PREVIEW Colwyn Bay v Glossop North End
Thursday 7th December 2017 06:00 Glossop Chronicle Previews Sports Posted by Adam Higgins

Glossop North End make the long 170-mile round trip to Wales to take on Colwyn Bay and a couple of familiar faces in the Evo-Stik First Division North on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 15:00 GMT). 

The Hillmen will be hoping to put two cup exits in their last two games behind them as they return to league matters this weekend against the Seagulls at the Four Crosses Construction Arena.

Glossop were knocked out of the FA Trophy after a 5-1 defeat at Workington last week and lost 4-2 on penalties to Ilkeston Town in the Derbyshire Senior Cup third round at Surrey Street on Tuesday night – albeit playing both games with depleted squads, with just two substitutes named on the bench against Ilkeston.

Joint-managers Paul Phillips and Steve Halford, who have featured in both of the aforementioned games, will hope to have their full squad available this weekend as North End – who currently sit eighth in the eighth tier – look to close the five-point gap on fifth-placed Hyde United and return to the play-off places.

Glossop have been hit by a poor run of form which has seen them win only three of their last 12 games in all competitions, pick up a solitary victory in the last six league matches and fall 11 points adrift of leaders South Shields.

But the Hillmen’s promotion bid may well be aided by the fact they are now out of all cup competitions and have only the league to focus on.

Incidentally, this weekend’s trip will be their first away league game since October 21 when the Hillmen fell 2-0 down early on and ended up losing 3-2 against 10-man Trafford at Shawe View.

Impact: Striker Dale Johnson came off the bench to net a late winner when Glossop last visited Colwyn Bay back in February (Picture by Steve Dyson)

They will be up against a mid-table Colwyn Bay side who are experiencing an upturn in form after an indifferent spell of their own.

After a seven-game winless run which included four successive defeats, the North Wales outfit have won their last two league games without conceding – thrashing Mossley 5-0 at home and easing past Skelmersdale United 2-0 on the road.

A third successive victory would see The Bay – who finished 15th last season – move level on 27 points with Glossop and climb into the top half of the table.

Glossop will be re-united with prolific striker Jamie Rainford, who was the Hillmen’s top scorer in 2015-16 with 31 goals and netted 18 times in the first half of last season before re-joining Colwyn Bay back in February this year, having scored four goals in seven games with the club while on loan from FC Halifax Town in 2012.

But it remains to be seen whether the frontman will play a part on Saturday, as he has been rated as a slight doubt, according to the Colwyn Bay FC website.

While former Chorley and FC United of Manchester left-winger Astley Mulholland – who started his career as a striker – also represented North End, scoring six goals in 65 appearances before departing Surrey Street to make the move to Colwyn Bay in March this year.

Seagulls boss Alan Morgan is set to be boosted by the return of Jack Hindle from suspension, while on-loan Chester forward Nathan Brown has been cleared to possibly make his debut. But Jack Kelleher has left the club, at which he’s had three spells, to join North West Counties side City of Liverpool.

Glossop will perhaps take inspiration from the fact they did the double over Colwyn Bay last season by recording 2-1 victories both home and away – with the success in North Wales achieved by coming from behind to score an 87th minute winner through substitute Dale Johnson on his debut, which ended a poor run similar to the one the team are experiencing at this moment in time.