1

At Alsager a few weeks ago, Glossop generally bossed the play & opened the scoring only to see The Bullets equalise out of nothing before finally taking the three points. On Saturday at Surrey Street the same pattern played out, only this time the margin of victory was more emphatic.

The first 25 minutes or so saw very little action at either end, only Lee Blackshaw’ s shot causing any consternation when the keeper spilled it but re-gathered before Paul Brown could pounce.

The game finally saw some proper action on 28 minutes when North End took the lead. Alex Byrne drilled in a low cross from the right and Ben Richardson’s swivelled shot seemed to spin past Wright in slow motion, but nestled in the corner of the net.

This woke the game a little, although all the pressure was North End’s. Byrne drilled a shot over the bar before Wright pulled off a terrific double save, firstly pushing away his own defenders sliced clearance and then recovering to make a superb one handed save from Richardson. Even then, Brown looked certain to score only for a desperate defensive lunge to deflect the ball over the upright.

Early in the second half Lee Malkin’s turn & shot forced a save but on 58 minutes Alsager were unexpectedly level when they advanced down the right – their first attack of the half – and the cross was met by stand-in striker Reiss Lee to net from about 6 yards.

Glossop didn’t re-settle immediately, and it took a triple Chris Willcock substitution change the path of the game. Luke Podmore, Malkin and Brown all made way with Kieron Lugsden, Kyle Riley and Matt Russell replacing them. The payback was almost immediate when Glossop won a soft free kick on the right, the ball was delivered to the penalty spot and Dave Young stooped to power a header into the corner.

From there it was one way traffic. The lead was extended on 32 minutes when Riley nodded on a lofted pass. In a moment of lovely head tennis, Blackshaw met Riley’s precision header with one of his own into Lugsden’s pass and he too headed into the top corner with grand accuracy. A lovely goal to witness.

Lusgden added a 4th two minutes from time when Riley lifted the ball over the back line and his strike partner beat the offside trap and drilled it under the keeper. A 3 goal margin didn’t flatter the Hillmen.

GNE: Hall, Byrne, Podmore (Russell), Kelvin Lugsden, Young, Weston, Richardson, Brown (Riley), Malkin (Kieran Lugsden), Hare, Blackshaw.

Kieran Lugsden scores with a header to give Glossop a 3-1 lead. Photo - Steve Dyson

8th April - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Bootle 3 Glossop North End 1

The Hillmen’s proud unbeaten run was finally halted at Bootle on Tuesday night when the effect of numerous away games in the last few weeks appeared to catch up with them in the second half, allowing Bootle to push on to victory. It might have been different had Glossop taken more advantage of a dominant first 40 minutes, but a defensive error gave the home side crucial momentum just before the break, and The Bucks never looked like losing it.

In hindsight, North End fans may not have been surprised, as the Delta Taxis stadium is becoming something of a bogey ground. In the 5 seasons since Bootle came back into the NWCFL top division, Glossop haven’t taken so much as a point when visiting them.

It all started so well. North End had bossed possession, Alex Byrne had put in a few dangerous crosses and a Sam Hare jink had fashioned a spurned shooting opportunity before they took the lead in the 17th minute. A free kick midway in the Bootle half was hit deep into the box, Dave Young hooked it across goal and Lincoln Adams headed goalwards. The ball was met near the line by a sliding defender and with no indication of whether the ball had crossed or not, Alex Byrne made sure by poking the ball into the netting.

As the players celebrated, they asked the referee who goal belonged to, and he advised that Adams' effort crossed the line.

North End might have had a penalty on 26 minutes when Hare tried a lob over the keeper, only to be clattered by the goalkeeper after the ball had gone. In truth you rarely see these given in the box – and the referee ruled that this was a collision – but had it happened outside the box you can be sure a free kick would have been given.

Bootle got back into the game in the 42nd minute when crucial hesitation at the back cost the Hillmen. A quick free kick, taken much further forward than the offence, gave the defence no time to set itself and Kelvin Lugsden found himself unable to meet the ball on the full. Stuck between trying to head it and waiting for the bounce the ball actually hit the ground then cleared him leaving either Adams or Greg Hall to deal with it. They left it to each other, and Daniel O’Connor nipped in between them to poke the ball past Hall from the edge of the box.

Both sides started the second half brightly, Daryl Weston looping a 30 yard shot just over the bar, but in the 48th minute came the blow from which the Hillmen couldn’t recover. A free kick into the box wasn’t cleared and Adams stuck out a hopeful leg to clear the ball, but O’Connor fell over it. Penalty. Tom Peterson stepped up and put it in the corner.

For 20 minutes afterwards the game was simply bad-tempered. There were tetchy clashes in most areas of the pitch and this distracted from football, but a great save by Hall from Ferrighan signalled the way the rest of the game would go – North End would largely be under pressure.

Williams somehow missed when it looked easier to score, sliding in onto a cross across the face of goal, whilst O’Connor, who had an excellent game in the ‘number 9’ position, shot from 30 yards only to see the ball cannon off the post to safety. Minutes later he latched onto a soft backpass and nearly rounded Hall, only for the keeper to pinch it off his toes.

Eventually though, the dam broke and when the ball was lost in midfield by the Hillmen, Roberts crossed from the right, and Smart could not miss from 6 yards out, smashing in the goal that sealed the game.

Glossop North End: Hall, Young, Richardson, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams (Grice), Weston, Byrne, Riley (Malkin), Kieran Lugsden, Hare, Blackshaw.

Alex Byrne turns to celebrate after scoring the opening goal. Photo - Steve Dyson

5th April - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

AFC Liverpool 0 Glossop North End 2

The Hillmen’s unbeaten run became twenty two on Saturday with a comfortable win at Valerie Park. Victory came at a cost however, with leading scorer Tom Bailey taken off early in the game with a nasty looking injury. Everyone at the club was thinking of Bailey’s knee on Saturday night rather than the three points they had garnered.

Bailey had already had a decent chance on goal – on 23 seconds when he couldn’t connect cleanly with Byrne’s cross – when the injury came, and it immediately looked as though he was in trouble. His leg moved, but his studs got stuck in the turf, and the wrench on his knee was a result. The hope is not that Bailey is fit for this season, but that the injury is not so serious it affects the next. Fingers crossed.

The home side’s first chance came on 12 minutes from a North End corner. On the break, they suddenly had a 3 on 2, but the defence cleverly marked their men forcing the man with the ball, Cox, to shoot from distance. On a bobbly pitch it was unlikely to be hit cleanly, and so it proved.

Glossop tried to press, Dave Young heading wide from a Hare cross, and then curling a free kick wide, but the home sides attacking efforts were effectively ended on 34 minutes when John Lawless was sent off for a nasty looking stamp on Lincoln Adams. It took around 5 minutes for North End to punish the striker’s ill-discipline and take the lead.

A deep cross from Paul Brown was met at the far post by Hare, who knocked the ball across the six yard line, and it was Kieran Lugsden who showed great bravery to stoop and put his head among the flying boots and glance the ball into the net. It secured a half time lead.

Glossop had lots of possession in the second half, but didn’t do an awful lot with it. The final ball was often poor, and Blackshaw’s dipping shot over the bar was the only chance of the 3rd quarter of the game.

Probably with Tuesday’s testing game at Bootle in mind, North End’s tempo slowed and their ponderous passing allowed AFC to creep back into the game. Although they didn’t seriously threaten, it was always in the back of the mind that it was still just a one goal lead.

They did seem to sense this though and picked it up a little. Richardson shot wide, Hare shot over, Blackshaw’s drive was saved and Byrne curled a shot just over. However it took until the 2 minute of injury time for the 3 points to be definitely secured.

North End had two players in offside positions, but neither chased the ball as Blackshaw came from midfield to get a clear run into the box. He advanced into the box, drew the keeper and tried to square for Lugsden. The ball bounced away from the striker, but into the path of Hare, who simply tapped home from a yard or so for 2-0.

With Runcorn Linnets dropping points again, the Hillmen will feel they have a chance of pinching the league’s second place. There are more tough games ahead that they must win for that to happen, but they are certainly a team in form.

GNE: Hall, Young, Richardson, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams, Weston, Byrne, Brown (Riley), Bailey (Kieran Lugsden), Hare, Blackshaw

Kieran Lugsden heads Glossop's 1st goal at AFC Liverpool. Photo - Steve Dyson

2nd April - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Colne 0 Glossop North End 0

With the new series of Game of Thrones just about to hit our screens it was perhaps apt that Wednesday night at Colne felt less ‘Winter is Coming’, more ‘Winter has arrived’. Plummeting temperatures, rain, gale force winds, and a rolling mist that Paul McCartney would find lyrically inspiring, all combined to make this an awful night for football. Obligingly, and not through lack of effort, the two teams produced an awful game.

Wind in particular makes playing the beautiful game impossible. Players must adapt their games to deal with it, and in this match only the defences truly managed it. There were a perhaps a couple of real chances on goal in each half, but the conditions and the organisation of both back lines meant that this was a game that offered little to warm the crowd’s hearts or hands.

That said, it’s now 21 games unbeaten for the Hillmen. That’s half a season; a fantastic achievement in any league, and one that can be reflected on with great pride by Chris Willcock and his team. As a mark of this great run, Willcock was awarded the NWCFL manager of the month award for March on the morning of this game.

Colne had the wind in the first half, and Glossop would have been pleased to get to half time with a no breach at the back. Greg Hall had had a torrid time trying to kick the ball, seeing the ball come turn in the air and it come back at him, and this affected his confidence. However he was up to saving Coyne’s effort when he got behind the back line. As the striker tried to round the keeper and draw a dive he hit the ball tamely at Hall and the best chance of the half was gone.

At the other end Kyle Riley hooked a shot wide on the stroke of half time, and North End would have fancied their chances with the wind behind them.

For ten minutes or so, that’s what transpired as Riley swung a shot over the bar and the lively Lee Blackshaw set up shots from Paul Brown and Alex Byrne, but then the game became a stalemate until the match was in its dying embers.

Colne netted with 8 minutes to go when a Berwick free kick was parried by Hall and Coyne poked home, but the linesman ruled his offside. Then North End had a free kick of their own, swung across the face of goal just needing the slightest touch.

And that was your lot. Glossop fans will reflect on a missed opportunity given that both Norton & Runcorn also dropped points this week, however sometimes you have to accept a disappointing result when you beaten by the more powerful force. The weather won this one. At least it didn’t snow though, eh?

Glossop North End: Hall, Young, Blackshaw, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams, Kieran Lugsden (Grice), Byrne, Weston, Riley (Malkin), Hare (Kilheeney), Brown.

Pressure from Glossop at the start of the 2nd half. Photo - Steve Dyson

29th March - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Congleton Town 0 Glossop North End 2

North End continued their unbeaten run to 20 games with a fine win at Booth Street on Saturday. Points at the home of Congleton Town are usually hard to take, and this game was no different, but patience and belief saw them through.

Chris Willcock freshened up his team with a couple of changes from the tough game with Runcorn the previous Monday. Paul Brown was handed his first start for the club whilst Lee Blackshaw returned following injury and Dave Young from suspension.

In a bright start the team exchanged chances, Blackshaw forcing Pearson to save low down at his near post and at the other end Greg Hall having to save smartly to thwart lurking strikers after a shot was deflected goalwards.

First half chances were few, but those that were created were usually North End efforts. On 19 minutes a Byrne shot was deflected and forced to change the direction his feet were travelling, Pearson made a terrific save low to his left. Dave Young curled a free kick around the wall into the side netting. Finally Brown got a touch to a low Richardson cross, but cut not steer the ball into the net.

The only chance for the home side was a Langford header that Hall saved comfortably.

Buoyed by a half time team talk North End grabbed the lead early in the second half. Alex Byrne was fouled by the right touchline and from Blackshaw’s curling free kick Brown headed into the net firmly from six yards, his first goal for the club.

Glossop, and Brown, tried to add to the tally, but his header and then shot across the face of goal were wide. Lugsden headed wide, as did Byrne and Pearson saved from Bailey but as the half went on and Glossop failed to add to their lead, you worried it may come back to haunt them.

That appeared to have happened on 70 minutes when a high ball was played into the box. Hall looked to take it, whilst Thompson was backing into him. As Hall tried to catch the ball slipped from his grasp, landed on Thompson’s foot and was hooked into the net. Initially it looked as though the referee had awarded a goal, and it took a few seconds to realise that he was pointing for a free kick for a foul on Hall.

That raised the home side, and there were chances for substitutes Reed and Burgess, but both put their headed efforts over the bar. It was the first period of sustained pressure The Bears had put North End under, coming as time ran out.

However, as time went into whatever the referee chose to add on, Lee Malkin sealed the game for Glossop, taking advantage of defensive hesitancy when latching on to Sam Hare’s flick from Hall’s kick and neatly despatching the ball into the net to seal the points.

GNE: Hall, Richardson, Russell (Kieran Lugsden), Kelvin Lugsden, Young, Blackshaw (Malkin), Byrne, Weston, Bailey (Riley), Hare, Brown

Paul Brown heads Glossop's 1st goal early in the 2nd half. Photo - Steve Dyson

24th March - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 1 Runcorn Linnets 1

The perceived wisdom is that North End had to win this game to have a chance of winning the NWCFL Premier Division, with Linnets 11 points ahead but with North End having two games in hand. Sadly they just came up short, Linnets showing first the form and then the resilience that has put them top of the tree. However, the Hillmen will know that they were below par and this dent won’t stop them trying until the very last kick of the season.

The visitors started the game with a high tempo that Glossop couldn’t get to grips with. Under pressure every time they had the ball which led to a constant surrender of possession and although clear cut chances were not being created by Runcorn they were certainly the team that looked most likely to score.

The best opportunity came on 26 minutes when Greg Hall was quickly off his line to intercept a through ball but couldn’t clear effectively and suddenly if Runcorn could work the ball from left to right the goal was gaping. Two defenders had recovered to attempt blocks by the time the ball reached the Runcorn striker, but with the ball at an awkward height he sliced his shot wide.

Ironically the 33rd minute opening goal came from a North End corner and just as it looked as though they had got a foothold in the game. Linnets broke at pace, sweeping the ball to the left side. North End’s defence were slow to react as the ball was crossed into the box for Hamid, and he scooped his shot scruffily into the net, seeming almost in slow motion as it looped over the line.

North End reacted positively to going behind, with Kyle Riley giving the Linnets centre halves a busy evening with his physical presence up front. Clearly he had annoyed them more than was thought as on 38 minutes as a cross came into the box Burke simply barged Riley over in the box. The referee was right on the spot and the penalty was awarded.

At this point Runcorn lost their discipline and over-did their complaints to both the referee, linesman and Glossop players. Once the melée had been dispersed both Riley and Alex Byrne were on the floor following off the ball incidents. The officials conferred and Crowder was dismissed whilst goalkeeper Robertson was booked for their actions.

Sam Hare stepped up to take the penalty (some four minutes after it was awarded), but Robertson guessed correctly and dived full length to push the ball around the post. However, from the resulting corner Lincoln Adams rose highest and his downward header squeezed in at the near post, the linesman again crucial in confirming it had crossed the line.

Despite the man advantage, North End failed to really get the ball down and work the ball into shooting positions in the second half, instead relying on crosses into the box for openings. Byrne put in a wicked low cross that needed just the slightest touch from the three strikers sliding in might had netted the ball. Adams was on the end of most set piece crosses, three times putting efforts agonisingly wide, whilst Ben Richardson had perhaps the best opportunity but put his header from Russell’s curling cross just the wrong side of the post.

Linnets were probing rather than throwing men forward, but North End always had to be wary of their pace, and Adams and Hall very nearly paid for hesitancy when a ball was played behind the back line, but Houghton just couldn’t bring the ball under control. There was always enough in the Linnets play to worry the Hillmen, enough that they could not quite impose their own game on the visitors. A goal would have changed the outlook of both sides, but it wasn’t to be.

The result suited neither side, and the third team in the title race, Norton United, could probably be considered the night’s victor. However, this was such a pulsating game – a big crowd, 100% given by both sides, attractive attacking play and yes, a little bit of niggle – you could not take your eyes off it for a second. The North West Counties League was the winner.

GNE: Hall, Byrne, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams, Kieran Lugsden (Brown), Richardson, Weston (Hirst), Bailey, Hare, Riley (Malkin).

Lincoln Adams goes close to scoring with a header in the 2nd half. Photo - Steve Dyson

22nd March - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Alsager Town 1 Glossop North End 2

North End overcame an uneven pitch and at times appalling weather to take an ugly three points on Saturday to stretch their unbeaten run to 18 games in all competitions.

After some early midfield skirmishing in which both sides tried to familiarise themselves with the pitch, Glossop took a tenth minute lead through Tom Bailey’s 27th goal of the season. Kyle Riley was the architect though, as he ignored Matt Russell’s dummy run down the left to float a pass into the box for Kieran Lugsden. The striker shot first time, the keeper making a good save but only into the path of Bailey, who tapped in.

Glossop tried to press for a second, Russell shooting wide and Ben Richardson forcing a tremendous one-handed save out of Kurask as he tried to take advantage of a fumbled cross. However from the half hour mark Alsager finally began to get a foothold in the game, signalled by Smith’s shot which Hall comfortably saved.

The home side forced a succession of corners, Smith forced a decent save out of Hall at his near post and Josh Lane might have fallen under a Richardson challenge for a penalty had he been a less honest, but he tried to stay on his feet and the chance evaporated.

It was as though – with a huge game against Runcorn Linnets just two days away – The Hillmen were unsure whether to stick or twist. This thought in the back of their mind, the pitch and the weather had given them a little reticence to play their normal game.

However, in the second half they started brighter. Lugsden’s swivelled shot was wide, Bailey had a shot into the side netting and a Russell free kick from the edge of the ‘D’ forced a save. Then out of nothing the home side levelled with a spectacular effort.

When Smith received the ball in the right side of the area the thought would be to hold him up and shepherd him away from danger. Smith had other ideas though, and quickly controlled, turned and arrowed a shot into the far top corner. Hall had no chance; Alsager had an equaliser on 66 minutes.

