Glossop North End 1, Curzon Ashton 5
AS THE new season approaches, manager Paul Colgan and his Glossop North End team had a chance to prove themselves against Curzon Ashton in their first competitive pre-season friendly.
However, the Hillmen got off to a bad start after conceding a goal in the fourth minute. Goalkeeper Matthew Ince’s clearance was blocked by a Curzon forward and a simple tap-in followed.
North End were not disheartened, however, and immediately went on the offensive. An Adam Oakes free-kick was deflected back off the post by the Curzon goalkeeper and Sam Hind was on hand to level the score with a simple finish.
Glossop played their best football after finding the equaliser and went close to taking the lead when Alex Elliot was played in by Oakes. Elliot lacked the composure needed and his effort found the side netting.
Curzon, two divisions above Glossop, soon asserted their dominance on the game. Another mistake from keeper Ince, who gave away a free-kick for handling the ball outside the area, led to the second goal for Curzon as the resulting free-kick was lashed in at the near post.
Things went from bad to worse for Ince as a corner was whipped in and he spilt the ball into his own net to give the visitors a two-goal advantage going into the interval.
There was a change of keeper for the Hillmen in the second half which saw the introduction of Joe Boyle, but even he couldn’t prevent Curzon increasing their lead courtesy of Lee Blackshaw, weaving his way through the Glossop defence.
What followed was a training session for the Curzon team who dominated possession and were the only team threatening to score.
Curzon did increase their lead minutes later when Blackshaw set up Matthew Kay, who rifled the ball in off the underside of the bar.
There were positives for Glossop, however, as Boyle prevented the score from becoming embarrassing for the Hillmen. He produced a superb double save, firstly from Sam Walker’s powerful free-kick and then from Chris McDonagh’s effort from the rebound.
Paul Colgan and his North End team will certainly be looking to improve for tonight’s (Tuesday) High Peak Cup semi-final tie against New Mills. Kick-off at Surrey Street is 7.45pm.