North West Counties League Premier Division: Ashton Athletic 0, Glossop North End 4
GLOSSOP North End took another step towards promotion after beating Ashton Athletic 4-0 at a windy Brocstedes Park on Saturday.
Sam Hind blew away the opposition with his match-winning , first-half hat-trick to help the Hillmen secure all three points.
The game started well for North End, with the visitors controlling the early play.
Daley Rothwell could have opened the scoring for Glossop in the opening stages but failed to keep his composure when through on goal and sliced his shot well wide.
The deadlock was broken after 17 minutes when Hind beat the offside trap and finished well, sliding the ball into the bottom corner of Matthew Calvert’s goal.
Hind doubled his tally on the half-hour mark when the striker beat the offside trap once again and smashed the ball past a bemused Calvert.
The away side’s lead was further extended seven minutes later when an innocuous free-kick from Steve Heaton was floated in from the touchline. The cross, caught in the strong wind, deceived keeper Calvert and dropped into the empty goal.
Ashton’s misery was compounded on the stroke of half-time when the Hillmen grabbed their fourth goal of the game. An Adam Oakes corner was met at the near-post by the ever-present Hind who flicked it into the Ashton goal, completing his hat-trick.
The goal effectively finished the game, with the home side looking ineffective in attack and rarely threatening Ben Proctor in the Glossop goal.
Ashton had the wind in their favour after the interval but failed to use it to their advantage. Chances were rare for Athletic but Proctor was alert to the danger when it arose, saving well from Lenny Reid after he broke clear of the defence.
Proctor was only a spectator, however, when Andy Morgan’s effort crashed back off the bar from 25 yards, denying Ashton a conciliation goal.
The Hillmen next face potentially a season-defining game when they face AFC Blackpool in a table-topping clash at Surrey Street on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).