That awoke the Hillmen and within ten minutes they had the lead back. Brilliant work by Alex Byrne on the right side opened up the opportunity. He twisted and turned his opposite full back to get a clear run to the by-line and put in the cross. The goalkeeper could only palm away and the rebound was met by Daryl Weston who lashed the ball home from around the penalty spot.

There was a chance each to follow, and Alsager sub Hughes will rue his snatched shot wide on 83 minutes when he ought to have hit the target, whilst Paul Brown had a dipping shot just go over the bar rather than under.

It was job done though, and finally the thoughts of Monday night’s match that had been at the back of the mind could be brought to the front. North End must win to continue to harbour the feint hopes of a title challenge – it should be a cracker.

GNE: Hall, Byrne, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams, Kieran Lugsden, Richardson (Weston), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare (Hirst), Riley (Brown).

Tom Bailey puts Glossop 1-0 ahead after 10 minutes. Photo - Steve Dyson

15th March - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 3 Silsden 0

There are no easy games in the North West Counties League – every point must be scrapped for – however once the Hillmen took the lead on Saturday this was a relatively comfortable afternoon with the outcome of the game never truly in doubt.

Glossop’s stingy defence restricted Silsden to a solitary dangerous looking chance on goal when in the 54th minute McNulty picked up the ball 20 yards out and drove a dipping shot over the bar. Other than that it was a case of how the home side could breach a massed defence.

North End were also battling the wind in the first half, but tried to get the ball down and play. However it was from a set piece that the ball fell to Ben Richardson at the edge of the area and the keeper could only parry his goalbound shot. The rebound fell to a stooping Lincoln Adams but he could only head it over the bar.

In the 8th minute Kieran Lugsden couldn’t turn in a deep cross from an acute angle and hit the side netting whilst later a Young cross was just turned wide, Tom Bailey had his angled shot blocked and Hare put a difficult sidefoot volley wide as GNE pressed. Then the breakthrough did come in the 24th minute.

Richardson won possession on halfway and he and Bailey advanced into the Silsden half. The ball was worked to Bailey at the edge of the area and his potshot was deflected wickedly and beat the wrong-footed keeper and put Glossop in front.

Before the break Bailey had another shot blocked and Kyle Riley controlled well and shot across the face of goal before a scramble saw Hall pull off a terrific save when the ball dropped to Lugsden to shoot. He pushed the ball over when a goal looked certain.

After the break, Glossop sought to add, and after half chances fell to Riley, Bailey & Richardson the lead was finally doubled in the 65th minute. A ball through the middle beat the offside trap and Bailey beat the keeper to the ball some 25 yards out and poked the ball past him and into the net.

Glossop were comfortable, and bossed possession from thereon, creating the occasional effort on goal. Young headed wide whilst Hare curled a shot over the bar and then had a shot tipped over the bar as Silsden's Hall made another terrific save.

It took until the 3rd minute of injury time for the 3rd goal to come, when Alex Byrne picked up a short corner on the right and drilled a cross in from outside the box that dipped over the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net. A touch fortunate, but Byrne certainly wasn’t complaining.

The Hillmen remain on the cusp of a title shot. They need Runcorn Linnets and Norton United to slip up – including when they each visit Surrey Street. With a 17 game unbeaten run stretching back to November it won’t be due to a lack of confidence if North End do fall short in their remaining 11 matches.

GNE: Hall, Young, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams, Kieran Lugsden, Richardson (Williams), Kilheeney (Byrne), Bailey, Hare, Riley (Weston).

Tom Bailey beats the Silsden goalkeeper to the ball to put Glossop 2-0 ahead. Photo - Steve Dyson

11th March - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Norton United 0 Glossop North End 1

The Hillmen delivered another twist in North West Counties League title race on Tuesday by defeating the team in pole position through a performance of gritty determination and with a goal of real quality.

The home side relied on a direct and muscular approach, designed to upset the opposition or force them into errors. It is an method that has propelled them to near the top of the league as Norton are the highest goalscorers in the league. However, the North End defence had too much experience to be bullied into submission – Glossop have conceded the fewest goals in the division.North End fielded debutant keeper Greg Hall, and he was called into action early when forced to be quick off his line to block Leigh Skellern, who had been slipped in through the middle. This transpired to be the best chance of the half as both teams largely cancelling each other out, although Hall was the busiest keeper, making a couple of saves at his near post.

After the break though, Norton threatened less. North End limited them to being only able to threaten from either set pieces or long throws, and largely the willing heads of Lincoln Adam, Kelvin Lugsden and Dave Young were able to head away, whilst the tenacity of Matt Russell kept runners at bay.

Meanwhile, Glossop tried to press. Ben Richardson had a shot at the near post saved by Roberts, but shortly afterwards chose the wrong option when choosing to shoot again when a low cross across the face of goal might have made more of Tom Bailey’s smart pass.

However, in the 74th minute, the breakthrough came, and it was the game’s outstanding moment of quality. The ball was worked from left to right, culminating in Bailey’s threaded pass through the back line for Kieran Lugsden to run onto. The chance still had to be taken, and Lugsden waited for the keeper to commit before dinking it over him and into the corner.

Norton huffed and puffed but the stout defence of North End held firm. Indeed, it was Bailey who went closest with a curling effort just past the post.

The three points were a grand reward for the North End faithful who travelled, and for the effort the team had put in. The can take great pride not just from their efforts, and will be delighted that in a game that was win or bust for their outside title chances they did the former.

GNE: Hall, Young, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams, Kieran Lugsden, Richardson, Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Riley.

Dave Young heads the ball towards the Norton goal in the 1st half. Photo - Steve Dyson

8th March - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Barnoldswick Town 0 Glossop North End 2

The Silentnight Stadium in Barnoldswick has not been one of the favourite destinations for Glossop North End. In the years since Barnoldswick Town were promoted to the NWCFL Premier Division, the Hillmen have never taken the spoils; until last Saturday when a hard won 2-0 victory brought all three league points back to the High Peak and signalled the continuation of the long unbeaten run.

The most noteworthy selection for GNE was the inclusion of Kyle Riley in the starting eleven for the first time in a League match following no fewer than 16 substitute appearances in League matches this season. Riley set out to justify his presence from the word go with a robust performance, making the most of his physical strength, throughout the match, posing a constant problem for the home defence, and crowning his afternoon in East Lancashire with the opening goal.

The first clear chance at either end fell to the visitors on 12 minutes. A cross from the left by Sam Hare found Gav Ellison in space near the penalty spot but his mis-timed header went well wide of the upright. Barnoldswick were working hard and playing well through midfield. Most of their attacks look to find the tall centre forward Mark Threlfall who was ably assisted by fellow striker Aaron Hollindrake. GNE had an uncomfortable spell as the home side looked to open the scoring and would have done except for a fine last gasp clearance by Ellison from a goalbound attempt by Carl Ellerton.

As the half hour mark passed, the Hillmen started to create chances. Tom Bailey shot straight at home goalkeeper Billy Carrington after good work by Hare and Ellison created a chance from a good position. GNE had the ball in the Barnoldswick net on 37 minutes as Ellison put in a determined challenge for a high ball in the box but, controversially, was deemed to have fouled Carrington.

The visitors started the second half quickly and, within 2 minutes, Riley was put through on goal. His shot was touched by Carrington but had more than sufficient momentum to nestle in the far corner of the net to break the deadlock. GNE then effectively camped in the Barnoldswick half for the next 25 minutes. Headed chances fell to Ellison and Dave Young with opportunities to increase the GNE lead also falling to top scorer Tom Bailey. But it was to no avail.

It was perhaps only a matter of time before the home side had a good spell and that was signalled by the winning of three corners in quick succession. Andrew Jones in the GNE goal had to be on his toes a couple of times to deal with the inswinging ball. Barnoldswick took encouragement and pushed forward looking to level the match but the notoriously parsimonious GNE defence was, as usual, giving nothing away.

As the match went into added time, the ball was cleared forward by GNE from yet another move by Barnoldswick who had committed men forward looking to get something from the match. Substitute Steve Williams was on hand to pick up the ball and set off towards goal. His effort was smothered by the combined efforts of Carrington and a rapidly retreating defender but Bailey was on hand to pick up the pieces and ensure a 2-0 away victory with the simplest of tap-ins. Relief all round for the sizeable travelling support and off to Norton United on Tuesday, for a match between two of the form teams in the League, with GNE now occupying fifth slot.

GNE Team Jones, Byrne, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Young, Ellison (Richardson), Brown (Hirst C), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Riley (Williams).

The ball goes across the Barnoldswick goal out of reach of the Glossop players. Photo - Steve Dyson

1st March - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Runcorn Town 0 Glossop North End 0

The Hillmen went to The Pavilions on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run on a ground where it is always difficult to come away with anything. A match between 5th and 6th in the NWCFL Premier Division held much promise of a closely contested affair. It was certainly that as both sides tried to play progressive football but some sloppy passing and lack of quality with the final ball meant that neither keeper was really tested.

The GNE side saw a couple changes with Paul Brown making a starting debut in midfield and Gav Ellison coming in for a welcome start. Pride of place on the day went to Dave Young making his 350th appearance for GNE and taking the captain’s armband in the absence of Lincoln Adams.

A bright sunny day saw GNE keeper Andrew Jones don that most unusual of items of goalkeeping kit these days – a cap- as the visitors played the first half into the sun. The home side started the better, with a strong contribution from winger Luke Edwards, and put pressure on the GNE defence only for that defence to demonstrate why it’s the meanest in the Division as Jones was never exposed to a significant direct shot on target. As the half came towards its conclusion, the visitors gained the ascendancy in terms of possession and field position but were restricted to a single real opportunity on goal as a left footed shot from Tom Bailey flashed past Stuart Plant in the Town goal but, sadly for Bailey and the visitors, flashed wide of the far post as well.

Into the second half and any flow to the match was disrupted by any number of free kicks. Again, misplaced passes from midfield by both sides frustrated any attempts by either side to impose themselves on the match and it was effectively stalemate for 30 minutes. Into the last 15 minutes and there was evidence that Town were starting to tire. GNE started to get control of the game and pushed forward looking for all three points. The Town defence, marshalled by captain Daniel Dalton, held firm. Several half chances came along but the nearest the visitors came to breaking the deadlock was when substitute Steve Williams, making his debut for GNE, saw his shot from inside the area collected comfortably by Plant.

It may have been that GNE would have been happy with a point away at a fellow top six side but they must have left The Pavilions with a “what might have been” feeling after that final 15 minutes; but the unbeaten run continues.

GNE are now unbeaten in 14 matches in all competitions. 11 wins and 3 draws in all matches since November 30th improving on the previous record of 13 matches which was registered in both 1990 and 1998. The NWCFL was formed in 1982 and GNE were a founder member. The recent run of 11 wins and 3 draws in the last 14 League matches (since November 5th) is also a record for GNE for a run of unbeaten matches in the NWCFL.

GNE side Jones, Byrne, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Young, Ellison (Hirst C), Brown (Williams S), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Kieran Lugsden (Riley).

A Glossop attack fails to hit the target. Photo - Steve Dyson

22nd February - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 1 Colne 1

Glossop came into this game on a high, unbeaten since November and on the back of a 6-0 away win in a cup semi-final. However, they found a Colne side in a determined mood, well organised and working hard for each other, and for the most part they struggled to break them down. When they did, they found keeper Chris Thompson in fine form.

Alex Byrne started the game very brightly and nearly fashioned an early chance when beating the offside trap in the 6th minute and getting behind the defence on the right. He tried to cross from the by-line to pick out Kieran Lugsden, but Thompson got a firm hand to the ball as he dived to stop the low cross and was relieved to see the ball rebound to safety.

Colne crafted three chances in the half, all of them on the break and worked to their left side, taking advantage of Byrne’s positive play, and whilst Jason Hart fluffed his lines with the first and had his shot deflected wide for the second, the third elicited a goal, in the 32nd minute. Former Hillman Nathan Bond steered a pass into Hart’s path as he advanced into the area and he clipped his shot over Andrew Jones’ dive and could only watch as the ball dribbled into the net.

Glossop were level within 4 minutes though, as the ball was worked across the goal and gave Nick Allen a chance to shoot. He did, and Marc Young slid to block the shot, but with his arms flailing. His out-of-place arm blocked the ball and the referee had little choice but to point to the spot, from which Sam Hare made no mistake.

With Byrne now detailed to stay back the second half became bogged down in the midfield, with neither side creating much in front of goal. The tempo was slow, and didn’t lift until the 72nd minute when Glossop noticeably made a push and Hare’s shot was just saved by Thompson as he tried to slide it under his body.

Bailey curled a free kick that Thompson pushed over the bar and from the resulting corner Kilheeney's driven shot was pushed wide by the keeper in a frenzied five minutes that was out of kilter with the game and that culminated with a red card.

Bailey was fouled near the half way line, but Hodgkinson received his marching orders for a poor challenge on Gavin-Lee Ellison as the referee blew his whistle. Ellison himself was booked for his part in the melée that followed.

From there it was a question of whether North End could pinch it and Bailey hit a shot over the bar after good work from Riley and Byrne (shackles now released) that you would have expected him to put on target. For the most part of this game though, the final ball was always a bit lacking for the home side and when Riley did fashion a chance, a drive across the face of goal, there was no-one there to apply the finishing touch.

GNE: Jones, Byrne, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Young, Blackshaw (Brown), Allen (Ellison), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Kieran Lugsden (Riley).

Lee Blackshaw attempts to deliver a cross in the 1st half. Photo - Steve Dyson

19th February - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Borrowash Victoria 0 Glossop North End 6

Semi Finals of knockout competitions are often tense, nervy affairs but not this one. Having set out to show their higher ranked opponents just what they could do, Borrowash eventually found themselves on the wrong end of an emphatic scoreline at the end of a performance which all involved with Glossop North End should be justifiable proud.

The match started at 100 miles per hour as the home side swarmed forward en masse at every opportunity. The Hillmen defence were tested but the twin rocks of captain Lincoln Adams and Kelvin Lugsden repulsed all that was thrown at them meaning that Andrew Jones in the Glossop goal had no meaningful shot to save.

The momentum changed around two incidents in quick succession. After 12 minutes the match was halted whilst an insecure net was fixed and then just 3 minutes later the impressive Kieran Lugsden was fouled in the area by Thom Kellogg. Sam Hare stepped forward and converted the resultant penalty to give the visitors the lead. And they never looked back.

The Hillmen were dominating the match based on excellent ball retention and work rate through the midfield and it came as no surprise when the lead was doubled just after the half hour. Good work by Kieran Lugsden on the left of the box gave the striker an opening. His shot hit the bar but the rebound fell kindly for Tom Bailey who slotted home.

As half time approached a training ground free kick routine nearly paid off as a shot came in from the left foot of Lee Blackshaw. It looked all the way a goal but Steve Smith in the home net did just enough to tip the effort over the bar. Undaunted, GNE kept up the pressure and were rewarded with a goal which will stay in the memories of all those present. Full back Matty Russell stormed forward onto a loose ball 25 yards out and unleashed a left footed thunderbolt which left Smith rooted to the spot – a contender for goal of the season.

Into the second half and GNE were forced to re-organise with Lincoln Adams having picked up a first half injury. On came Kyle Riley meaning that Dave Young switched across to centre back with Alex Byrne dropping to right back. If Borrowash thought that the forced re-organisation of the GNE defence would be to their advantage they were proven wrong as the second half continued in the same vein as the first.

Within 3 minutes of the re-start, the Vics were reduced to 10 men as Thom Kellogg fouled Keiran Lugsden who was just about to pull the trigger after some excellent approach work. A second yellow card for the big defender and the home side with a mountain to climb if they were to get anything from this match.

The travelling GNE support didn’t have long to wait to see the lead extended and another contender for goal of the season. Sam Hare latched on to a loose ball some 25 yards out, looked up and curled a precision shot past the despairing Smith. 4-0 to the visitors and another goal to remember.

And still the Hillmen were not finished. Not content with resting on what they had they pushed forward looking for more goals and, on 75 minutes, duly obliged. Kieran Lugsden was having probably his best game in the blue of GNE and it was his fine work again which gave Riley an opening. His first attempt was partially blocked by Smith but Riley had the simplest of tasks to tap the rebound into an unguarded net.

With 10 minutes to play, Steve Murphy came on as a substitute, to the cheers of all the Hillmen supporters, to make his debut for GNE in a striker’s role and he nearly made it count as the ball was smothered by Smith as Murphy tried to round him for a tap in.

The final significant action of the evening came with 7 minutes remaining. A cross into a crowded home penalty area was directed towards goal by Riley only for Kelvin Lugsden to, seemingly, head the ball over the line. Lugsden wheeled away in celebration and that was that. A 6-0 victory to the visitors and well deserved. Later discussions confirmed that the effort from Riley was over the line before Lugsden intervened so the goal was credited to the big striker.

Scenes of great celebration followed as the team paid homage to the ranks of supporters who had followed their team every step of the way to the final.

The reward for GNE is a place in the final of this competition where they will face Ilkeston of the Evo-Stik Premier Division. The venue and date of the final have not yet been officially revealed but this could well be a showcase season finale at the end of April.

GNE Team Jones, Young, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams (Riley), Blackshaw (Ellison), Byrne, Kilheeney, Bailey (Murphy), Hare, Kieran Lugsden

Tom Bailey scores Glossop's 2nd goal. Photo - Steve Dyson

1st February - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 2 Bacup & Rossendale Borough 0

Glossop battled the elements and a committed Bacup side to continue their winning streak at Surrey Street on Saturday, even allowing themselves the luxury of missing a penalty.

With the pitch very heavy thanks to weeks of rain, the players also had to deal with a strong wind and yet more precipitation, but North End played the better football and were rarely troubled at the back in a feisty game. With two mass flare-ups already, the half time talk was that no-one expected the game to finish 11 v 11. They weren’t wrong.

However, it was expected that it would be a bad tempered moment that would cause the referee to flash red, but instead the unlucky Bacup left back Matthew Bryan was dismissed for losing his footing at the wrong moment – whilst chasing Kieran Lugsden, who had found himself behind the defence – Bryan tripped and fell into the striker as he shaped to shoot on goal. Lugsden fell and the referee had little option but to send him off, although Sam Hare missed the 75th minute penalty.

