REPORT Glossop beat Leek in seven-goal FA Trophy thriller
Saturday 11th November 2017 18:02 Reports Sports Posted by Adam Higgins

Report by Adam Higgins
Pictures by Steve Dyson

Glossop North End eventually got the better of Leek Town in a seven-goal thriller to reach the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy.

It was an extraordinary first half, featuring four goals, which started on a sour note for the Hillmen after losing captain Adam Jones to injury in just the eighth minute and going a goal behind three minutes later as Tim Grice slotted the visitors in front.

But Glossop responded instantly as Zeph Thomas netted his first goal for the club a minute later to level before the forward turned it around by scoring again on 32 minutes to put the hosts ahead as the Leek defence was sliced open.

On target: Former Frickley Athletic forward Zeph Thomas, who arrived at Surrey Street last month, scored his first goals for Glossop with two well-taken finishes

The lead, however, lasted just three minutes as Neil Baker’s side, who made the short journey from Staffordshire, went into the break on level terms after Dan Trickett-Smith pounced on a Grice through-ball to fire home.

The entertainment continued in a lively second half which produced chances at both ends as Glossop hit the crossbar before Trickett-Smith had a free-kick beaten away by Hillmen keeper and joint-manager Paul Phillips.

The hosts seized control and established a two-goal lead in the closing stages as Ben Deegan slotted in from close range on 75 minutes after a looping cross caused problems for goalkeeper Ben Chapman, who Leek thought was fouled, before Courtney Meppen-Walter headed home six minutes later at the back post from a deep cross.

On your head: Meppen-Walter rose highest in the box to score his seventh goal of the season

To their credit, Leek rallied and the impressive Grice made it a nervy ending when he netted his second of the afternoon from the penalty spot with five minutes of normal time remaining after substitute Jordan Johnson was fouled in the box.

But Glossop, who were on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller against Prescot Cables after a dramatic late turnaround last weekend, survived the final exchanges and held on for a slender victory which takes them into the third qualifying round on November 25. It means their league game against South Shields scheduled for that day has been postponed.

Silence: Both sets of players and the officials gathered around the centre circle before the game to hold a period of reflection to remember the nation’s war dead on Armistice Day

It was a poignant occasion at Surrey Street on Saturday afternoon as both sets of fans held a minute’s silence before kick-off on Armistice Day in tribute to the nation’s war dead, while Glossop supporters were also remembering one of their own following the death of keen North End fan Mark Stewart.

The Hillmen complete a sequence of five successive home games in all competitions against Tadcaster Albion next Saturday as they continue their pursuit of promotion from the Evo-Stik First Division North.

TEAMS:

Glossop North End: Paul Phillips, Mark Haslam, Matty Russell, Courtney Meppen-Walter, Adam Jones (c) (Lewis Lacy 8′), Chris Baguley, Jude Oyibo, Gary Gee, Ben Deegan (Dale Johnson 83′), Callum Chippendale, Zeph Thomas (Liam Wood 87′).

Substitutes not used: Lee Rick, Matthew Russell.

Booked: Deegan, Lacy

Goals: Thomas (12′, 32′), Deegan (74′), Meppen-Walter (80′)

Leek Town: Ben Chapman, Niall Green, Joe Kearns (Jordan Johnson 81′), Marc Grocott, Scott Lycett, Darren Chadwock (c), Niall Maguire, Sam Grimshaw, Tim Grice, Dan Trickett-Smith, Rob Stevenson.

Substitutes not used: Owen Wyatt (GK), Dan Sheley, Alfred Hammond.

Goals: Grice (11′, 85′ pen), Trickett-Smith (35′)

Referee: Lewis Smith (Lancashire)
Attendance: 469

WATCH: See all seven goals and more of the game’s best bits, courtesy of GNE TV