AFC Telford United 0 - 0 Mossley

The Internet: old jokes, pornography and video clips of monkeys drinking their own wee, right at your fingertips.

And it's not just there for the good things in life either.

Due to the lack of clubs in the Shropshire area, the local BBC radio station have turned to AFC Telford to provide their populous with live, as it happens football commentary, no doubt in order to fulfill their sports programming remit. And thanks to Auntie Beeb's embracement of the information super-duper highway it means that these broadcasts can be listened to all over the world. Even Glossop, where death comes quickly if you're caught using the 'machinery of witches.'

So, along with plenty of other like minded fans who couldn't get to Telford, I sat down in front of the PC (which was soon replaced by pacing around the room once the match started) and logged in to the novelty of listening to a live radio commentary on a Mossley game.

I was really looking forward to hearing how the match would be covered but first impressions weren't good. Upon connection they were part way through a piece about a Telford fan (I shall spare his name) who'd written a song for the club - a reworking of 'Hi-Ho Silver Lining' with Telford somehow being mangled to stretch over the four syllables of Silver Lining. The song was either sent in on tape or recorded in a duffel bag but the presenters, in true local radio fashion, treated the whole thing with sparkling sincerity. Whereas everybody else was wondering how they could stop their ears from crying.

However the worst part was the arrogance that underlay their pre-match build up. Listening to it you started to wonder if the referee should just award the game to Telford and save everyone the effort. This reached a crescendo when they interviewed Telford's assistant manager who practically dismissed Mossley out of hand and banged on about expecting to win, like it was foregone conclusion.

Then the teamsheets came in and Telford's starting eleven was duly read out. Mossley's wasn't' only "players they'd heard of" but James Tyrell-Nestor started them off on a painful minutes 'humorous' ad-libbing about "real non-league names." Though to be fair the team did get read out just before the game started with a couple of bits from the programme pen pics but it did seem slightly disrespectful.

It wasn't all bad though, ten minutes in the main presenter stopped pronouncing us as Morrssley.

Thankfully once the game started the cockiness stopped (apart from the occasional comment that a slew of Telford goals was inevitable and only a matter of time), the coverage proved to be excellent and fair. Three times Telford appealed for a penalty during the game and on each occasion the commentators said it wasn't, which is refreshingly honest for football coverage on local radio. Something BBC Manchester's commentators (are you listening Jack Dearden and Alan Gowling) would do well to learn from; just because Kevin Davies appeals doesn't mean it was a cast iron decision and you've been cheated.

As the litany of chances missed by the home side grew it was difficult to judge how Mossley were playing due to the commentators contradicting themselves almost by the minute. After quarter of an hour we'd been referred to as having "a lump it anywhere approach," to being "a good passing side" and back to a team that's "just hacking it upfield." It was an approach they then applied to describing the performances of individual Mossley players, which frankly just got confusing. Danny Trueman was described as hesitant and not having the best of games despite being told moments later that he'd had nothing to do.

The highlight of the first half though was during a lull in play when one of the commentators, out of nothing, suddenly splurted "lot's of goals in Melford Knight!"

Half-time arrived with the show's host seemingly exasperated by the fact that Telford weren't ahead but he was keen to reassure listeners that Telford would go and win.

One cup of tea and two Jammie Dodgers later the second half got underway in much the same manner as the first, Telford wasting some good chances and Mossley almost being implored to do the decent thing and let them score. As the game reached the hour mark the commentators regularly started to drone on about how Telford would finish the stronger because of their apparent "superior fitness". How do they know who's the fitter team? Do they have spies at out training sessions or were they just using the age old cliche that's spouted when people feel they're playing inferior opposition?

My guess is the latter because the overriding tone of the three hours was that despite being a Unibond Premier team playing another Unibond Premier team, Telford were a Conference or Football League team being forced to slum it.

It was an arrogance that flared up again after the final whistle blew. Despite the commentators praising Mossley's contribution to the game, Telford's assistant manager couldn't even damn us with faint praise when we were once again treated to his dull-cet tones in the post-game interview. Like the show's host he appeared to be affronted that we hadn't rolled over and given them an easy win.

After a minute spent fielding text messages from gloating Shrewsbury Town fans the programme was wound up with a 'highlights' package of the game backed by a remix of the James Bond theme. I say highlights though Mossley's disallowed goal and hitting of the cross bar were conspicuous by their absence.

On the whole it wasn't a bad way to follow Mossley for an evening. The commentary, for the most part, was balanced and entertaining but the surrounding package was overly smug and incredibly arrogant. You expect local stations to have a degree of bias but this was just ridiculous pomposity. Telford are a good side but if the public attitude displayed by their management and local media starts rubbing off on the players then they're in for a long stay in the Unibond Premier Division.

If you want an in-depth report on the game then I'm afraid that this isn't the place to come. Instead you should log into the Independent Mossley AFC Forum and read this thread - an "as it happens" match report where the postings get increasingly more manic the nearer the final whistle gets.