By then though, Glossop were already two up and just about home and hosed. They had taken the lead in the 23rd minute when a corner from the right dropped to the feet of Dave Young near to the penalty spot. His shot was half blocked by the defence, but sneaked its way into the goal at the near post.

The referee had made erratic decisions that had riled both sides, notably a blow the back Tom Bailey’s head by a defender that went unpunished, and tempers were flared. Twice things over-spilled into flare-ups that saw the traditional football ‘handbags’ and theatrical falls, and yellow cards were dished out like Christmas greetings, including to GNE skipper Lincoln Adams.

The odd refereeing continued and Glossop were both unlucky and lucky on the stroke of halftime when Adams was adjudged to have fouled Bacup captain Daniel Cocks at the edge of the area for what looked a perfectly fair challenge. However, free kick awarded, it was very surprising that Adams didn’t get a second yellow card as Cocks had a chance to advance into the box onto a loose ball.

However, the game was sealed shortly after half time when the Bacup back line went to sleep and a speculative Young forward ball was left to a colleague by the back line and Hare gratefully advanced on goal, drawing the goalkeeper out of his area and calmly slotting it past him.

Glossop went close again when from a set piece Young again found himself in front of goal, this time only a few yards out, but facing the wrong way. He tried a cheeky backheel that was blocked by a defender lying on the line as the scramble had ensued. Bailey too had a chance when he got behind the defence, but Green saved his shot charging from goal.

It was a comfortable win on an uncomfortable day. Such is the form of the Hillmen right now – 34 points from a possible 36 – that records are starting to be broken. This game saw them clock up 12 consecutive league games unbeaten for the first time in the North West Counties era. It will be the toughest test yet to break another club record and make it 7 consecutive league wins – Tuesday’s game at Norton United is a battle against a side definitely chasing the league title. If North End can win it, they can count themselves in that number too.

GNE: Jones, Young, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams, Blackshaw (Richardson), Byrne, Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare (Smith), Kieran Lugsden (Riley)

Sam Hare scores Glossop's 2nd goal at the start of the second half. Photo - Steve Dyson

25th January - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 5 Squires Gate 1

An early blip was brushed off at Surrey Street on Saturday as the ruthless Hillmen put a young Squires Gate side to the sword in appalling conditions.

Volunteers had worked on the pitch all day to ensure the game could go ahead, only for a huge thunderstorm to saturate the pitch 90 minutes before kick-off and make the hard work necessary again. These are the unsung heroes of non-league football.

However, once the threat of postponement had been allayed, things did not start out so well as North End fell behind in the 7th minute. A long ball forward was deflected towards the corner flag and players switched off as the expected a corner. Billy McKenna had other ideas though and chased the ball down as it held up on the soggy surface, and then drilled in a precision cross to the near post where Charlie Russell poked home.

Glossop tried to push for a leveller, Tom Bailey having a shot smothered by the keeper, Alex Byrne a shot deflected wide and Lee Blackshaw a volley that just went over the corner of the posts.

When the equaliser did come it was a scruffy goal, in-keeping with the conditions. Kieran Lugsden rather scuffed a cross that Byrne could only deflect goalwards rather than connect sweetly, but the ball fell nicely for captain Lincoln Adams, who swept home from 6 yards.

Gate had the best chance before the break when Andrew Jones was tempted off his line to come and meet a through ball he had no right to chase and found himself out of position as the opposition picked the ball up wide and worked it back inside. Eventually McKenna tried a placed shot from the edge of the area that Jones did well to adjust his feet and tip over the bar.

North End fans might have been worried about their side playing into a strong and freezing wind in the second half, but after 15 minutes of skirmishing their worries were over, as the Hillmen took the lead on the hour. A high cross swirled in the air and the goalkeeper could only affect a weak punch under pressure from Adams. The ball was poked goalwards from 12 yards, bounced off the keeper’s body and Lugsden put it away.

Two minutes later it was three, and after a couple of messy goals, this one was a beauty. The ball was played into Blackshaw at the edge of the ‘D’, and he flicked a ball between defenders for Bailey. In turn, Bailey placed a cool finish under the keeper to as good as seal the game. North End never looked in trouble from that point.

Most of the play from that moment centred around the midfield, Glossop content to hold the visitors at arm’s length until a late double-salvo made the result look harsh on Squires Gate. Firstly, with 3 minutes left, a corner was hit deep into the area, Bailey nodded down and debutant Ben Richardson tapped home from a yard at most.

2 minutes later Kyle Riley cleverly held onto the ball on halfway as North End broke quickly from defence and then played a perfectly weighted pass into Blackshaw’s path, and he clipped in a smart finish to break a scoring drought that dated back to August.

With 6 consecutive wins, and a Derbyshire Cup semi-final place secured, these are good times for the Hillmen, and a fine crowd of 222 and a good win will have motivated those hardy volunteers to do it all again next Saturday.

GNE: Jones, Young, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams (Richardson), Blackshaw, Byrne, Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare (Ellison), Kieran Lugsden (Riley)

Substitute Ben Richardson scores from close range on his debut. Photo - Steve Dyson

18th January - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 3 AFC Blackpool 1

A pitch made heavy by days of rain made North End’s usual brand of fluent football difficult to provide at Surrey Street on Saturday, and the Hillmen were forced to dig deep for the win. However, their determination to win and a couple of moments of real quality saw them continue a run that has now seen them pick up 28 points from 30 on offer.

Conditions also included occasional gusty winds, and it made for a scrappy game largely dominated by the home side, but they struggled to create opportunities in the first half. Alex Byrne was making plenty of inroads down the right, but either the final ball was lacking, the ball didn’t drop kindly or, the one time a chance did come, Lee Blackshaw just couldn’t direct his reflex effort from Kieran Lugsden’s header towards goal.

In the end, the referee provided the gilt edged opening with a penalty award that seemed hard on the visitors. It came when Tom Bailey met a Dave Young cross with a header that cannoned against the bar and bounced out to around the penalty spot. An AFC defender appeared to get to the ball first and clear it out the area, but his follow through caught Sam Hare, who was also chasing the loose ball. Hare fell under the challenge, but was second to the ball, so it was a surprise when the spot kick was given. Not that Hare was complaining – he stepped up and netted the penalty.

Despite pressure, North End failed to add to their lead, Hare driving wide, and Bailey wasting a sublime first touch by shooting weakly. Then suddenly, the advantage was gone. Stephen Betteridge swung in a corner that took the Glossop defence by surprise as it curled sharply with pace. Jones tried to keep it out, but could only punch it into the net, the ball having seemingly already entered the net.

Glossop started the second half with new determination, and Hare nearly scored in the 49th minute in a passage of play that was brilliant all round. Lugsden crossed and the ball fell to Hare at the edge of the area and his sweet volley was dipping under the bar until an acrobatic save from Bobby Harris intervened.

Pressure continued, with Hare shooting over, Lugsden’s shot being turned behind and Bailey heading wide. For 20 minutes they were all over the visitors, but couldn’t break through.

Ironically, it was just when it seemed Blackpool had weathered the storm when the breakthrough did come, in the 77th minute. Sam Hare was the architect, determined to make something happen he exchanged passes with both flanks in midfield before driving forward to the edge of the area. He then slipped a pass through the defence for Kyle Riley who still had plenty to do, but slipped a lovely finish under the keeper.

Further Glossop goals always looked more likely with Kilheeney putting a snapshot over the bar and Bailey’s fierce drive being saved at the near post. Blackpool did have one chance to equalise but Newsham shot way over the bar.

They tried again, but Kilheeney broke up the attack with a well time tackle and laid the ball off to Blackshaw, who in turn swung a delicious ball behind the defence into Bailey’s path. Again Bailey’s first touch was brilliant and opened up the chance for him, and this time he made no mistake, securing the three well earned points.

GNE: Jones, Young (Allen), Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams, Blackshaw, Byrne, Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Kieran Lugsden (Riley)

Substitute Kyle Riley scores to give Glossop a 2-1 lead. Photo - Steve Dyson

14th January - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Shirebrook Town 1 Glossop North End 3

The Hillmen’s last visit to Shirebrook Town was in the early rounds of the FA Vase in season 2011/12. That match ended 3-1 to the visitors with the highlight being a rare goal by central defender Kelvin Lugsden. Before this match there was much speculation as to whether history would repeat itself – and it did.

GNE lined up with Dave Young in his more familiar role, at least to the travelling Glossop supporters, of right back with Stef Fielding taking the goalkeeper jersey. Kieran Lugsden started up front.

The match started at high tempo but with neither side creating goalscoring opportunities until the 10th minute when a swarm of Shirebrook Town players broke into the box. A chance was set up for Grant Ryan, his shot bringing a smart save from Fielding by his near post.

GNE hit straight back as Alex Byrne was put in on goal by Kieran Lugsden but Byrne’s shot was straight at Sam Andrew in the home goal who saved comfortably.

As the half continued the visitors were dominating the match but failed to create any real chances. The home side tried hard to stay with the pace of the match but came up against a very solid Glossop back four.

The deadlock was broken on 38 minutes with the best football of the match. Lee Blackshaw went on a long run down the left, his pass found Kieran Lugsden whose first touch found Alex Byrne moving into the area free on goal. Byrne made no mistake with a firm right foot shot past Andrew.

GNE continued to dominate and had further reward on the stroke of half time. Good passing around the right hand side of the Shirebrook box dragged in all of the defensive cover so that a pass out to the left found Sam Hare free to slot the ball past Andrew.

2-0 to the visitors and a fair reflection of the half.

The Hillmen started the second half strongly but the game lost its rhythm as a number of free kicks were awarded and tempers began to fray. Eventually the match settled down and it was GNE who provided the next goal. On 71 minutes a corner from the right was swung in left footed by Blackshaw and it was Kelvin Lugsden who met the ball perfectly to give Andrew no chance of stopping his header.

The home side, stung by this further setback, went looking for goals and managed to pull one back almost immediately. A challenge just inside the box was deemed to be a foul and free scoring centre forward Aaron Moxon stepped up to despatch the resultant spot kick away to Fielding’s left. This gave the home side some hope but their best efforts were thwarted by a strong GNE defence in which Fielding played his part when called into the action.

History did indeed repeat itself and GNE await the draw to discover who they will play in the semi-finals of this competition.

GNE Team Fielding, Young, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Adams, Blackshaw (Ellison), Byrne, Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Kieran Lugsden (Riley).

Kelvin Lugsden heads Glossop's third goal at Shirebrook. Photo - Steve Dyson

4th January - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 2 Barnoldswick Town 0

The Hillmen started 2014 as they had finished 2013, recording another gutsy victory against a hard-working Barlick side. Chris Willcock’s side were not firing on all cylinders, but did more than enough to seal the points, Tom Bailey’s late goal – his 20th of the season – making it eight league wins from nine games.

Bailey looked lively from the start, and tried a speculative lob in the first minute, but the goalkeeper wasn’t far enough off the line.

However, the visitors had not come to roll over for Glossop and forced a couple of corners in a spell of pressure, although never really threatened Andrew Jones’ goal.

With recent rain it was a heavy pitch and made creative football difficult and it was a mistake that gave Glossop the gilt edged chance to open the scoring when a poor clearance was picked up by Sam Madeley. His pass to the left was inch perfect and with his first touch Tom Bailey was able to curl a low shot around the diving keeper to give North End a lead on the half hour.

However, the visitors should have been awarded a penalty a minute later. The linesman on the right side waved his flag for a foul but as play continued the cross was handled by Paul Smith has though the game had stopped. However the referee had not blown his whistle, but he did as soon as the handball happened, awarding the free kick outside of the area. It looked like a bit of a cop out by the man in black, and the Barlick team certainly told him so.

They might have been level on 38 minutes when counter-attacking a North End corner. The ball found its way across the box to Harry Thompson who seemingly had a tap in, but Jones’ legs blocked his 6 yard shot.

In the second half, Barlick offered much less of a threat going forward, and it was more about whether Glossop could make it comfortable for themselves. Frustratingly, they couldn’t, despite huge pressure. Bailey’s cross somehow eluded everyone in the box in the first minute of the half, Madeley saw his shot from a one-on-one saved by the underside of the diving keeper’s body, and substitute Kieran Lugsden similarly saw a gilt edged chance saved by the keepers frame.

It took until the 92nd minute for the points to be finally sealed. Glossop were playing keepball by the corner flag, but the shield broke down, the ball found its way to Russell, and he slipped a ball through to Nick Allen, bearing down on goal. Again the keeper saved, the ball looping up into the air. A defender tried to head it clear, only to sky the ball again. The same defender cleared it again from under his bar, but it fell to Bailey on the penalty spot. Bailey shot, it was blocked again, but it landed back at his feet and this time he made no mistake. The deserved three points were finally North End’s.

GNE Team Jones, Byrne, Russell, Young, Adams, Smith, Allen, Kilheeney (Blackshaw), Bailey, Hare, Madeley (Kieran Lugsden).

Tom Bailey beats the Barnoldswick goalkeeper to put Glossop in front. Photo - Steve Dyson

Chairman Dave Atkinson presents Chris Willcock with the NWCFL Manager Of The Month award for December. Photo - Steve Dyson

26th December - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Abbey Hey 1 Glossop North End 3

Boxing Day saw the return of the Hillmen to the Abbey Stadium for the first match between these two near neighbours for several years. Abbey Hey, having been promoted to the NWCFL Premier Division after a successful campaign in the First Division last year, have experienced mixed fortunes this season. With GNE on an impressive run of form throughout December, the travelling support were hopeful of a continuation and, on a cold afternoon, they were not disappointed.

The visitors started quickly and the first chance fell in the opening minute as Sam Madeley was put through on goal but his effort was saved by the feet of ex-Hillman goalkeeper Jon McIlwaine. GNE continued to press forward but it was the home side who opened the scoring in the 11th minute as the GNE defence were wrong footed by a dummy by Johnathan Hardy to allow Tom Murray to steer his shot wide of Andrew Jones.

This set back encouraged the Hillmen to greater efforts and with some good passing in midfield they began to dominate the play. Tom Bailey had a chance on 20 minutes having been put through by Sam Madeley. Bailey beat Abbey defender Kieran Burywood twice before finding space for a shot which went just the wrong side of McIlwaine’s left hand post. The reward for some positive play came on 34 minutes as Madeley latched on to a ball headed forward by Nick Allen to lash the ball into the net from close range.

GNE were having their best spell of the match and as half time approached a fine shot by Bailey eluded McIlwaine and found the top corner of the net to end what had become something of a goal drought for the Hillman striker. There was still time for further efforts by Allen and Dave Young before the half time whistle took the players back to the changing rooms with the visitors holding a well deserved advantage.

The second half started with something of a midfield battle with no real chances on goal made by either side. The Hillmen’s passing game seemed to have deserted them and the game went very flat. Bailey had the first opportunity to add to the GNE lead on 64 minutes but his left foot shot was well saved down to his left by McIlwaine. Manager Chris Willcock tried to do his part in livening up proceedings by making a triple substitution on 72 minutes with Kyle Riley, Kieran Lugsden and Lee Blackshaw replacing Madeley, Bailey and Andy Kilheeney. This move was almost rewarded within two minutes as Riley was strong enough in the Abbey Hey box to fashion a shooting chance but his shot went straight to McIlwaine who saved easily.

The home side were creating very little and it was no surprise when GNE extended their lead in the 77th minute although the manner of the goal was a little unusual. Sam Hare took an inswinging corner from the left hand side and the ball went straight into the Abbey Hey net by the near post with McIlwaine late to arrive on the scene. The home side then had their best spell of the match with a number of scares at the GNE end but half chances came to nothing.

A satisfactory result to conclude an unbeaten December for the Hillmen with plenty to look forward to when the action starts again with the visit to Surrey Street of Barnoldswick Town on January 4th.

GNE Team Jones, Byrne, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Young, Smith, Allen, Kilheeney (Blackshaw), Bailey (Riley), Hare, Madeley (Kieran Lugsden).

Tom Bailey scores to give Glossop a 2-1 lead. Photo - Steve Dyson

21st December - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 2 Bootle 1

A controversial late penalty sealed victory for the Hillmen on Saturday, securing three points they were doubly desperate for. The motivation was firstly to keep themselves hanging on to the coat tails of the league leaders, but mainly so that they could honour the memory of popular former-club director Adrian Priestley, who passed away earlier in the week, with a victory. It was an emotional day for all at the club, with a minute’s silence observed before the kick-off.

Glossop started brightly, and Sam Hare headed wide, not sure where the goal is, but they were rocked by Bootle scoring on their first real attack in the 9th minute. Daniel O’Connor was put through on a tight angle but Andrew Jones saved his shot at the near post. However the ball found its way back into the danger area for Tom Peterson to snatch the lead.

Alex Byrne tried to net a quick reply, but his flick from a Hare cross was wide, whilst Bootle almost doubled the lead when a free kick from outside the area hit the bar and bounced away.

The game became bogged down in midfield, until the 35 minute when Bootle counter-attacked, latching onto a poor pass, and Peterson had an opportunity to score again but again Jones saved at his near post. The value of that save was to show a minute later when North End drew level.

A corner was allowed to drop and bobbled to Dave Young who couldn’t get any purchase on a shot and mis-kicked it in the general direction of the goal. However, the unexpected trajectory of the ball eluded everyone and travelled the 8 yards to the net in slow motion, somehow avoiding all bodies and nestling onto the corner.

The second half was like the first, always fascinating to watch, but without much goal action. Bootle seemed content with a point and were wasting time, whilst North End struggled to break them down for 30 minutes, but eventually they started to make inroads, Kyle Riley’s shot cleared off the line.

Bootle were then reduced to 10 men when Mark Kilroy took a tug at Lee Blackshaw as he skipped past him. The referee decided to book him, but had forgotten that he had already booked him for timewasting a few minutes earlier. It took intervention from crowd and benches to remind him, and the suspicion was had he remembered in the first place, Kilroy would have had a final warning rather than a dismissal.

North End has the stingiest defence in the league and it frustrates opposition teams that they cannot make inroads, and they lose their discipline. In the dying minutes, with the Hillmen forcing a number of corners and pressuring the Bootle defence, Michael Carberry grabbed Kieran Lugsden by his neck and yanked him to the floor in the penalty area, despite the ball being nowhere near. It sparked a melee that confused the referee.

