Hillmen overcome tough test to climb up to fourth

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North West Counties League Premier Division: Glossop North End 2, AFC Blackpool 0

THE HILLMEN built on their 4-0 hammering of Ashton Athletic in their last league game by beating fellow title contenders AFC Blackpool 2-0 at Surrey Street on Saturday.

Goals from Daley Rothwell and Jay Gorton, coupled with impressive performances from Jamie Dickinson and Kelvin Lugsden, propelled North End to fourth place in the North West Counties Premier Division.

Glossop started well, and Sam Hind could have opened the scoring early after rounding Craig Unsworth in the Blackpool goal, but the striker was only able to run the ball out of play.

The Hillmen did open the scoring on 19 minutes when a Steve Heaton corner wasn’t fully cleared by Unsworth and Rothwell was on hand inside the area to half-volley into the net off the underside of the bar.

As half-time approached, Blackpool’s Niall Cummins had a brilliant chance to bring his side level.

A cross was flicked towards the back post where Cummins found himself unmarked, but he sliced his effort wide of Ben Proctor’s goal.

The game became a heated affair after the interval with players being late in their tackles and both teams picking up numerous yellow cards.

The referee was keeping a tight control of the players until Glossop were denied what looked like a certain penalty.

A Heaton cross was nodded back across the goal and Lugsden was destined for a simple tap-in at the back post but was bundled over by Louis Lambeth.

Vigorous protests followed from the majority of the North End players which saw Lugsden go into the referee’s book.

The Hillmen’s lead was nearly doubled minutes later when a dangerous corner from Heaton was met by Hind at the near post but the in-form striker could only direct his header onto the crossbar.

The match was eventually put beyond doubt in the 81st minute when captain Gorton doubled the home side’s advantage.

Another cross from Heaton was expertly controlled by Adam Oakes in the box, who opted not to shoot, and set up Gorton on the edge of the area.

Gorton then took a touch and side-footed the ball with his left foot into the top corner of Unsworth’s goal.

Gorton’s goal capped an important win for Glossop over a team that was undefeated in six games prior to their visit to Surrey Street.

The Hillmen now face another tough test when they face third-placed Barnoldswick Town at the Silentnight Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).