Barnoldswick Town 1 - 3 GNE
Brace for Bishop, Man of the match for Mason
After a narrow victory just over the hill at New Mills a week ago, Glossop travelled further afield for their third pre season friendly of the summer. The Silentnight stadium played host to an evening fixture which ended up with another Hillmen victory, all in front of a decent sized crowd which was unofficially recorded as around the 120 mark.
With Matt Russell injured, GNE set up in what looked like a 4-4-2 from the off, with Andy Bishop and Daz Mason playing alongside each other up top. Young Liam Turner looked to provide from wide right with Alex Elliott operating on the left flank looking to do much the same. Indeed it was Turner who jinked, found space and delivered resulting in an early Glossop corner that ultimately came to nothing, other than to confirm that Glossop had started the brightest.
Daz Mason thought he'd scored soon after this, as he raced through and finished well but the linesman ruled the goal out for offside. This was clearly the wrong decision and it was the start of an interesting battle between Mason and the linesman, with a little bit of banter from some home fans thrown in for good measure. More on that later...
On the 12 minute mark, and massively against the run of play, Barnoldswick went in front and Glossop went behind for the third straight match. This is a habit they will want to get out of before the season starts in 2 weeks or so.
With half an hour played, Barnoldswick had got a foothold in the game following their opener and Glossop had more reason for frustration. Most of that frustration seemed to be etched across striker Daz Mason's face as he saw yet another dubious offside call rule out what should have been his second goal. As it happened, Glossop still hadn't notched and the home fans were delighting in Mason's continued frustration as he was stopped in his tracks by another flag.
In football it's about how you respond to the knocks and the bad decisions though. It would've been easy for Mason to let his head drop but he did the exact opposite.
On the 35 minute mark Mason constructed Glossop's equaliser as he charged into the box powerfully and skilfully, leaving the full back for dead, before cutting the ball square across the goalmouth from the by line giving Andy Bishop an unmissable header. 1-1 and Mason's folded arm celebration in front of his earlier critics was the perfect answer with the perfect assist.
He wasted no time in completing the turnaround. Just 2 minutes later, Mason won a header and followed his own knock down into the box. By now the full back had twisted blood and a replica cut back was this time bundled home by Liam Turner. Mason's celebration of the assist was again right in front of his earlier detractors. They were much quieter now. An outstanding contribution from Glossop's number 9, turning the game on it's head in the blink of an eye.
The first half ended with a one on one save at both ends and GNE would feel justice had been done to some extent, given they had scored two goals on top of two that were probably wrongfully disallowed.
Into the second half and the game entered a sluggish period with both teams making lazy fouls and finding it hard to get out of second gear. Barnoldswick created a few half chances but Glossop defended everything with composure and a commanding sense of superiority. Neither panic or pedestrianism on display anywhere in the Glossop ranks, which is a good sign ahead of the real thing.
On the hour mark Alex Elliott struck a stinging shot which was tipped wide. Sometimes all it takes is a sighter for a game to spring into life...
62 minutes in, the tall Barnoldswick number 9 played a clever 1-2 on the edge of the GNE box before firing his shot just wide. This missed chance would prove costly as less than 60 seconds later Glossop would increase the deficit to 2.
A high speculative ball was sent in towards Andy Bishop, and with the experienced front man causing real confusion between goalkeeper and defender, he was able to capitalise from the sloppiness and nod home his second and Glossop's third.
Liam Turner was substituted due to a knock sustained as he scored his earlier goal and then a string of changes followed, including a run out for a young goalkeeper.
The last 5 or 10 minutes saw Barnoldswick create half chances and fire off speculative pot shots, whilst Glossop conceded one or two needless fouls and corners which added a little pressure late on.
The best moment of the match came with just seconds remaining. With the floodlights glaring, Mason called for the long kick from the substitute keeper, who duly found him with javelin style trajectory. Mason's touch on the halfway line was perfect and he showed that he had plenty left in the tank as he knocked the ball round one side of the last man and raced around the other. He backed himself to score with a sublime long range chip that only narrowly missed the mark, falling an inch or two over the bar. The finest of margins but a brilliant effort nevertheless.
Three wins from three in pre season. Tougher tests to come but Mark Canning and Andy Bishop should be reasonably pleased with how things are shaping up.