Once the dust had settled, Carberry was sent off (and Bootle became the 3rd team to finish a game with 9 men at Surrey Street this season). There was then a debate on whether the ball was out of play when the incident happened, which was crucial as to what happened next. It was established that the game was live, so the only decision available to the man in black was to award a penalty. Sam Hare stepped up and slammed it home, sparking great celebration.

GNE: Jones, Byrne, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Young, Smith, Allen (Blackshaw), Kilheeney, Bailey (Riley), Hare, Madeley (Kieran Lugsden)

Dave Young scores Glossop's 1st goal before half time. Photo - Steve Dyson

14th December - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Maine Road 1 Glossop North End 1

Before kick off this would have looked a decent result but in hindsight, having bossed the game for the majority of the game, a draw felt like a defeat to North End’s players and supporters. It will take a little while to take any pleasure from the way they played.

In the first half North End were quick out of the blocks, without really providing a final ball that created a clear cut opening to score. Indeed, Andrew Jones in Glossop’s goal made the two notable saves of the half, in what were rare Road forays into the Hillmen half, having to dive full length to deny Henderson.

Kieran Lugsden had gone closest for North End, flashing a shot from a tight angle across the face of goal and again when his cross-cum-shot was pushed onto the bar by Hall in the Road goal and Nick Allen was just beaten to the follow up.

Over the break the wind really picked up, and would seem to be about to favour the home side, but North End were undeterred. They came out of the dressing room with renewed vigour, and added creativity at the business end to their excellent play outside the box.

They forced a corner in each of the first 3 minutes of the half, one after Lugsden’s smart turn and shot was blocked, and in the 3rd minute should have had a penalty when Tom Bailey played a ball inside for Sam Madeley and the striker was felled as he tried to shoot, but the referee said ‘no’.

On 51 minutes a curved ball deceived the back four and Lugsden was one on one with the keeper, but his effort was blocked by Hall’s left foot but on 58 minutes Hall’s intervention was less legal.

Lugsden again got behind the defence and whilst his shot was blocked by Hall the ball squirmed behind the keeper giving Lugsden the simple task of tapping home from a couple of yards, only for Hall to wrap his arms around the Glossop striker and bring him down. As clear a penalty as you will see and as clear a red card for denial of a goal scoring opportunity you will see. Except the referee decided to show Hall only a yellow card. It was an amazing escape and all around the ground were still dazed with incredulity as Sam Hare stepped up and a least netted the spot kick to give North End a deserved lead.

Things started to turn at around 70 minutes, as the wind and tired legs started to tell and Road finally exerted some pressure. There weren’t many shots on goal, it was just North End were getting deeper and allowing the home side to get on top.

But in the 41st minute the equaliser came in freak circumstances. Glossop looked to clear their lines and attempted a blast upfield, only for the ball to cannon into Doherty and ricochet into the net. It was cruel on the Hillmen but could have been worse but for Jones’ save at the near post in the last minute. A defeat would have been too much to bear.

GNE: Jones, Byrne, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Young, Allen, Kieran Lugsden (Blackshaw), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Madeley

Kieran Lugsden is prevented from tapping the ball into the empty goal by Maine Road goalkeeper Greg Hall who concedes a penalty but only is only shown a yellow card for the foul. Photo - Steve Dyson

10th December - Match Report by Dave Edler (Tameside Reporter & Glossop Chronicle)

Glossop North End 3 Matlock Town 2

Once again a County Cup tie served up an unexpected delight as this 'little ripper' had everything you could ask for to warm you up on a cold Derbyshire night. The Evo Stik Premier visitors were obviously taking the tie seriously and started off like a train, dominating possession and peppering the Glossop goal. The Hillmen at this stage were resorting to a long ball game and making little headway. It came as no surprise, then, when Town took a tenth minute lead and it was a goal of real quality. Shaun Tuton worked hard to keep the ball in play and then fed Corey Gregory who played a perfect ball in for Lavell White to finish to the net.

Glossop's attacks were petering out due to a succession of offside flags whilst at the other end Gregory this time played in Tuton whose first time effort was kept out one handed by Stefan Fielding. On 20 minutes Sam Madeley finally registered a shot on target for the hosts but it was easily dealt with by Jonathan Hedge. The game had a feisty edge to it and this was demonstrated when Tuton picked up a booking for a very late challenge on Dave Young who needed lengthy treatment before resuming and was then later withdrawn. It was clearly a game for the brave and so in stepped the Hillmen's captain Lincoln Adams. Built like a basketball player he didn't so much bundle home the equaliser as 'slam dunk' it into the net – nobody was going to get in his way!!

Glossop's tails were now up and in the 37th minute Sam Madeley attempted a 'Beckhamesque' chip from just inside the Matlock half when he spotted Hedge off his line. He was only a whisker away. It was now end to end stuff with Gregory and White combining well again for Matlock with no end result before play switched to the other end again with Sam Madeley receiving the ball on the edge of the area before turning and finishing superbly to fire the hosts ahead. The half still had another goal in it, though. After Glossop had failed to deal with a 45th minute corner Danny Holland stabbed the ball home at the far post.

The second half saw Tom Bailey coming more into the game, the Glossop man full of strength and running and going close three minutes after the restart. In the 56th minute substitute Nathan Neequaye launched a ball forward and Madeley showed a superb first touch to get it under control before hammering it past Hedge to regain Glossop's advantage. Nine minutes later White should have equalised from right in front of goal but poked his effort tamely at Fielding. Matlock were presented with an even better chance in the 74th minute when the referee spotted a handball in the area and awarded the visitors a penalty. Bradley Grayson stepped up to take it but he was denied by a fine save from Fielding. At the other end Bailey almost made the game safe when he drew an excellent save from Hedge and Andrew Kilheeney could only send the loose ball over the bar.

However the Hillmen held on and despite a few 'handbags' in the tunnel as the players left the pitch Chris Willcock and his players will no doubt be delighted with this win. They will need to show the same resolve in their next assignment, a tough away day at Maine Road on Saturday that could see them propel themselves firmly into the promotion shake up with a victory. On tonights evidence you would not bet against them.

GNE: Fielding, Byrne, Russell (Neequaye), Young (Kelvin Lugsden), Adams, Smith, Allen, Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Madeley (Kieran Lugsden)​.

Sam Madeley gets to the ball ahead of a Matlock defender to score the winning goal. Photo - Steve Dyson

7th December - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Squires Gate 0 Glossop North End 1

Glossop scrapped it out on the North West Coast to bring home a vital three points from Blackpool as Kieran Lugsden marked his second Glossop North End debut with a goal from the bench. The victory keeps The Hillmen in the race for league honours – whilst not quite in the mix yet, five wins on the spin certainly sees them heading towards it.

Wind made coherent play difficult and there were few chances in the first half. Gate played a longer game, relying on the pace of Bamba and Sowerby to get them behind the back four, and very early in the game Sowerby had a good chance when a diagonal ball was played between the centre halves. Alex Byrne couldn’t catch the striker and had to wait until he steadied himself to shoot before timing a tackle well to ensure Jones in goal was not troubled.

At the other end, Sam Madeley was compounding a reputation of having an eye for the spectacular as he attempted two overhead kicks, one over the bar and the other narrowly wide.

Crosses were causing a few problems in the Gate defence, most likely as the wind changed the ball’s trajectory, but because the North End players were expecting the defence to clear the weren’t expecting the ball to reach them, and it would bounce off them before they had time to react.

The best chance fell to Tom Bailey, who got behind the defence, but the angle was tight and the keeper saved at the near post. Similarly when Sowerby out-paced the Glossop attack his angle was acute and going for the far post rather than near his shot went across the face of goal.

Both sides seemed intent of creating more opportunities in the second half, and it began with the home side forcing a corner which fell to Cook at the back post, but he put his poked effort into the side netting.

Close to the hour mark, North End changed to a three-pronged attack when Lugsden replaced Nick Allen, and this gave Hillmen more forward impetus. Madeley hit a shot across the face of goal and when Bailey’s jinking run was ended by a foul at the edge of the area he curled a free kick wide.

In the 70th minute the breakthrough did come. The ball was played through midfield and Lugsden looked second favourite to reach the pass first in a race with the centre half. However Lugsden found acceleration to sprint past and pick up the ball, giving him a sight on goal from a central position and he made no mistake in slipping it past the keeper.

Gate had one serious chance to level it up, but somehow when Sowerby’s free kick was palmed onto the bar brilliantly by Jones the North End defence managed to crowd out Penswick when the ball dropped to his feet and he looked certain to score.

School Lane has always been a bit of a bogey ground for Glossop, so they will be delighted to come away with a win. Whilst they are points behind those above them, wins in their games in hand will see them right among the contenders. That won’t be easy, and next Saturday’s game away at second place Maine Road will be a crucial one.

Team: Jones, Byrne, Russell, Kelvin Lugsden, Young, Smith (Hirst), Allen (Kieran Lugsden), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Madeley (Riley)

Kieran Lugsden takes on the Squires Gate defence. Photo - Steve Dyson

30th November - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 2 AFC Liverpool 1

As Glossop prepared to turn on its Christmas lights, North End served up a finish that left their supporters glowing as they headed down to the town centre to watch the big switch flicked, a 95th minute winner topping off a rousing second half at Surrey Street.

With the visitors flying high in the league’s top four, Chris Willcock’s players needed no extra motivation and created an early chance when Dave Young’s header from a corner was pushed over by Liverpool keeper Dean Pye.

However, there was a body blow in the 12th minute when the defence switched off as a free kick from the right was seemingly over-hit. However, Cox was alive and sneaked in behind the back line to cut the ball across goal and Ronnie Morgan turned it home from 6 yards.

For 25 minutes AFC seemed stronger. They started by putting in committed tackles early, almost testing the referee’s tolerance to a strong challenge, and finding that, initially at least, his gauge was high, they were winning more balls than the Hillmen, who were relying on their quick movement. There was a penalty claim when Young put in an angry tackle, furious that a free kick had not been given, but he got just enough of the ball to keep the referee happy.
However, on 27 minutes North End came so close to levelling when Bailey’s shot from a tight angle hit the bar, and Hare’s follow up was magnificently saved by Pye, diving full length to his right.

As the game wore on the visitor’s attacking threat diminished, and a bright start to the second half by the Hillmen set a pattern of possession and probing, seeing if they would be able to break down stout defence. Byrne had a snapshot early on, but it flew over the bar.

However in the 53rd minute they were gifted a gilt edged chance when Byrne got behind the defence and was one-on-one with the keeper. He had support, and tried to square the ball to give Bailey a tap in, but fluffed his pass, only for Pye to collide into him and bring him down, unable to stop his momentum as he rushed from his line. A penalty was given and Sam Hare despatched it to draw Glossop level.

Pressure continued and Bailey had shots deflected over and saved at the near post. Russell had a long shot saved and Byrne an effort deflected wide. Then Liverpool had their only chance of the half, breaking from a North End corner quickly, but Andrew Jones was smartly off his line to snuff out the opening.

With 8 minutes to go all hell broke loose. Kilheeney thought he was fouled, and in frustration Paul Smith but in a late tackle that was a clear a yellow card as you will ever see. However, AFC’s Ronnie Morgan took over the top exception to the foul and reacted violently towards the North End man sparking a 21 man fracas by the side-line that took many minutes to sort out. Once the referee had consulted with both his linesman, Smith got his yellow card and Morgan was shown a red.

AFC took the decision badly. Whilst one member of the side’s board of directors took it upon himself to attempt to withdraw his team from the pitch altogether, an instruction thankfully ignored, Buckley’s forearm smash on Sam Madeley could not be overlooked, and the referee had no option but to reduce AFC to 9 men.

From there Glossop had 3 minutes plus injury time to win the game, and pressed hard. Bailey swivelled a shot over the bar and Byrne header was pushed over as the team forced corners and sent on attacking substitutes to pinch the win.

It finally came in in the 95th minute when a ball over the top caught the defence flat footed and Sam Madeley was in a race to the ball with Pye. He won, looping the ball over the keeper, and latching onto his own lob in the 6 yard area to tap home. Like all late winners it sparked scenes of great celebration, the entire match-day squad piling onto the goal scorer.

It was an important goal. That’s 4 league wins on the trot for the Hillmen now and with none of the top 5 winning, their interest in what is going on above them as they sit 8th had at least been awoken again. Certainly the pre-season aim of top 5 seems very much on.

Team: Jones, Byrne, Russell, Lugsden, Young, Smith (Hirst), Allen (Riley), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Madeley (Adams)

Sam Madeley lifts the ball over the AFC Liverpool goalkeeper to score in the 95th minute. Photo - Steve Dyson

26th November - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Glossop North End 0 Trafford 1

In most sports it is of interest for a team to take on opposition who regularly play at a higher level. In football, cup competitions often provide this opportunity and it was in this context that Glossop North End met Trafford in the Manchester Premier Cup. Whilst the result shows that the Hillmen lost the match, they more than matched their opponents from two levels higher in the football pyramid and will take great encouragement from their performance into the League programme to come.

The home side started brightly but could only create half chances against a strong, well organised Trafford side. The breakthrough came somewhat against the run of play on 15 minutes as slick passing by the Trafford midfield delivered the ball to Andy Smart in space just outside the area. His well struck shot was touched by Andrew Jones in the GNE goal but had sufficient power to find the corner of the net. GNE hit back immediately and Trafford had 17 year old Manchester United Academy goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara to thank for maintaining their lead as he made no less than four fine saves from goalbound shots in the space of the next 20 minutes. He started with an acrobatic save from an effort by Tom Bailey. Lee Morris put in a fine shot from the angle of the box which was well saved. A slide-rule pass by Nick Allen put Bailey through but O’Hara was equal to the task and then, yet again, Bailey was thwarted by O’Hara with Sam Madeley unable to convert the rebound from a tight angle.

In between all of this action, Trafford were working hard to create chances of their own. Captain Martyn Andrews went close with an effort which was parried by Jones, the goalkeeper being quick enough to recover his position to smother the follow up effort by Andrews. The last incident of an eventful and free flowing half came as Trafford centre half Nia Bayunu saw his close range effort hit the underside of the crossbar; the ball being cleared to safety by the home defence.

The second half started with little of the free flowing, progressive football which had distinguished the first half. The match became scrappy, often interrupted by free kicks, and lacking in incident until half way through the period as the match briefly came back to life. On 67 minutes a fine ball from midfield by Bailey found substitute Paul Cliff clear on goal. Cliff seemed to be caught in two minds as a square ball was on to an unmarked colleague as he bore down on O’Hara. In the end, indecision won the day and the chance was gone. Just a minute later saw a fine cross from the left by Sam Madeley find Bailey in the area with space but, not for the first time, O’Hara made a fine save from another goalbound shot.

The match entered the last 10 minutes with Trafford applying pressure on the GNE goal but the home defence held firm. Into added time and the Hillmen pushed everything forward, including goalkeeper Jones, in an attempt to force an equaliser and it nearly worked as a header by Lincoln Adams was narrowly over the crossbar. That was the last chance of the match and the visitors took the win and move forward to the semi-finals.

GNE can look back on an excellent performance in a match which, at least for the first half, provided excellent entertainment for the mid-week crowd.

GNE Team Jones, Byrne, Russell, Lugsden, Adams, Allen, Morris (Cliff), Hirst C (Riley), Bailey, Hare, Madeley

A Tom Bailey shot is saved by the Trafford goalkeeper. Photo - Steve Dyson

23rd November - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Silsden 0 Glossop North End 1

The Hillmen travelled through glorious Yorkshire countryside on Saturday for a League match at Silsden and returned with all three points from a match which they dominated for long periods.

A cold, bright but still day welcomed the players onto the pitch with GNE giving debuts to Andrew Jones, a recent signing from Winsford United, in goal and central midfielder Paul Smith who has played all season at neighbours Abbey Hey. The Cobbydalers lined up with a fair few unfamiliar faces in a side which has been much changed since the last time the Hillmen were the visitors.

GNE started brightly with much of the play coming down the left hand side with Matty Russell and Lee Blackshaw combining well. But attempts on goal were limited as efforts faded to nothing or were stopped by the excellent work of home captain James Gill in central defence. The Cobbydalers were restricted to sporadic forward movements involving high balls up to the almost impossibly tall centre forward Mikey Hall but his flicked headers came to nothing.

Only one significant goal attempt was registered by each side in a first half dominated in terms of both possession and field position by the visitors. On 38 minutes a shot by Andy Kilheeney forced goalkeeper Ed Hall into his first significant action of the match and then into added time a cross from the right was met by the head of Mikey Hall but his effort from close range was straight at Jones who saved comfortably.

The second half started with the sides hardly getting out of the midfield area. Andrew Hill for the Cobbydalers was bringing a little more control to the home midfield but it was the visitors who took the lead on 54 minutes. The ball found its way to Sam Madeley just outside the area and his fine shot dipped wickedly over the head of Ed Hall to find the net and bring just reward for the Hillmen’s efforts.

The tone of the match continued through the second half with GNE again dominating both possession and position but with nothing to show on the scoreboard. As the game entered the last five minutes it sparked into life with three good chances falling to Glossop forwards. Firstly, substitute Paul Cliff found himself one on one with the goalkeeper. A ball square to an unmarked Tom Bailey was on but Cliff took on the shot himself and the ball cannoned of Hall to safety. A minute later and Hall was called into action again saving well from a Lee Blackshaw shot. Almost immediately Tom Bailey was put through by a precision pass from Nick Allen but Hall was well positioned and saved well.

Overall, a good performance by GNE having dominated the match but a couple more goals would have made the match much more comfortable and would have been fully justified on the 90 minutes of play. Having said that, a clean sheet is always a positive. As for the debutants, Jones will certainly have busier matches in which to show his capabilities whilst Smith looked calm and assured in central midfield showing a good positional sense and the ability to play the simple pass – most encouraging.

GNE Team Jones, Young, Russell, Lugsden, Adams, Smith, Allen, Kilheeney, Bailey (Hirst C.), Madeley (Cliff), Blackshaw

16th November - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Staveley Miners Welfare 2 Glossop North End 0

Staveley scored early and late to end North End’s dreams of a Wembley return for another year. In between the Hillmen had a lot of possession but failed to add the necessary quality to create a hatful of chances or convert the ones they did.

