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Glossop defender Richardson has eyes for the playoffs
Thursday 5th April 2018 @ 14:07 by Mark Phillip

Although the odds are currently stacked against them, Glossop North End defender Ben Richardson believes the club can make a late charge on the playoffs during the final stretch of the season.

The 28-year-old, who returned to the club for a second stint after being released by Ramsbottom United in March, feels the squad has more than enough quality to overcome some tough fixtures and produce a string of successive victories.

Richardson spent eight months at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium but was unexpectedly released due to circumstances beyond his control.

Reflecting on his time at Ramsbottom, which ended in acrimony, Richardson told Chronicle Sport: “I enjoyed my time at Ramsbottom during the early stages of the season, because the management team helped me a lot and made me feel like a big part of the team.

“Playing with a top set of lads was also great, but I started to feel as if the managers weren’t getting the best out of me, so I wanted to leave the club on a number of occasions but they refused each time.

“I was then told in March that i was being released due to financial reasons, so that was that.”

Richardson left the club on a sour note but soon found happiness when Paul Phillips, who was Glossop’s joint-manager at the time, asked the defender to be part of his plans.

Unable to refuse the offer, Richardson re-joined the club and said returning to Surrey Street was like ‘coming home’. He added: “I still spoke to Phillo (Phillips) during my time at Ramsbottom.

“When I was told Ramsbottom didn’t want me, I had a conversation with Phillo and he told me what they wanted to achieve. They were in the playoff hunt, unlike Ramsbottom, so the move worked quite nicely for myself.

“It was like returning home, and that’s what I needed at the time given everything that happened.”

Unbeknown to him, Richardson was to play just one game under Phillips who, along with joint-boss Steve Halford, left the club 24 hours later to join Buxton FC.

Although disappointed not to work under the managerial duo, Richardson believes the offer was too good for the pair to turn down. He added: “I’d be surprised if they weren’t pushing for promotion next season.

“They’ve got the experience in that league and they’ve also got a decent budget to work with, so I have no doubts they’ll be at the right end of the table.”

Richardson had an eventful start to his life back at Glossop.

After helping the club to a 3-1 victory over Goole, he then scored in his second game against leaders South Shields, but was later sent off for a comical handball. Reflecting on a moment of madness, he said: “The ball was flying into the top corner, so my immediate reaction was to block the effort. It was a natural reaction and I didn’t think. The referee gave me a straight red, so I missed the game at Bamber Bridge.”

After watching his side secure a 1-1 draw at Bamber Bridge, Richardson returned to action in the 1-0 victory over Colwyn Bay.

He says the three points – the first for interim manager Mark Canning – have reignited hopes of reaching the playoffs. Praising the new boss, he said: “Mark has come in with Andy Bishop, and they want us to relax on the pitch and play with confidence. That’s perfect for me, especially at this point of my career, because I’ll enjoy playing a lot more in that environment.

“It was a great result against Colwyn Bay.

“They’re also trying to make a late charge for the playoffs, and a few of their lads used to play for Glossop, so it was an important win when all things considered.

“We’ve got to play teams in and around us, and we also have a few games in hand on Trafford who are currently 6th. The pressure is on the teams above us at this stage of the season, so hopefully we can take advantage of that.”

The hunt for the playoffs continues this weekend at relegation threatened Brighouse Town. According to Richardson, nothing less than a victory will do: “It’s massive that we get a win this weekend. We were all gutted that the game against Mossley was called off on Easter Monday, because we felt we could have secured two wins in the space of a few days, but it wasn’t to be.”

Such is his love for Glossop, Richardson would love to commit for another season, though he’s fully aware that things can change rather quickly. He said: “I’d love to stay on next season but that depends if i’m in the manager’s plans, or even if another club shows interest. As a semi-professional you have to look after yourself, but i would love to stay on, definitely.”


Picture: Steve Dyson