PREVIEW Glossop North End v Trafford
Wednesday 10th January 2018 @ 06:45 by Adam Higgins
Glossop Chronicle Previews Sports

Glossop North End will be hoping to continue their recent upturn in form when facing fellow promotion challengers Trafford FC in their first home game of 2018 on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 15:00 GMT). 

After a six-game winless run, the Hillmen have won three of their last four games – scoring 12 goals without conceding in those victories – and enter the match on the back of their biggest win of the season so far after thrashing Radcliffe Borough 6-0 last weekend.

Having been on the road so far for the derby defeat at Hyde United and impressive triumph in Lancashire, Paul Phillips and Steve Halford’s side are back at Surrey Street for the first time in the new year and will take confidence from their last showing on home soil – a 5-0 demolition of Skelmersdale United, albeit a team struggling towards the bottom of the table, in their final outing of 2017.

Ninth in the table, North End sit three points adrift of seventh place – the final play-off spot in the Evo-Stik First Division North this season – but face a tough assignment this weekend against a Trafford side who have improved massively after a poor start to the campaign.

Goal machine: Trafford will be wary of Glossop’s Ben Deegan – only four players have scored more league goals than the striker, who has 12 to his name including braces in his two of his last three (Picture by Steve Dyson) 

Tom Baker’s men have propelled themselves into sixth position – where they finished last season – and are unbeaten in the league since September, stretching back to 16 games since a 2-1 defeat away at Prescot Cables.

That came immediately after a narrow victory over bottom club Goole by the same scoreline – their first success of the season after failing to win any of their opening 10 matches.

Tasting defeat just once in their last 14 games in all competitions, the Flixton-based outfit have also won their last four league matches – the last three by a 1-0 scoreline, including last weekend’s triumph over Ossett Albion at Shawe View courtesy of a stoppage-time goal from Jack Dorney.

But they have won just three of their 13 away league matches this season – drawing six and losing four.

Like Glossop, the North last tasted defeat at Ewen Fields, although their loss against Hyde came back on December 9 and by a much heavier scoreline as Trafford went down 6-1 to Darren Kelly’s Tigers, who are also well in the promotion mix.

Goals galore: There have been eight goals in the two encounters between the sides already this season (Picture by Steve Dyson) 

The Hillmen will hope to avoid an unwanted hat-trick this season after losing both of the previous encounters with Trafford this season, which came in the space of four days towards the end of October.

They fell 2-0 down inside eight minutes at Shawe View in the league before eventually losing 3-2 against a Trafford side who had Michael Monaghan sent off as captain Steve Mason scored a late winner on his birthday.

Then, the following Tuesday evening, Glossop were knocked out of the Manchester Premier Cup at Surrey Street as Trafford emerged 2-1 winners. Like in the league encounter, skipper Mason was on target and Monaghan was dismissed before Declan Rydings scored the winner for the visitors with 11 minutes to go.

Glossop came back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw the last time Trafford visited in the league in August 2016 and know that a positive result is important, with a win closing the gap on Trafford to just three points.

Supporters who aren’t able to make the trip can still follow the action as it happens by tuning in to Hillmen Radio. Details can be accessed on Twitter, by following @hillmenradio or listen live at .