The game had got off to a low key start but in the 2nd minute the ball dropped to Josh Scully outside the area and he tried a speculative shot that Dean Williams appeared to be untroubled about…until it sailed over his head into the top corner. The ball moved in the air and deceived the Glossop keeper.

The rest of the half was largely chanceless as both defences stood firm. Sam Madeley had a shot blocked by a sliding body as he tried to capitalise on a Goalkeeper’s fumble and Russell drove a cross across the face of goal that was just desperate for a touch from a striker. However largely the game become dominated by niggles between the two team, with the referee flashing yellow in a vain attempt to wrestle control of the game. Only the half time whistle was effective in ending the discord.

The second half started positively as North End set about the task in hand. Blackshaw cut inside and shot wide, although the Hillmen were given a reminder to be vigilant when Thorpe streaked down the left from his own half into the penalty area and Williams was forced to save his drive under the bar.

Sam Hare had a volley tipped over the bar and from the corner Dave Young’s header was blocked on the line as North End pressure increased. Young repeated the trick from another corner and again the header was stopped on the line.

Chris Willcock made a number of substitutions, removing defenders and bringing on attacking players. Chris Hirst, Nathan Neequaye and Paul Cliff all came on with Martin Parker, Matt Russell and Kelvin Lugsden making way. At times, North End were playing with two at the back.

A chance came as Neequaye latched onto a Tom Bailey pass in the area, but the keeper was quick off his line to save. At the other end Kilheeney had to make a last ditch slide to block Thorpe’s shot as the home side threatened on the break.

Minutes were ticking away. With just three left Young won a header from another corner but bulleted it over the bar. The best chance fell to Cliff, unmarked 6 yards out when found by Bailey’s cross, but he headed wide.

Glossop were leaving themselves increasingly exposed, and Staveley nearly added a second in injury time when Young miraculously cleared off the line twice with desperate defending but there was to be no reprieve as they tried to push forward again. Losing possession cheaply the home side were back at them and although Williams saved the first attempt at goal he couldn’t stop Whittaker’s shot hitting the back of the net. Game over.

Team: Williams, Byrne, Russell (Neequaye), Lugsden (Cliff), Young, Parker (Hirst), Madeley, Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Blackshaw

Another chance is missed as Glossop search for the equaliser. Photo - Steve Dyson

12th November - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 2 Whaley Bridge Athletic 1

The pattern of this game was set very early on. Glossop dominated possession of the ball, but struggled to create clear cut chances against stoic defending from the Whaley Bridge defence, and when they did they found goalkeeper James Tattersall in top form. The game was largely dour and needed a spark. Fortunately Alex Byrne was able to come off the bench and provide it.

The rested right back set up one and scored the winner deep into the added on minutes as the prospect of and extra 30 minutes loomed. All but the Whaley Bridge contingent were grateful for his intervention.

The first team squad was used in full as Byrne, Tom Bailey, Sam Madeley and Alex Byrne were all on the bench and Kelvin Lugsden & Matt Russell left out altogether. It gave Chris Willcock a chance to give a run out to a few players coming back from injury and others who had not had regular starts of late.

The first half was a dour affair, brightened only by Tattersall’s tip over the bar from Andy Kilheeney’s drive from the edge of the area, Nathan Neequaye forcing another save with a placed shot that Tattersall pushed wide and Chris Hirst’s shot from Kyle Riley’s lay off that too was saved.

The second half was brighter, and within a minute Riley’s header from a corner was saved, and minutes later Whaley had their first real chance when Dean Williams had to be quick off his line to block Dwolitka’s shot.

The breakthrough came in the 57th minute when Byrne, on for Kilheeney, beat two men on the right side to get to the by-line and advance into the area. His low cross eluded all in front of goal but found Neequaye at the back post, and the striker had time to control and finish.

Inexplicably, rather than kick on, North End switched off, seemingly thinking that that was job done, and it allowed the visitors to build up their first head of steam. After a spell of pressure they got the leveller as the ball was cross from the right and fell to Dwolitka, 10 yards out, and he finished into the corner.

Glossop struggled to get going again, and extra time looked certain when in the 6th minute of injury time the ball was played behind the left full back for Byrne to latch onto. Crucially, Tattersall initially thought he could reach it and left his line. He changed his mind too late as Byrne spotted him and lobbed it over his head. There was an anxious wait to see where the ball would bounce, cheers of relief greeting it as it crossed the line. North End’s reward is a home tie with Matlock Town in early December.

Team: Williams, Allen, Blackshaw, Young, Adams, Parker, Ellison (Hare), Kilheeney (Byrne), Riley, Neequaye, Hirst

Nathan Neequaye opens the scoring for Glossop. Photo - Steve Dyson

9th November - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Wigan Robin Park 0 Glossop North End 3

A six minute second half salvo saw Glossop run out comfortable winners at the Robin Park Arena on Saturday, taking Chris Willcock’s team into the league’s top ten. A goal from Tom Bailey and two from his new strike partner Sam Madeley was enough to win, and it could have been more.

Early on the teams exchanged good chances with Andy Kilheeney forcing Lever into a good save to his right, but at the other end Edgar forced a spectacular diving save from Dean Williams with a drive from the edge of the box when a clearance fell nicely into his path. The difference is, that was to be Williams’ last save of note – Lever would be busier.

The first half was played in bizarre conditions, with either blue skies and sun or hailstones and driving rain, and very little in between. It was difficult for both teams, and there were plenty of slips on a greasy surface.

Martin Parker headed just wide whilst Bailey forced Lever to save at his near post and then couldn’t control a bouncing ball and mis-kicked. Madeley had the ball in the net, only to be dragged back for offside. The half was regularly punctuated by the referee’s whistle, as for a spell he seemed to lose some control and try to pull it back by blowing up regularly. It did not endear him to players or supporters.

Glossop started the second half brightly and Hirst should have shot first time when picking up a Bailey pass in the box, but his desire for a touch gave the defence a chance to block. However, in the 59th minute the breakthrough did come.

Dave Young played a ball to the right to Alex Byrne, who advanced down the line and sent in a low cross that Madeley missed at the near post, but Bailey, named the North West Counties League player of the month the day previous, could not miss from short range at the far post.

Barely a minute later Madeley doubled the lead. This time a quick-thinking Bailey took a quick free kick in the WRP half, curling a pass to the alert Madeley who cleverly won himself the space to shoot across the keeper and into the corner of the net by feigning a switch to his right foot. Instead he finished with his left.

The game was effectively over in the 65th minute when Young pinged a ball from the back, Bailey flicked it on and Madeley’s pace got him behind the defence to finish with aplomb. Bailey and Madeley played together at Altrincham as youngsters, and their partnership is showing signs of blossoming again after just three games for the former Mossley man.

There was one warning for GNE when Edgar shot wide from Newbold’s cut back, but as the hailstones came down once more, it still looked more like North End would score again. Byrne had a great opportunity from short range, the keeper beaten, but a defender managed to recover and block.

These three points were sealed though, capping a successful week in which Glossop beat both top and bottom of the league. Now, if they could just replicate this with the teams in between…

Team: Williams, Byrne, Russell, Lugsden, Young, Parker (Blackshaw), Hirst (Cliff), Kilheeney, Bailey, Allen, Madeley (Riley)

Tom Bailey scores from close range to give Glossop the lead. Photo - Steve Dyson

5th November - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 1 Runcorn Town 0

Runcorn Town came to Surrey Street as league leaders, whilst the home side had suffered three successive defeats. Neutral observers would most likely have predicted an away win, but they found the Hillmen in a resilient mood, determined to halt the slide. It felt like an important win.

The game’s only goal came early, in the 5th minute, and it was North End’s new signing Sam Madeley who netted. After a spell of Runcorn pressure, Andy Kilheeney played a long ball forward that was flicked on by Tom Bailey. His new strike partner won the physical battle with his marker and struck a low shot that Karl Wills partially blocked with his body, but not enough – the ball squirmed under and into the net.

That first five minutes was something of a microcosm of the first half as a whole, with Runcorn having a lot of possession, but North End creating the clearer chances. Bailey curled a free kick just over the bar, whilst Madeley sharp turn and shot hit the side netting. Hirst tried to place a shot but it was held by the keeper whereas Runcorn were largely restricted to shots from distance. However, Lester did worry Williams when running from his own half, getting the luck of a ricochet at the edge of the area and shooting. The keeper saved at his near post.

Grant shot low on the turn for the visitors and Williams caused hearts to flutter as a free kick bounced awkwardly in front of him and off his chest, however he was first to react and collected the ball.

As you might expect, Runcorn started the second half brightly and although Carey got a shot in in the first minute it was a simple take for Williams. Carey also headed wide from a good cross. However, GNE created a great chance of their own when a corner was pushed out to Dave Young and whilst his shot beat the keeper it was cleared off the line by Burton.

As the half went on, Glossop began to defend deeper and deeper and putting pressure on themselves as a result. Runcorn were getting more shots on goal, none of them dangerous at this point, but Chris Willcock brought on Kyle Riley to try and add more strength up front. Riley nearly scored with his first touch, heading wide when he should have at least hit the target.

In the 68th minute Glossop’s cause was given a boost by Scott Burton of Runcorn, who having been booked for dissent got another yellow card for a high tackle in midfield. Runcorn continued to work hard, without really troubling the North End defence, and continued to do so even when reduced to 9 men seven minutes from time, this time Shanley receiving a second yellow card for something the assistant referee pointed out.

The inevitable Runcorn chance came in the 5th minute of injury time when the ball fell to Spearitt outside the area and he leathered it goalwards. For a split second it looked as though the ball might hit the corner of the net, only for it to swerve away to safety. It meant a terrific three points for North End, and they will seek to add to restored confidence when they travel to Wigan Robin Park on Saturday.

Team: Williams, Byrne, Russell (Allen), Lugsden, Young, Parker, Hirst (Cliff), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Madeley (Riley)

Sam Madeley advances towards the goal to score the only goal of the game. Photo - Steve Dyson

2nd November - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Ashton Athletic 2 Glossop North End 1

The Hillmen travelled to Ashton-in-Makerfield on Saturday with a mission to put right what had gone wrong the previous Tuesday in the defeat at home to Stockport Sports and to reverse the opening day defeat to the same opposition. The line-up had a positive look with new signing Sam Madeley joining top scorer Tom Bailey up front with the returning Martin Parker operating at the base of a midfield diamond. Manager Chris Willcock was forced into defensive changes as full back Matty Russell was ill on the morning of the match.

The shape of the game was established even before the kick off as an already wet pitch was deluged by a rain shower as the teams lined up for the pre-match handshake. The wind howled and the rain got heavier as the referee blew his whistle to start the match.

Not surprisingly, both teams struggled to cope with the conditions and the match was ragged until the conditions eased somewhat and it became possible to string a few passes together. The home side were the first to manage to do this to significant effect as with 4 minutes played, forward Mike Downing found himself clear on the 18 yard line and his well placed shot beat Dean Williams in the GNE goal.

The Hillmen looked to hit back quickly and Tom Bailey fashioned himself an opening but his shot was saved by Jay Foulds. GNE were starting to slowly build some pressure as the conditions improved and several half chances went begging. Their efforts were rewarded on 28 minutes as the best football of the match saw the visitors move the ball quickly and accurately through midfield to find Sam Hare inside the box. His shot whistled past Foulds to equalise the scores.

As half time approached the wind and rain returned with a vengeance and the game fell apart as a spectacle but there was just time for Williams to save well from Ste Latham before the players could retire to the sanctity of the dressing rooms.

The start of the second half saw the conditions at their worst and it was no surprise to see water beginning to accumulate on the surface of the pitch. It was clear from this point on that simple football would be the name of the game as the likelihood of mistakes would become greater as the match progressed. Nothing much happened for the first 20 minutes as both sides struggled to make any headway. Then what turned out to be the winning goal came in the most likely of fashions, from a mistake, as Lincoln Adams and Dean Williams both missed their opportunity to clear the ball leaving Downing to score his second of the afternoon.

More mistakes were always likely and the visitors nearly paid for a cross field pass in defence which slowed down on the sodden surface giving Ashton substitute Stephen Edwards a chance but his effort was well saved by Williams. GNE pressed forward in the closing minutes looking to take something from the match but the home side defended well in numbers and prevented any clear chances.

A messy match in very difficult conditions but the home side adapted better than GNE and the three points stayed at home.

GNE Team Williams, Byrne, Bockarie, Young, Adams (Lugsden), Parker, Hirst C (Allen), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Madeley (Riley).

Tom Bailey gets away from an Ashton defender. Photo - Steve Dyson

29th October - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 0 Stockport Sports 3

When it comes to the end of the season Chris Willcock will want to look back on this wet evening and consider that this was the most disappointing performance of the season. It certainly was thus far, and he’d like to think it won’t get worse than this.

Stockport Sports came into the game with a patched up side having lost a number of players in a short space of time, but they played with a freedom North End rarely showed after creating a couple of early chances that they will still be wondering how they missed.

The first of the misses came on 5 minutes when a low cross found leading scorer at the far post, sliding in and with the net gaping. The keeper was seemingly stranded, but somehow Bailey hit the near post and watched aghast as the ball rebounded onto the other post before the defence cleared.

Minutes later Bailey was put through at an angle but shot straight at the keeper, and then again had a chance but his shot was deflected wide.

It took 15 minutes for Sport to settle down, but you eventually saw their confidence grow and they created half chances before taking a sharp one on 24 minutes. The ball was played to Halfacre at the edge of the area and the burly centre forward brought it under control and fired a shot into the net.

North End tried to press, but Byrne headed over from a free kick on the right before Adams missed another golden opportunity, skying a effort over the bar from short range when it looked easier to score. The misses seemed to knock the stuffing out of the side.

In the second half Dean Williams was forced into action early on when saving at his near post from a tight angle but there was no escape on 55 minutes. Nick Allen made a rare mistake giving the ball away in midfield and allowed Steel to run down the right side and cross into the middle. Marshall completely mis-kicked, but the ball fell nicely into the path of Crowe, who lashed in from about 12 yards.

10 minutes later it was three. Jordan Young sprung the North End offside trap and was allowed a clear run on goal. He waited for Williams to commit to a dive and simply placed the ball the other way.

North End never truly looked convincing going forward and rarely threatened to pull a goal back, and even when Alex Byrne did put in a tantalising cross from the right in the corridor of uncertainty no-one was attacking the 6 yard box to convert. It was a night to forget.

Team: Williams, Bockarie (Goodeve), Russell, Lugsden, Adams, Allen (Riley), Byrne, Kilheeney (Neequaye), Bailey, Hare, Cliff

Harry Bockarie in action for Glossop North End. Photo - Steve Dyson

26th October - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 0 Maine Road 2

10-man Glossop North End crashed out of the NWCFL league cup at their first hurdle for the third consecutive year as league leaders Maine Road came to Surrey Street and won for the second time this season.
The first half was a tough one to watch with defences well on top and chances on goal absent. It took until the 35th minute for the game to even show the slightest of attacking spark when Tom Bailey made room for himself at the edge of the area and curled a shot goalwards, however the ball hit the bar and bounced to safety.

The game started to open up a little and Hill shot wide for the visitors as did Lee Blackshaw for the Hillmen. Then in the 42nd minute Road made the breakthrough as Henderson picked up the ball in the box with only Williams to beat. The North End keeper saved with his legs only for the ball to loop up into the path of Bentham, who nodded over the prone custodian into the net.

Glossop started the second half extremely brightly and inside the first minute Harry Bockarie’s cut back to Bailey was foiled by a bobble just as the leading scorer shaped to shoot, meaning his shot went wide. Minutes later, Byrne controlled a diagonal pass well on his chest, knocking it into his path in the area but his dangerous cross was taken by the keeper at the second attempt.

Pressure continued, as Nick Allen just missed a low cross along the 6 yard line and Riley’s textbook downward header was blocked by a defender’s body.

However, on 65 minutes the stuffing was knocked out of the home side as Sam Hare was given his marching orders for a second yellow card. The midfielder had already been booked for a late tackle when he himself was upended late by Breslin . It should have been a free kick and probably a booking for Breslin, but the referee thought otherwise and a frustrated Hare pushed Breslin to the floor. The ref certainly spotted that, and produced a second yellow for Hare’s reaction. Hare could have complaints about the tackle, but none about his sanction.

Despite being a man light, Glossop continued to press and Jordan Goodeve had a shot from the edge of the area blocked and Matthew Russell headed just over from a Byrne cross. The pressing game would of course leave North End vulnerable on the break and Hill nearly scored when beating Williams to the ball, but could only hit a weak shot.

North End’s best chance came when Mason allowed a goal kick to bounce, and Nathan Neequaye nipped him between him and the keeper to loop a header over the goalie, but it went wide. Just a couple of minutes later Road doubled their lead when a low free kick was spilled by Williams, the ball bouncing off his body into the path of Bentham who tapped in.

Glossop never gave up, but by this time were effectively down to nine-and-a-half men with Russell limping profusely and Maine Road’s stout defence was not to be breached.

Team: Williams, Bockarie (Goodeve), Russell, Lugsden, Adams, Allen (Neequaye), Byrne, Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Blackshaw (Riley)

Alex Byrne in a good position for Glossop. Photo - Steve Dyson

22nd October - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

West Didsbury & Chorlton 1 Glossop North End 3

Glossop North End responded to a lacklustre first half with a second 45 three goal salvo that lifted them into the top half of the table in a night of spectacular goals in Chorlton.

Despite starting brightly, with Tom Bailey looking lively and forcing the keeper to save with his legs and then lifting a shot from a tight angle just over the bar, things started to go wrong for the Hillmen when conceding in the 22nd minute.

Tre Baldwin-Willis collected the ball from a short throw-in level with the 18 yard line, and after controlling he unleashed a dipping shot on the turn which cleared Dean Williams as it dropped from the sky and landed in the top corner.

Williams was shellshocked, although there was little he could do about the goal in truth, but he nearly presented an opportunity to Jones when he mis-kicked a clearance leaving his goal gaping. Jones, fortunately for Williams, wasn’t up to the task and shot wide.

Glossop struggled for fluency, although they might have been more comfortable had Rogers received the second yellow card his challenge on Paul Cliff deserved, but Chris Willcock had seen enough by 37 minutes and changed the formation, bringing on Kye Riley to hold the ball up top. However, the Hillmen still went into the break behind as Nick Allen drove a fierce shot wide.

