Hillmen kick off their preseason
With weather that is becoming typical of this football filled Summer, The Hillmen kicked off their preseason in earnest today, away at CMB of Bolton beneath blue skies and a scorching sun.
Despite the blue sky thinking though, the game couldn't have started any worse as Glossop conceded within 30 seconds of kick off. A long ball in behind the Glossop full back was never cleared properly and a smart cross was flicked goalwards from a CMB head.
This early setback definitely caused a bit of anxiousness amongst the Glossop players and the following five or ten minutes were certainly a lot less composed than they would've been hoping. Shirts were pulled and shouts were heard as both teams tried to stake a claim for dominance in the air. Eventually Glossop would dominate everything, but not just yet.
Two headers were missed by GNE, before they skied a sitter from 12 yards out. Chances were being made though and Glossop had manoeuvred their way out of a sketchy first few minutes, which they can forgive themselves for considering this was the first game that they have played together as a unit, with trialists and under 23s making up the match day squad alongside some more familiar faces.
It was one of these trialists that would bag the equaliser. A jinking turn and smart shot snook past an unsighted keeper around the 20 minute mark. GNE would kick on from here.
Just after the half hour mark and a drinks break, the same trialist added a second, putting Glossop in front. This time the shot was struck into the top left corner following a delightful little one two on the edge of the area.
With absolutely no threat coming from CMB, Glossop established control all over the pitch and cemented their dominance in the air with a headed goal from a corner just before half time.
Into the second half, Glossop continued to dominate despite making a raft of changes both in terms of player positions and personnel. Even with this dominance though, they couldn't find a fourth goal and soon conceded against the run of play following some sloppy defending that was surely the combination of a lack of concentration and the hot conditions.
Heads didn't drop though and captain Matt Russell rallied the blues to keep their composure and play through midfield.
They did just that and with the Under 23s looking good, as well as Alex Elliott pulling the strings in a number 10 role, it wouldn't be long before the two goal cushion was restored.
Providing an end product to his good work in the middle of the park, Alex Elliott dinked a ball over the top of the CMB backline for the diminutive but excellent Liam Turner to latch on to. The young wide man nipped in to finish with composure and a deft couple of touches.
The score was increased to 5-2 with the goal of the day as former Accrington Stanley player Adam Cooper spun cleverly on the edge of the area before blasting his effort into the postage stamp with power and accuracy in equal measure.
Glossop were now in complete control of the game and Andy Bishop almost bagged a goal for himself from another well worked corner. Glossop had been queuing on the edge for set pieces, much like England have in the World Cup, but an abandonment of this tactic gave them their best chance to score a second goal direct from a corner. Bishop rose well and headed towards goal, only for a combination of goalkeeper and defender to deny him. Lively to the rebound and with a poachers' instincts though, Glossop's number 9 Daz Mason managed to steer the ball over the line for 6-2.
3 goals either side of half time, lots of positives and a few things to work on for next time made this a great way to kick off pre season for GNE. Man of the match for me was captain Matt Russell, who controlled most of the game and encouraged the younger players with real leadership quality and authority. Good effort form the Hillmen in the tropical heat of Costa Del Bolton.
Culain Wood - Matchday reporter
Steve Dyson - Club Photographer