Parity was restored soon after the break though. From a free kick 25 yards out, just to the right of the ‘D’, Bailey stepped up and curled an effort around the wall and into the top corner. Quality goal number two of the game…and the best was yet to come.

Allen had a shot saved by the keeper’s legs as GNE pressed for the lead and Riley was given offside when clean through and looking a yard or so the correct side of the defence when the ball was played. However, the lead came on 62 minutes.

From a West Didsbury corner the ball was cleared upfield to the right side touchline, where Bailey collected. He was on his own up front though, so kept possession to allow colleagues to catch up, whilst advancing inside across the edge of the penalty box. The home side failed to challenge effectively, backing off to give Bailey space to look up and with the outside of his boot launched a placed shot into the top corner. It was a moment of real quality, and it is no wonder other clubs have been enquiring about the North End leading scorer.

2-1 is always dangerous though, and Glossop were grateful for a further goal on 78 minutes when Andy Kilheeney netted his first for the club. It was the first goal of the night from inside the penalty box after Jordan Goodeve shaped to shoot from the edge of the box but instead passed inside for Kilheeney. He looked up and picked his spot in the corner of the net, for what in any other night would be a cracking goal. Pity for Kilheeney there had been some barnstormers earlier on.

Nevertheless, it sealed an important three points as The Hillmen set about trying to turn the games in hand they have on other sides into points.

Team: Williams, Bockarie, Russell, Lugsden, Adams, Allen, Byrne (Goodeve), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare (Hirst), Cliff (Riley)

Andrew Kilheeney scores his first goal for the club to put Glossop 3-1 ahead. Photo - Steve Dyson

19th October - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 7 Kinsley Boys 0

The Hillmen stormed into the second round of the FA Vase on Saturday sweeping aside their West Yorkshire opponents in a dominant display in which although Sam Hare scored a hat trick, you wouldn’t want to single out a player for special praise. It was a ruthless team performance. At times the two division gap in the league pyramid between the two teams was made to look like a gulf.

In many ways, Glossop were on a hiding to nothing, expected to win comfortably. They just needed an early goal to settle themselves down, and after a spell of pressure that’s exactly what they got in the 12th minute. It was a simple goal, as Paul Cliff delivered a corner to the 6 yard line and Nick Allen nodded home to open his tally for the season.

The game was pretty much all North End from there. Alex Byrne’s near post flick forced a save and Tom Bailey shot over the bar before the lead was finally double on the half hour. This time Hare’s cross from the right found Bailey unmarked at the far post, and he made no mistake with his header.

Ten minutes later it was three when Hare was brought down moving onto a 1-2 at the edge of the area that left him clear on goal. Hare himself got up to send the keeper the wrong way.

Into injury time, Kinsley did muster a couple of shots on goal, but Appleton’s shot, that looked as though it was on target, was blocked by Kelvin Lugsden’s body and Day sliced his shot wide when presented with an opportunity to have a go from the edge of the area.

In the previous round Kinsley had recovered from 3-0 down to progress, so it’s almost certain North End will have spoken about this at half time and they came out looking for further goals. Cliff forced a terrific save from the keeper with a diving header, although Williams had to be alive to save from Wood, as the Kinsley sub tried to pull one back.

It took until the 62nd minute for GNE to effectively seal the game when Bailey and Harry Bockerie linked up on the right side allowing the full back acres of space to cross. He cut the ball back, picking out Hare who netted despite not catching the ball cleanly.

It was five two minutes later, with Bailey netting a lovely goal after receiving the ball at the edge of the area and beating the defender with a body feint. It left him a clear run to the penalty spot from where he picked his spot.
Kinsley never gave up, but North End were relentless, bringing on substitutes keen to impress to nail down a spot in the starting line up. Kye Riley’s first touch let him down when Bailey picked him out and the keeper was off his line to block, and Nathan Neequaye could only hit the side netting off the rebound from a tight angle.

Riley did net though in the 86th minute when the tireless Bailey again got behind the left back and picked him out on the penalty spot. Riley made no mistake from 12 yards. Then in the 3rd minute of injury time Hare netted again from the spot after Russell had been felled. It was Glossop’s first seven goal salvo for two years, meaning they were emphatically into Monday’s draw for the second round.

Team: Williams, Bockarie, Russell, Lugsden, Adams, Allen (Riley), Byrne (Marshall), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare, Cliff (Neequaye)

Tom Bailey scores his 2nd goal and Glossop's 5th. Photo - Steve Dyson

12th October - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

AFC Blackpool 1 Glossop North End 1

Before the start of a football match away from home, most teams would look at taking a share of the points from a game against a side higher in the league than they were as being a satisfactory afternoon’s work. Glossop North End did exactly that away at AFC Blackpool on Saturday but left the Fylde coast bitterly disappointed not to be bringing all three points back with them and justifiably so.

At a bright and calm Mechanics Ground, the Hillmen fielded the same starting eleven as in the mid-week home victory over Winsford United. The match started evenly but with no real goal threat from either side. Lee Blackshaw was forced to withdraw from the action with injury as early as the 13th minute being replaced wide on the left by Paul Cliff. The visitors had a good spell of possession half way through the first period but AFC Blackpool came back into the match and half time arrived with neither goalkeeper having being troubled.

Half time cups of tea had only just been finished as Paul Cliff was the one to be forced off with an injury to be replaced by Sam Marshall. GNE were playing the better football and starting to make chances at last. On 50 minutes Tom Bailey broke clear of the home defence but his goalbound effort was saved by the outstretched right foot of Jamie Scott in the AFC Blackpool goal. Better was to follow almost immediately as Marshall made his first telling contribution to the action with a defence splitting pass which found Bailey in space. The GNE striker made no mistake in calmly slotting the ball past the approaching Scott to open the scoring.

The Hillmen were not content to sit on their lead and went looking to add to their advantage. On the hour mark a short free kick routine between Andy Kilheeney and Sam Hare led to the latter swinging in a fine cross which found Alex Byrne in space in front of goal. His headed effort bounced to safety from the underside of the crossbar. Quarter of an hour later it was Byrne again who found himself with space in front of goal as the ball came in from Marshall wide on the left. He made good contact with the cross but the ball found the woodwork and, again, bounced away to safety.

GNE were dominating the game as, with 15 minutes to play, the home side played their last two cards bringing on Ryan Vaughan and Stephen Betteridge from the subs bench. With just 5 minutes left on the watch Dean Williams in the Hillmen goal was brought into action for the first time in the match. A fine shot from outside the area by Grant Dell was turned away well by Williams, down by his left hand upright, at the expense of a corner. The corner was hit deep across the box and the return from the back of the box was met with a spectacular overhead kick by Mitchel Newsham and suddenly, against the run of play, the scores were level.

There was little time left for GNE to restore their advantage but they certainly tried. Moving forward with renewed urgency they put pressure on the home goal, the closest effort being a shot from Marshall, following a run from inside his own half, which was saved by Scott. As the final whistle went the travelling GNE supporters could only look back on a match in which they knew their side had done everything but take all three points.

GNE Team Williams, Bockarie, Russell, Lugsden, Adams, Allen, Byrne, Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare (Riley), Blackshaw (Cliff) (Marshall)

Tom Bailey beats the AFC Blackpool goalkeeper to the ball to give Glossop the lead. Photo - Steve Dyson

8th October - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 5 Winsford United 0

North End bounced back from surprise defeat at the weekend with a comprehensive win against a poor Winsford United side. The breakthrough took a while, but once the Hillmen had grabbed the lead the result was never in doubt.

Chris Willcock had made three changes from Saturday’s game, the most significant of which was Dean Williams coming in in goal for Ben Proctor. Williams could not have wished for a more comfortable league debut.

In the opening half hour Glossop had two chances cleared off the line as they looked to grab the initiative. Firstly a round of penalty box pinball saw both Lincoln Adams and Alex Byrne takes pokes at goal, Adams’ effort was saved and Byrne’s cleared as it look sure to cross the line. Then a Tom Bailey shot was pushed away and again Byrne’s effort was blocked, this time by a prone goalkeeper.

However, on 35 minutes the breakthrough did finally come. A Lee Blackshaw corner found its way back out to the winger and his curled cross caused panic in the box, falling kindly for Lincoln Adams to tap past a stranded keeper to score.

6 minutes later it was 2 when Winsford lost possession right outside their dugout, claiming their man was fouled. The referee waved play on, and Andy Kilheeney slotted a ball through the defence for Bailey, looking slightly offside, to run onto and net past the advancing keeper.

The second half started in a similar vein and by the 53rd minute it was 3-0. This time the ball was passed down the right side for Byrne to flick the ball inside first time and put Sam Hare through on goal. As the keeper advanced to meet Hare the midfielder lobbed him with aplomb.

The fourth came in the 62nd minute, and it was the pick of the lot. From a Winsford corner Kilheeney won the ball at the edge of the area and Blackshaw reacted smartly to pick up the ball and stride away from his own penalty box. He weighted a perfect pass to Bailey on the right and behind the full back he drew the keeper toward him before accurately squaring the ball to the far post for Hare to tap in.

The scoring was completed by Paul Cliff in the 84th minute when fellow substitute Kyle Riley crossed from the right and Cliff nodded in from the edge of the 6 yard box.

As reactions to a moment adversity go, this couldn’t have been more comprehensive. The Hillmen will now look to carry this momentum into Saturday’s visit to AFC Blackpool.

Team: Williams, Bockarie (Young), Russell, Lugsden, Adams, Allen, Byrne (Cliff), Kilheeney, Bailey (Riley), Hare, Blackshaw

Sam Hare scores his 2nd goal to put Glossop 4-0 ahead. Photo - Steve Dyson

5th October - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 2 St Helens Town 3

Glossop slipped to a surprise defeat against the Saints on Saturday – it had been a game that they would probably expect to win beforehand, and the fans and players were probably just as surprised they hadn’t afterwards. The Hillmen largely dominated possession and chances, but didn’t make enough use of either. Unlike St Helens.

North End made a bright start and deservedly opened the scoring on 15 minutes. On the left side of the pitch, Sam Hare laid the ball forward with a flicked pass, and was immediately fouled from behind. However, the referee played a superb advantage as Tom Bailey advanced into the area and clipped a shot past Gibson.

The home side pressed for a second and from a Kilheeney cross Bailey chest-controlled, 8 yards out but couldn’t stay balanced to execute the finish. Then suddenly St Helens levelled.

Dave Young was penalised for a push at the right edge of the area. The free kick was drilled by Judge and bounced off the chest of Ben Proctor as he made the save. The ball ricocheted straight into the path of Gillespie, who simply tapped into the open net.

Then suddenly St Helens were in the lead.

It came from a North End corner which was cleared to Kilheeney at the edge of the area. He was bundled off the ball by pressure and St Helens broke with pace. In two passes the ball was in the Hillmen’s area and Storey rounded Proctor, but chose to go down under the challenge of the keeper. As the ball was going away from goal there was no card for Proctor, but Judge blasted the spot kick under his despairing dive.

On 37 minutes, the Hillmen levelled. Paul Cliff received the ball on the left and beat his man, advancing to the by-line. He drilled a low cross across the face of goal and Alex Byrne had the simplest task to tap in at the back post.

North End tried to take a lead into the break, and thought they had in injury time, but Byrne’s effort from Hare’s cross was ruled out for offside.

Glossop’s hard work was undone by a poor spell for the ten minutes following the break. St Helens came out of the dressing room with more energy and passed the ball well for a period. Sanderson should have scored after confusion between Young and Lugsden allowed the ball to fall at his feet in the area, and then Sykes-Wright did get the goal when allowed to cut in from the left. He took a speculative shot from 25 yards, and the low effort was just out of Proctor’s reach, hitting the corner of the net.

Glossop tried to pile of the pressure, but often the final ball let them down. When they did create a chance, they tended to take the wrong option, substitute Nathan Neequaye and Bailey both shooting when a pass to colleagues looked a better option.

However, Byrne should have done better when chesting down a Bailey pass and advancing into the area, as should Neequaye when putting a short range header right into the midriff of the keeper. Gibson also saved from a Bailey shot and then made a brilliant reaction save from Lugsden, recovering to clear to safety with his legs whilst still on the floor.

St Helens tried to expose gaps at the back, and Gillespie hit the outside of the post with a poked shot, but it was largely GNE pressure. The St Helens rear-guard continued to stand firm though, with Adams’ shot blocked by defensive bodies in the last minute of injury time. That signalled the end of the siege, and a fine, gritty, win for the visitors. They will be pleased with their workrate and character whilst Glossop will not see too much wrong with their performance. However, they will know that they need a touch more finesse around the box against Winsford at Surrey Street on Tuesday and that they need to play for 90 minutes, not 80.

Team: Proctor, Lugsden, Russell (Marshall), Young, Adams, Allen, Byrne, Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare (Neequaye), Cliff (Blackshaw)
Subs not used: Riley, Williams

Tom Bailey gives Glossop a 1-0 lead. Photo - Steve Dyson

28th September - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 3 Congleton Town 2

The Hillmen put in something of a curate’s egg of a performance on Saturday. The opening 45 minutes were probably the best they had played all season, and they deservedly went into the break with a two goal lead, but in the second half they allowed The Bears back into the game and restore parity, only to snatch all three points as soon as the visitors drew level.

Glossop really were excellent in the first half. They passed the ball well in possession and when they didn’t have the ball they grafted hard to close down space and win it back or force an error.

Shots on goal were plentiful, Bailey shooting wide from an angle in the 3rd minute, Hare shooting over from 25 yards in the 9th and Adams heading just over in the 12th. Bailey kept trying, putting a lob wide and shooting from the edge of the box (saved), before the opening goal came on 17 minutes.

Paul Cliff had been fouled by the left by-line, and Hare’s low free kick was met by Alex Byrne at the near post. He flicked the ball with the outside of his right foot and the ball arrowed between the man on the post and the keeper.

The second goal came just before half time when Sam Hare was expected to shoot or cross when picking up a ball into the box on the right. However, Hare cut inside, bamboozling Alston, who was looking to block a shot but instead brought Hare down. It was Hare himself who bagged his first GNE goal, planting a fine penalty into the top left corner.

With all the effort put in in the first 45 bound to have sapped legs, and with Congleton undoubtedly having the chastening words of their manager ringing in their ears, the second half pattern of play was perhaps inevitable, and sure enough Congleton pressured.

Jones & Gill had both had shots just the wrong side of the post before they pulled one back on the hour mark. A deep cross to the far post fell to Jones’ feet, who controlled and dinked a cross to the far post. Proctor was stranded, and Middleton could head into an empty net from short range.

The equaliser came with 10 minutes to go, and had a similar feel to the first Town goal. It was a free kick on the left that was again planted past the far post and nodded back across goal. This time it fell to the feet of Whiteoak, who toe-poked it across Proctor into the far corner.

However, credit to North End, as their response was immediate. From a deep corner, perhaps taking a leaf out of the Bears’ book, Dave Young nodded back across goal, and through a jungle of legs, Byrne was able to latch onto it and score. Parity had lasted less than a minute.

Congleton tried to pile on the pressure, but it was the Hillmen who should have scored again, Bailey wasteful twice. Firstly he headed wide when latching onto a Proctor big kick, but more wastefully he blazed over when Byrne had got behind the full back and put in a low cross to the far post. He should have scored both. Not that it mattered in the final analysis – in their first league game in a month Glossop had got their league season back under way with a welcome three points.

Team: Proctor, Lugsden, Russell, Young, Adams, Allen (Kay), Byrne, Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare (Riley), Cliff (Blackshaw)
Subs not used: Marshall, Williams

Alex Byrne scores the opening goal against Congleton. Photo - Steve Dyson

21st September - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 1 Formby 0

The Hillmen progressed into the 1st Round Proper of the FA Vase at Surrey Street on Saturday with a last gasp winner against their fellow NWCFL team Formby, debutant Kyle Riley netting the vital goal just as second half injury time began.

It wasn’t a great game, and neither side hit the heights they are capable of. That probably says much about the experience of both defences who smothered just about everything that was thrown at them. In any case what matter is that you are in the hat for the draw on Monday morning and North End will be delighted to have a numbered ball allocated to them.

Chris Willcock handed a debut to new signing Matthew Russell, slotting in at left back for the injured Harry Bockerie, whilst Jamie Kay moved into the centre of midfield. Formby meanwhile we so short of fit players that they only had one substitute, and would have been worried in the 5th minute when Luke Holden went down for lengthy treatment.

The game started slowly, with Glossop dominating the possession without finding clear openings in Formby’s resolute defences. Both Alex Byrne and Jamie Kay had shots from distance, although it was Russell who caused the most panic when his angled drive when just over the corner of the bar. At this stage Formby were offering little, Ben Proctor not having a touch with his hands until the 20th minute.

On the 21st minute though Formby did fashion the best chance on goal so far when Holden’s 25 yard shot moved in the air and Proctor could only parry it out into the danger area, however Dave Young was the most alert and cleared.

The visitors seemed to be relying on set pieces, their tactic to be to appear to over-hit the ball only for someone to nod it back across goal into the danger area. It nearly worked too but White got underneath the ball when it looked easier to score.

In the second half possession of the ball changed constantly from team to team as resolute defences and stern midfield play stopped most forward progression for both sides. Glossop tried to freshen things up with substitutes on the hour, and for a spell it worked as Byrne volleyed wide, Dave Young forced a great save from O’Connell from a long shot and Paul Cliff headed first over the bar and then wide with a diving header.

Meanwhile, the speedy Adegbenro was offering Formby’s attacking threat and he went close with a low shot when played behind the defence and again in the 74th minute when rare errors from Lincoln Adams and Young combined to put him one-on-one with Proctor. His shot beat the keeper but not the bar and bounced down to be collected by Proctor’s grateful arms.

When Jamie Kay’s 88th minute shot from 25 yards was tipped over the bar extra time and penalties looked inevitable, but there was to be one final twist. Andy Kilheeney played the ball out left for Cliff appearing to give him a chance to shoot. However a poor first touch sent him towards the by-line and he had drawn the keeper towards him who had expected to block an effort towards goal. As it was, Cliff was able to cross the ball backwards towards Riley, whose deft flicked touch – the cross was slightly behind him – turned the ball into the empty net, much to the relief of the home fans.

Team: Proctor, Lugsden, Russell, Young, Adams, Kay, Byrne (Riley), Kilheeney, Bailey, Hare (Blackshaw), Marshall (Cliff)
Subs not used: Allen, Williams

Paul Cliff heads the ball just over the goal in the second half against Formby. Photo - Steve Dyson

17th September - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Glossop North End 5 Oldham Boro 1

Glossop North End comfortably sealed progress into the next round of the Manchester Premier Cup at Surrey Street on Tuesday, easing to victory in a thoroughly professional performance. In doing so, they will have handily dealt with any hangover from FA Cup defeat with Saturday’s home tie against Formby imminent.

The Hillmen started the game on a hiding to nothing, playing as they were a team from a division below. But unlike in previous seasons, where teams from lower down the ladder have beaten weakened North End sides, Chris Willcock showed respect to the competition and the opposition and played a full strength team. That was rewarded with a comprehensive win.

All the early play was with the home side, and in the 5th minute Sam Marshall should have opened the scoring when meeting Kelvin Lugsden’s deep cross with his head. However, from short range his nod across the goal went wide of the post. Tom Bailey too should have notched in the 9th minute but after seeing his swept shot saved he somehow shot wide when the ball landed back at his feet.

However, the Glossop pressure kept coming and in the 23rd minute the breakthrough finally game. A corner was swung in from the left and the push on Marshall could hardly have been more blatant, the winger sent sprawling. Dave Young stepped up and netted the spot kick.

Kay shot just wide and a Bailey/Hare one-two ended with Bailey just missing the target, as North End looked to add to the lead. It took until the 41st minute however for the second goal to come. Jamie Kay appeared to be shooting from about 30 yards, but his low drive fell nicely for Bailey at the edge of the area. He took a touch, turned, and half volleyed the ball past Pearson.

It took just 3 second half minutes for the game to be effectively sealed. A Byrne cross was turned behind for a corner and the flag kick was allowed to drop onto the head of Marshall – one of the smallest men on the field – and he simply had to nod home from short range.

Glossop switched off a little, and Kershaw reminded them there were two teams playing with a shot that hit the top of the bar and on 57 minutes they did pull one back. A free kick from 35 yards was drilled into the area and Kay hung out a leg to deflect it past Dean Williams for an unfortunate own goal.

North End responded, and Marshall’s volley was just over the bar whilst Kay forced a terrific save from Pearson with a volley of his own. In the 69th minute though, the 3 goal lead was restored when Bailey beat the offside trap to latch onto Byrne’s lofted pass. He took the ball into the box and rounded the keeper for the 4th.

The final goal came with 7 minutes to goal when Sam Marshall, who tormented the Oldham right back all night, again got a chance to cross. Although the ball was behind front man Jon Stephenson, Byrne was arriving from midfield, and drove it past Pearson.

On a miserable night weather-wise, North End had shown excellent determination and application and got their reward. Supporters will hope for more of the same on Saturday.

Although The Hillmen were initially drawn away from home against Formby, because the Squirrels’ temporary home at Burscough is unavailable the tie has been switched to Surrey Street. Kick off is 3pm, as always.

Team: Williams, Lugsden, Kay, Young, Adams, Ellison (Allen), Byrne, Kilheeney, Bailey (Stephenson), Hare (Hirst), Marshall
Substitutes not used: Rothwell, Proctor

Tom Bailey scores Glossop's second goal in the 5-1 win. Photo - Steve Dyson

14th September - Match Report by Jonathan Haggart

Runcorn Linnets 2 Glossop North End 1

Although ultimately a mad two minute spell at the start of the second half cost North End this tie – they allowed Linnets to score their two goals in that short time – in truth The Hillmen didn’t deserve to take anything from this game as they failed to show the form of recent weeks. As such, an opportunity to progress in the FA Cup against a side at their own level wasted.

Although only the second week in September, Chris Willcock’s side had already been to Linnets this season when they played well, took the lead, wasted chances to extend and ended up losing 2-1. Seemingly determined that that would not happen again, Willock made a number of changes to the side that suggested that a clean sheet was a priority.

Certainly throughout the opening 30 minutes Runcorn had the bulk of the pressure, without truly threatening. And early spell of free kicks and corners were seen off. There were a couple of scares, with Houghton having a curling effort tipped over by Proctor and then just failing to get his head to a shot-cum-cross. Gavin Salmon also had a chance, but mis-kicked when a ricochet fell to his feet.

Then out of nothing Kelvin Lugsden engineered the opening. Playing at right back rather than his more natural centre back, he jinked past two players into the box, only to be upended by the defence. The linesman gave the penalty as the referee paused for thought and, after a bit of debate on who should take it, Dave Young smashed the spot kick home to give North End the lead.

Glossop immediately looked much more comfortable and Linnets began to get ragged. It appeared the home side needed half time more than the visitors but no-one could have predicted how well they would react to their team talk.

It took 18 seconds for them to level the scores, and North End hadn’t touched the ball when they picked it out of their net. From the kick off Runcorn played the ball to feet down the left hand side then passed square to the edge of the area for Houghton. He turned and picked his spot sweetly, driving a low shot past Proctor into the corner.

Worse was to come two minutes later when a long throw into the box caused panic in the GNE box. Ben Proctor left his line to smother a shot but the ball looped up off his body, and Atherton had the simplest of tasks to nod the ball into an empty net.

For 20 minutes, North End played punch drunk and Runcorn created plenty trying to take advantage. Houghton hit the post with a swept shot, Lomax shot over and Proctor saved a swept shot. All the pressure came from the home team. Meanwhile Chris Willcock used all his substitutes, Lincoln Adams reacting furiously as he made way for a change of shape.

Eventually The Hillmen regained some composure, signalled by Stephenson’s snapshot just curling wide. On the half hour a Bailey shot was deflected across goal, and took a wicked deflection 6 yards out. The ball was rocketing in until Robertson made an incredible reflex save to tip the ball over the ball. Whilst goals win games, saves secure them, and Robertson’s push away was top class.

As time ticked away North End tried to assert pressure, but Linnets withstood the majority. Ellison’s goal-bound shot was deflected over and the one time Robertson was beaten, when he flapped at a cross, Sam Marshall’s shot was cleared off the line. Stephen Andrews had the best chance; a poke at goal from 6 yards from a cross, but Robertson blocked it, this time the ball hitting him rather than him saving it.

The final opportunity came in the 5th minute of injury time when a long ball was won by Stephenson and the keeper read his punch wrong, batting it high into the air and behind himself. However, he was able to recover and again punch the ball from right under his bar, clearing for a corner.

So that is where the FA Cup adventure for 2013-14 ended. But the next 7 days have two further opportunities to progress in cups. On Tuesday the Hillmen host Oldham Boro in the Manchester Premier Cup, before facing Formby in the FA Vase at Surrey Street on Saturday.

Goalmouth action as Glossop search for an equaliser in the 2nd half at Runcorn. Photo - Steve Dyson

7th September - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Glossop North End 3 Nostell MW 2 (after extra time)

The pervading sentiment around Surrey Street at 5.30 pm on Saturday was one of relief as the home side progressed in the FA Vase but only after making life very difficult for themselves.

The FA Vase is special to all followers of Glossop North End and the journey started this season with a home match against Nostell Miners Welfare of the Northern Counties East League. Nostell have had the most difficult start to their season imaginable having suffered what might be called a triple loss – all of their league matches, their manager and their captain but, as Alexander Pope said in his Essay on Man, “hope springs eternal”.

Into the GNE starting line-up for this match came two new signings in Andrew Kilheeney from Maine Road and Paul Cliff from Wigan Robin Park and there was a welcome return to Surrey Street for left back Jamie Kay as he took his place on the substitutes bench.

The first 10 minutes gave no real indication of the drama to come as the match started quietly then, from a free kick out on the right hand side, Nostell central defender Tom Jackson was unchallenged as he rose in the GNE area to nod the ball firmly past Ben Proctor in the Hillmen goal. This early set back stung the home side into action and Cliff was pushed in the opposition area by a Nostell defender to concede a penalty. Tom Bailey stepped forward but his effort was well saved by Gavin Ansley in the visitor’s goal.

GNE began to dominate the match in terms of both possession and territory but could not find the equaliser despite good efforts from, mainly, Bailey and Nathan Neequaye.

Half time came with a slender lead to Nostell and words must have been said in the GNE changing room as the side were out and ready for the second half to begin a good 5 minutes early. Whatever was said seemed to have worked as the Hillmen started the second half with great purpose. An early cross from the right by Alex Byrne was headed goalwards by Cliff but his effort was cleared off the line down by the left hand upright. Before long the breakthrough came as another cross from the right found Sam Marshall in space in the area to head in unchallenged. With parity restored the Hillmen pressed forward on both flanks. Cliff was proving to be a nuisance down the left hand side and was unlucky not to open his scoring account for GNE as three chances in the next 10 minutes fell his way. For the first of these he had the ball in the net but the effort was ruled out for handball; next another cross from Byrne found Cliff open in the area but his header bounced back off the crossbar and, finally, another header whistled just over the bar.

In the meantime, ex Surrey Streeter Jamie Kay had come on to replace Harry Bockarie at left back to a fine reception from the home supporters.

The match continued with Proctor just about a spectator from the far end but a deciding goal would not come and the match went into extra-time. By this time Nostell, down to 10 men following the dismissal late in the second half of Franck Zalo, were visibly tiring and it seemed only a matter of time before the home side could make the advantage tell. Chances did come for the home side with Cliff once again unlucky to see a great left footed shot clatter the right hand upright and Daley Rothwell seeing a fierce long range effort bounce back off the same upright.

Into the second period of extra time, with Nostell effectively reduced to 9 men with full back Jamie Ord limping badly and no further substitutes available, and the deadlock was finally broken as yet another sortie down the right by Byrne led to a cross which found Rothwell unmarked – he made no mistake to give the home side the lead. A few minutes later it was a mirror image goal from the Hillmen as Kay crossed from the left hand side to find Bailey unmarked in the middle and that was 3-1 to the home side.

3-1 to GNE and 10 minutes of extra time to play – surely nothing could go wrong from here? But there was one last period of concern as Nostell substitute Machenzie Northern was allowed both time and space in the GNE area to beat a couple of defenders and slot the ball past Proctor.

Eventually, to the great relief of the home supporters, the final whistle went and GNE progress into the next round with a tie away at Formby in two weeks time. All credit to Nostell for making it as hard as they could for the opposition but, in the end, the better team prevailed.

non semper erit aestas

GNE Team Proctor, Byrne, Bockarie (Kay), Lugsden, Young, Allen, Marshall (Rothwell), Kilheeney, Bailey, Cliff, Neequaye (Stephenson).

Substitute Daley Rothwell scores to give Glossop a 2-1 lead in extra time. Photo - Steve Dyson

31st August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Runcorn Town 0 Glossop North End 1

The FA Cup always heightens awareness and sensitivities and can often lead to nervous games as the fear of defeat overcomes the desire to go out and win the match. Equally, matches can descend into scrappy affairs and this one was no exception; with an element of ill-discipline thrown into the mix as well.

GNE came into this match with clean sheets to their credit in the previous three matches and a very settled looking side; the only change in the starting eleven being Lee Morris coming in for the absent Nathan Neequaye. Town, showing a few changes from the very strong side which was close to promotion last season, have not had the best of starts this season but would have been buoyed by a 7-2 victory over Winterton Rangers in this competition a fortnight ago.

With a strong breeze coming off the nearby River Mersey, it was the home side who forced the early pace. On just three minutes, Town full back Danny Toone stepped up to take a free kick from just outside the box and was desperately unlucky to see his fine strike hit the underside of the bar and rebound to safety. In many ways this set the tone for much of the rest of the match as numerous free kicks were given away by both sides and, when the kick was in favour of the home side, it was generally Toone who took the responsibility.

GNE supporters can see something of a pattern emerging with the way their side is playing this season. Staunch defending combined with missed opportunities could be a reasonable summary and the remainder of the first half of this match fell true to that script. The Hillmen had three decent chances and could well have gone in at half time with a healthy lead. First Tom Bailey latched onto a poor back pass; Karl Wills in the Town goal saved his effort well; the ball fell for Chris Hirst whose shot lacked the venom to beat the back-tracking Town defenders. On the half hour mark the ball came free to Hirst from a corner; his shot was blocked and the ball rebounded to Lee Blackshaw three yards out and, somehow, the ball flew high over the bar. Two minutes later it was Lee Morris, operating down the right hand side, who was found by a through ball and his shot was well saved by the left hand of Wills. All square at half-time with the visitors having had the better chances.

Fifteen minutes into the second half and GNE welcomed the return of Sam Marshall for his first appearance of the season from the substitutes bench. He was immediately pushed up front with Bailey moving out to the right. Nothing constructive was happening in the match as free kick followed free kick and it was from a free kick to Town that probably their best chance of the match came. The ball was moved forward from a short free kick routine by Andrew Potter. His cross lead to an opportunity for ex Congleton Town striker Chris Smith to give his side the lead but he failed to connect from close range and the chance went begging.

The Hillmen introduced Jon Stephenson for his first competitive action in a GNE shirt this season and the forward players re-formed with Bailey coming back into the centre and Marshall moving out to the right.

As the clock ticked down towards the 90 minutes, and thoughts turned to the likelihood of a replay at Surrey Street on Tuesday, it was Town full back Toone again with a free kick which whistled into the danger area and went just wide of the angle of post and cross bar. If the crowd thought that was that then they turned out to be mistaken as GNE had one last throw of the dice. The ball was whipped into the box by Lee Blackshaw from a corner on the right hand side. The Town defenders failed to attack the ball; the ball bounced deep inside the area and captain Dave Young was on hand to head the ball past Wills. Scenes of celebration followed but the game was not yet up. The home side were awarded yet another free kick and goalkeeper Wills rushed forward into the GNE area. The free kick came to nothing and with the Town defenders scrambling back Bailey aimed a shot at the unguarded net from inside his own half. The ball was going in but a heroic effort by Toone got him back just in time to turn the ball off the line.

The referee’s whistle sounded for the final time and GNE were through to the next round by the narrowest of margins. We’ll all be back in Runcorn in two weeks time as the Hillmen face Runcorn Linnets in the next round.

Adeste Fideles

GNE Team Proctor, Byrne, Bockarie, Lugsden, Young, Allen, Goodeve (Rothwell), Hirst C (Stephenson), Bailey, Morris (Marshall), Blackshaw

Glossop captain Dave Young scores the winning goal in the last minute. Photo - Steve Dyson

27th August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Stockport Sports 0 Glossop North End 0

For the third time in as many matches Glossop North End registered a clean sheet and if that, and the overall result, suggests that defences were dominant in this match then that would be a fair summary. The home side line-up showed a starting debut for Scott Dignan who Surrey Streeters may recall played at Surrey Street for Whaley Bridge in the Derbyshire Senior Cup match last December. Starting at left back for the Saxons was ex-Hillman Jamie Kay. GNE showed just one change from the home win over Wigan Robin Park with Jordan Goodeve returning to the starting XI in place of Daley Rothwell.

The synthetic surface at Stockport Sports Village tends to make for high tempo matches and the crowd, dominated by GNE supporters, certainly saw that as the first 10 minutes flew by in a flurry of midfield action. The only real threat on either goal came as GNE’s Chris Hirst fired in a shot which was well covered by Alex Baird who was making his debut for the Saxons in goal.

The main threat from the home side was coming from a combination of captain Ricky Anane and wide right midfielder Max Thomas down the right hand side. Always available for the outlet ball, and running forward at speed, these two made it a busy night for Harry Bockarie at left back. Numerous crosses came in from this source but the Saxons were unable to get bodies on the end of them effectively.

Towards half time the Saxons had a good spell of possession and provided the GNE defence, with captain Dave Young and Kelvin Lugsden playing well, some moments of anxiety. A shot by Matthew Dolan from the 18 yard line was well dealt with by Ben Proctor down to his left. This was followed by opportunities for the prolific James McShane and central defender Dignan before GNE finished the half well as a dipping shot from Tom Bailey looked goal bound but Baird produced a fine save. Honours even at half time.

The second half started at the same frantic pace as the first and GNE looked to gain some control. Pressure was mounting on the home defence but Dignan, ably supported by Warren Gaskin, remained calm and repulsed several forward drives. Home captain Anane was forced off with an injury on the hour mark and that deprived the Saxons of one area of attack.

Into the last 15 minutes and it was looking as though one goal would be enough to secure all three points from this match. The Hillmen redoubled their efforts and created a number of chances in this last period of the match. Tom Bailey had a number of half chances which he had largely created for himself by strong running but Baird was equal to the challenge on at least three occasions. As the watch ticked by 90 minutes it was Bailey again, getting the better of Dignan for once, who forced a save from Baird and that was that.

An entertaining affair for the neutral but a disappointing result for both sides but particularly for the Hillmen who must have thought that they had done enough in that stirring last 10 minutes to have taken the spoils.

Acta est fabula, plaudite!

GNE Team Proctor, Byrne, Bockarie, Lugsden, Young, Allen, Goodeve, Hirst C. Bailey, Neequaye, Blackshaw (Morris)

24th August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Glossop North End 5 Wigan Robin Park 0

Clean sheets are amongst the most valued commodities for football managers and coaches and the Hillmen have registered two in a week which has brought 6 league points.

A glance at the result suggests an easy win for GNE and although that was the case, all credit to the visitors who found themselves 4-0 down at half time but did not give the game up and gained respect for making a match of it in the second half. Having said that, there is always a tendency for a side with a big half time lead to take their foot off the gas in the second half and this may well have been a contributory factor in this match.

The Hillmen are showing all the signs of fielding a settled side. A strong defensive unit, still missing captain Lincoln Adams, are combining well with a midfield which is not quite so settled as some players work their way back in following injuries and there are still a couple out with injury. Up front leading scorer Tom Bailey is an ever present both in terms of his time on the pitch and his threat to the opposition.

GNE got off to the best possible start as within the first 3 minutes a ball swung in from the right by Alex Byrne was met by Dave Young who headed in to open the scoring. This set the tone for the half which was dominated by the Hillmen swarming forward at every opportunity. The Robins were restricted to a couple of chances and a penalty shout with GNE indebted to Ben Proctor for a fine save and Kelvin Lugsden who managed to block on the line.

At the other end Nathan Neequaye had a couple of chances early on but it was third time lucky for him on 24 minutes as a flowing move down the left hand side saw interplay between Hirst and Bailey before the ball reached Neequaye who finished well. It was Neequaye who turned provider on the half hour as he controlled a poor clearance by Daniel Lever in the Robins goal and unselfishly passed to Bailey in the centre who had a straightforward finish from 6 yards out. Neequaye was enjoying his afternoon and had yet another contribution to make before half time. Another flowing move down the left, with Daley Rothwell prominent, led to a fine cross and Neequaye was well positioned near the penalty spot to give Lever no chance.

4-0 to the home side at half time and it could have been more.

The visitors battled hard in the second half but the chances continued to fall the way of the home side. Good movement by GNE and some confusion in defence by Wigan Robin Park led to chances for Chris Hirst, Bailey and Lee Blackshaw before it was Blackshaw in the 77th minute who latched on to a through ball from midfield. His well placed effort was too good for Lever and that was 5 for the Hillmen. The chances continued to come to GNE but that was the end of the scoring and a fine win for the home side which sent the supporters home happy but still wondering about the number of missed chances. For Wigan Robin Park they can credit themselves in playing the game in the right way but must be fervently hoping for a change of fortune soon.

ipsa scientia potestas est

GNE Team Proctor, Byrne, Bockarie, Lugsden, Young, Allen, Rothwell (Turner), Hirst (Bromilow), Bailey, Neequaye (Morris), Blackshaw

Nathan Neequaye sets up Tom Bailey for Glossop's 3rd goal. Photo - Steve Dyson

20th August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Glossop North End 1 West Didsbury & Chorlton 0

NWCFL Premier Division newcomers West Didsbury and Chorlton came to Surrey Street on Tuesday for their first ever visit having so far failed to register a League point this season but bolstered by a win in the FA Cup against Abbey Hey on Saturday. West were shorn of a number of first team regulars due to injuries and work commitments whereas the Hillmen were fielding a largely unchanged side.

The match started as many other GNE matches this season with the Hillmen forcing the pace from the start. Chris Hirst and Lee Blackshaw were both prominent early on with imaginative breaks from midfield forcing good defensive work from West’s back four. GNE had the ball in the net after only three minutes as a cross, following good work on the right by Blackshaw, found Nathan Neequaye in the area. His header was too much for the young West goalkeeper Ross Booth but the effort was chalked off as the assistant referee raised his flag for a disputed offside. Tom Bailey has scored most of the goals for GNE this season and he was close to adding to his tally after 8 minutes. Hirst forced his way into the West area, the ball fell for Bailey but his effort was cleared off the line.

Bailey did not have to wait too long before getting on the scoresheet. On 30 minutes a backpass to Booth put him under pressure, he fluffed his rushed clearance and Bailey was on hand to open the scoring with a shot from close range.

Half time came with West having had very few, even half, chances but the home side were only ahead by that single goal having failed to take advantage of a dominant display.

West started the second half with their best spell of the match but the game was lacking any continuity as numerous fouls were committed so breaking up any pattern of constructive play. The Hillmen were still creating chances and a couple were engineered for Bailey and Blackshaw but they both failed to convert. The match degenerated further into a physical battle with the home side keeping their discipline as West picked up a number of cautions ending with the sending off of defender Alex Baird. It was a nervous last few minutes for the home supporters as West tried to rescue something from the match but, in truth, Ben Proctor in the GNE goal was little troubled all night and the last chance of the game came when substitute Daley Rothwell forced his way into the box and won a corner. Nothing came of a short corner on the left hand side and that was that.

A disappointing match in terms of a spectacle but the Hillmen will savour the three points and look forward to the next match at home to Wigan Robin Park on Saturday.

constantia et virtute

GNE Team Proctor, Byrne, Bockarie, Lugsden, Young, Goodeve, Ellison (Allen), Hirst (Rothwell), Bailey, Neequaye, Blackshaw (James)

Lee Blackshaw attempts to get past a West Didsbury defender. Photo - Steve Dyson

17th August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Armthorpe Welfare 1 Glossop North End 4

The FA Cup starts early in the season for clubs on the lower slopes of the football pyramid and, just two weeks into the new season, Glossop North End found themselves facing the relatively unknown in the shape of Northern Counties East Premier Division side Armthorpe Welfare. This was the first encounter between the two clubs and is a function of Glossop being part of Derbyshire and tending to attract sides from the NCEL in the early rounds of both the FA Cup and the FA Vase. This is much to the delight of the GNE travelling support who like nothing better than to venture into pastures new.

The visitors started well and had a number of chances to open the scoring in the first 20 minutes. As early as the 3rd minute a ball played in from the right was met by Tom Bailey and his shot flashed inches over the bar with Richard Watson in the Armthorpe goal in no position to save the effort. Further pressure from GNE led to efforts by Dave Young, with a header from a right wing corner, and Chris Hirst, making his starting debut for the Hillmen, with a shot from inside the box, narrowly failing to give the visitors a deserved lead. The pressure on the Armthorpe goal paid off in the 23rd minute as Nathan Neequaye was played in by a fine ball from Chris Hirst. His shot was placed wide of Watson and just inside the far post to open the scoring. GNE had opportunities to increase their lead as the half continued but to no avail and the home side gradually worked their way back into the match. They had a good 10 minutes but it was the Hillmen who wrested back the initiative as further chances came in the last five minutes with both Hirst and Lee Morris coming close.

Half time came with GNE one goal to the good but having missed chances to make the game more secure.

Armthorpe started the second half brightly but without serious threat to Ben Proctor in the GNE goal until the 56th minute when winger Callum Smith cut into the penalty area and the tackle by Alex Byrne was adjudged to be a foul. Jonathan Mirfin stepped up to take the spot kick and converted well, giving Proctor no chance, to level the scores. The home side were having another good spell and GNE needed to respond quickly and they did. Five minutes later Lee Morris jinked his way past several defenders just outside the penalty box and beat Watson with a fine shot just inside his near post.

The usual flurry of substitutes seemed to affect the flow of the GNE play through midfield and there were enough anxious moments for the travelling supporters as the match entered its final phase. Tom Bailey had a one-on-one with Watson who saved well and the match was looking for all the world like a narrow victory for GNE as the 90 minute mark passed. However, there was just time for the visitors to make the scoreline comfortable as good work down the left by Nathan Neequaye saw a precise pass inside which was helped on by substitute Ryan Gorst to Bailey who did not miss the target this time. Bailey then returned the favour straight from the re-start as his cross from the right was met with a fine header by Neequaye to make the scoreline 4-1 to GNE at the end of the match.

Perhaps a flattering scoreline to the visitors in the end but GNE had certainly played the better football for much of the match and created the better chances thus thoroughly deserving of their victory and on to Runcorn Town in the next round in a fortnight’s time.

faber est quisque fortunae suae

GNE Team Proctor, Byrne, Bockarie, Lugsden, Young, Goodeve, Ellison (Gorst), Hirst (Rothwell), Bailey, Morris (Allen), Neequaye

Nathan Neequaye heads Glossop 4th goal at Armthorpe. Photo - Steve Dyson

13th August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Glossop North End 0 Maine Road 1

The Surrey Street regulars can’t really work out what is happening to their team this season. With a complete change in the management and more new players than old, the results are looking to be depressingly similar to last season. A win away at Winsford United is the only positive in the results column with the other League matches so far this season all having been lost by the odd goal. However, the standard of football is high, the work through midfield has been generally slick and precise, the defence looks solid and well organised, the work ethic is good, the spirits are buoyant but, despite the efforts of the returning Tom Bailey, goals are sadly lacking. In summary, the supporters have been treated to some very good quality matches against tough opposition so far this season but face an anxious time waiting and hoping for a change of fortune to convert good performances into positive results.

Maine Road made their annual visit to Surrey Street on Tuesday on something of a high. Despite losing 6 first team regulars during the summer, not least Tom Bailey and Sam Hare to GNE, they topped the fledgling NWCFL Premier Division table with nine points from a possible nine.

The match started in something of a frantic fashion with the visitors looking to get forward quickly at every opportunity. After ten minutes of non-stop action the match began to settle with the home side playing some positive controlled football but, with ex-Hillman Richard Gresty and the ever reliable Josh Gittings both playing well in the heart of the Maine Road defence, GNE were restricted to half chances. The visitors also had a couple of chances and Ben Proctor in the GNE goal needed to be alert to save from Saul Henderson as the ball came into the area from the left.

Honours even on the scoreboard at half time with the home side having had the better of the half but not finding that crucial route to goal.

Chris Hirst came on at the beginning of the second half as a substitute for the lively Lee Morris and the half started much as the first had with the match being played at a high tempo. Again the pace settled and the home side again looked to control proceedings through midfield but chances were still few and far between as the Road defence remained resolute despite Gresty picking up a knock half way through the half. Road midfielder Andy Kilheeney started to influence the match in a very positive way. Covering every blade of grass he prodded and probed and was the catalyst for the best spell of the match by the visitors.

As the half wore on it became a very even contest with the visitors creating perhaps the better of the chances. Substitute Rick Williams could have considered himself unfortunate as his piledriver of a shot from distance was cleared off the line by Alex Byrne covering back. Into the last five minutes and both sides were still striving for that, so far, elusive goal. Henderson went close for the visitors on 90 minutes but a draw was looking almost certain. The action continued and it was Maine Road who eventually broke the deadlock deep into injury time as the ball fell for Martin Hill 15 yards out and his powerful volley gave Proctor no chance.

There was no time left for GNE to respond and the general feeling among supporters of both sides leaving the ground was that a draw would have been a fair result and that they had been treated to a match of high standard. Good entertainment for the neutral but little consolation for the Hillmen.

crede quod habes, et habes

GNE Team Proctor, Byrne, Bockarie, Lugsden, Young, Allen (Ellison), Rothwell (Neequaye), Goodeve, Bailey, Morris (Hirst C.), Blackshaw.

Lee Morris runs at the Maine Road defence in the first half. Photo - Stuart Dyson

10th August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Runcorn Linnets 2 Glossop North End 1

This early season encounter between two of the teams described by many as contenders for the NWCFL this season went the way of the home team but it was a close run thing. Linnets came into the match on the back of two good wins and for GNE it was an opportunity to consolidate on a good midweek performance away at Winsford United.

The Hillmen almost took the lead within the first minute as Harry Bockarie took the ball forward and crossed well. The ball was controlled by Tom Bailey to Jordan Goodeve but his goal-bound shot was well saved by Andy Robertson in the Linnets goal. The match settled and the home side started to create some chances. In the 9th minute a long range shot by Linnets playmaker Matt Cross flew just wide of Ben Proctor’s left hand upright. 2 minutes later it was the home side looking dangerous again as a corner from the left swung in by Cross created a scramble in the GNE area with the home players and supporters claiming that the ball had crossed the line. The officials were unmoved and the match continued.

With GNE sitting back and conceding possession to the Linnets in their own half, it was likely to be from breakaways that any success for the Hillmen would come and that was the case on 17 minutes. Bailey picked up the ball wide on the right and forced the ball into the net from the narrowest of angles with Robertson anticipating a cross. Three goals in three matches for the GNE striker and 1-0 to the visitors in this match. One or two further half chances came to both sides but it was the visitors who went into half time in the happier frame of mind.

As in the first half in was the Hillmen who were quickest off the blocks as the second half got underway. The returning Kelvin Lugsden played the ball forward for Bailey. The ball went via Lee Morris and Jordan Goodeve to Lee Blackshaw who will have been disappointed by his effort on goal. On 56 minutes GNE had a golden opportunity to double their lead as a poor back pass was latched onto by Bailey. His attempt to round the goalkeeper was foiled by a good effort from Robertson. The ball fell for Morris but his effort from a tight angle was just wide.

Linnets then started to control the game a little better in midfield and showed some good touches as pressure began to mount on the GNE back line. The home side were much more alert in the 63rd minute as the ball drifted out for a throw in down the left hand side. Martin Crowder found Chris Lomax with the GNE defence caught napping and Lomax’s excellent shot looped over Proctor and nestled in the far corner of the net to equalise the score.

GNE went looking for the goal which would restore their lead but were thwarted by the efforts of the big Linnets central defenders. The significant incident of the match came with only four minutes to play as the ball broke out from the Hillmen defence and was returned with interest by Lomax as his fine shot from outside the area found the bottom left hand corner. The visitors threw on GavinLee Ellison and Chris Hirst for their debuts in an effort to get back into the match. The last throw of the dice came deep in injury time as Proctor joined the rest of the GNE side in the Linnets area for a free kick from the right. Robertson collected the free kick under considerable pressure and that was that. A home victory made it three out of three this season for the Linnets. For GNE there were a lot of positives to take from this match into the midweek encounter at home to unbeaten Maine Road at Surrey Street on Tuesday.

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GNE: Proctor, Byrne, Bockarie, Lugsden, Adams, Allen, Rothwell (Ellison), Goodeve (Hirst), Bailey, Morris (Neequaye), Blackshaw.

Tom Bailey of Glossop puts the Runcorn defence under pressure in the first half. Photo - Stuart Dyson

6th August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Winsford United 0 Glossop North End 3

Somewhat contrasting fortunes had favoured these sides in the first matches of the new season last Saturday. Winsford had recorded a fine 3-1 away win at Wigan Robin Park whereas the Hillmen were the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline at home to Ashton Athletic. Expectations amongst a healthy mid-week crowd were high as the home side looked to consolidate that first win and the visitors in need of a change of fortune.

The match started at high tempo with the youthful Winsford side closing down any space rapidly. The Hillmen began to exert some control in midfield but it was not until the 14th minute that the first significant action came. Poor defending from a corner, swung in from the left by Jordan Goodeve, allowed Dave Young the simplest of finishes at the far post to open the scoring.

GNE then looked to press home their advantage and the remainder of the first half was a story of missed chances by the visitors and, at times, heroic goalkeeping by Andrew Jones in the home net. 1-0 to the Hillmen at half-time with everyone around the ground thinking that a 5-0 margin would have been an accurate reflection of the play.

The Hillmen started the second half with a changed formation but no change in personnel. At times it looked to be something like a 3-6-1 formation with Tom Bailey leading the attack and Lincoln Adams, Dave Young and Harry Bockarie making up the back three. Initially it was one way traffic again with the visitors making all of the play but the Blues of Winsford started to come back into the match and were having a decent spell until the only real bit of controversy in the match. On 72 minutes a shot from Bailey, after good work on the left by Lee Blackshaw, beat Jones and the celebrations started only to be curtailed by a flag from the assistant referee. The referee and his assistant consulted and the goal stood, much to the disappointment of the home side. It was later explained that the assistant flagged because he was unsure if Lee Morris, who was in an offside position, had touched the ball or not. The referee confirmed that he had not so the goal stood – good officiating.

The game continued to be played mainly in the home half and the result was assured courtesy of the best goal of the match in the 84th minute. A precise through ball from Daley Rothwell found Morris one-on-one with Jones. Morris calmly rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home from a narrow angle.

The match then faded away to a conclusion and a most satisfactory conclusion for the visitors. Winsford have much work to do to mould a new, young, side that have had little preparation time, into a well functioning unit. For GNE , there are some stern challenges ahead but this victory will have given them a lot of confidence.

Qui audet adipiscitur.

GNE Team: Proctor, Byrne, Bockarie, Young, Adams, Allen, Rothwell (Turner), Goodeve, Bailey (James), Neequaye (Morris), Blackshaw

3rd August - Match Report by Stewart Taylor

Glossop North End 1 Ashton Athletic 2

There is an old saying in football that it is “goals that count” and that was, as ever, the story at Surrey Street on Saturday but by no means the whole story.

With a new management team, many new players and a successful pre-season, hopes were high at GNE as the new North West Counties League started with the visit of the “Yellows” from Ashton Athletic. The visitors were also much changed from last season with a new manager in Jay Foulds who had brought many of his young side from Wigan Robin Park to play in the Yellow of Ashton Athletic.

A good crowd saw the match kick off in bright sunlight with a strong westerly breeze moderating the temperature. The home side were in the ascendancy with good passing and movement through midfield but no real clear cut chances on goal. It was against the run of play as Athletic midfielder Joe Hull was fouled in the box by a combination of GNE defenders. Captain Steve Latham made no mistake from the penalty spot to give the visitors the lead.

Into the second half and the game started to open up just a little as the Hillmen pressed forward looking to find the finishing touch to some constructive midfield play. On 58 minutes Tom Bailey, on his return to Surrey Street after a couple of seasons away, was put in on goal by a clever free kick but his effort was well saved by Foulds in the Yellows goal. Two minutes later it was Bailey again who got on the end of a fine cross from the left and converted confidently to equalise the scores.

At this point there looked to be only one winner as the home side continued to force the game in their opponents half in search of further goals. Captain Lincoln Adams went close with a header which came back off the bar but it was the visitors who scored next to regain the lead. A poor clearance from defence fell for James Lawrence-Forbes who had time and space to knock the ball into the unguarded GNE net.

GNE introduced Lee Morris and Nathan James from the subs bench and set to the task of getting back on level terms again but the Yellows defence, lead by the impressive Luke Holden, were determined not to be outdone. Daley Rothwell went closest for the Hillmen in the last few minutes as his stinging shot was well dealt with by Foulds down to his right.

Overall, a good performance from a young visiting team but the better football was played by the Hillmen. The home supporters would have been disappointed with the result but a penalty and a defensive howler made the difference on the score sheet. Nil desperandum!

GNE Team: Proctor, Byrne, Bockarie, Young, Adams, Allen, Rothwell (James), Goodeve (Morris), Bailey, Neequaye (Moore), Blackshaw.

Lincoln Adams of Glossop heads towards the Ashton goal, but is denied by the cross bar. Photo - Stuart Dyson

27th July

Cefn Druids 2 Glossop North End 4

Tom Bailey get behind the Druids defence to score his 2nd goal and give Glossop a 3-2 lead. Photo - Steve Dyson


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Information & Contacts

Ground Address : Glossop North End AFC Ltd, Surrey Street, Glossop. SK13 7AJ. Telephone 01457 855469
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