Guiseley 2 - 1 Mossley

As someone with a lisp might say - our cup runneth over. But the reality is that this seasons FA Cup run should have lasted another ninety minutes in the form of a replay at Seel Park.

Happily, Mossley's performance at Guiseley was an improvement over last Tuesday's display against Matlock (though it couldn't have been worse, could it?) but once again we were the architects of our own undoing. For the second week running a moment of pure slapstick in the penalty area stopped the Lilywhite's from taking something out of a game but more about that later.

After some nimble negotiation of the back streets of Yeadon to avoid an enormous tail back leading into Guiseley we eventually arrived at the ground five minutes after kick-off, but I'm assured by the people there from the start that nothing of interest happened; a comment that can be applied to the majority of the opening period. The first half was pretty even affair with the majority of the play being confined to the middle of the field. Both sides had occasional spells of pressure but neither one could conjure up anything creative when they got into the final third of the pitch.

That was until the 34th minute when Guiseley capitalised on a sloppy pass in midfiled and broke down the right wing. As the play made its way to the byline, Stuart Gray moved unmarked from the halfway line to the edge of the six yard box where he applied the finishing touch to the move. Mossley's best chance of the half came minutes after the home side took the lead when Kenny Mayers made a bustling run into the box. His effort was blocked but the ball broke to Steve Burke who, in turn, hit a tremendous shot that was heading into the top corner until the Guiseley keeper Dickinson somehow managed to claw the ball away for a corner

Mossley look to break early in the second half

Other than the opening few minutes, the second half saw Mossley dominate possession. However the thing with controlling the majority of the possession is that it's ultimately pointless if you're not creating opportunities from it and Mossley weren't; attacks were continually being hamstrung by the lack of support and numbers in the box. That meant despite being under the kosh somewhat, Dickinson had next to nothing to do in the Guiseley goal. He should have been called into action when Kenny Mayers found himself free on the edge of the 18 yard box, the Mossley front man however dragged his shot well wide when he should have at least tested the keeper.

And that's how things continued until, with about twenty minutes to go, Mossley started to keep the ball on the grass and stretched the play by using the wings more. All of a sudden the home team's defence was wobbling like a drunk on stilts trying to cross a rope bridge. Steve Burke made a fantastic run from the halfway line in to the box and was unfortunate to see his effort roll the wrong side of the post. Joe Shaw made another run down the same wing, beating two men in the box and pulled the ball back from the touchline in the six yard area but, like Marvin McDonald's crossed whipped in minutes later from the opposite flank, there was no Mossley player anywhere near in support.

Joe Shaw beats two men on his way to the byline

It appeared that it was going to be another game of what if's until another pull back from the touchline, this time by Christian Cooke, was directed into the net by Steve Burke. Discussions amongst the travelling support about whether Mossley could force the win (such was the rickety nature of the Guisely defence) were quickly curtailed when the Lilywhites didn't so much shoot themselves in the foot but blow their leg off with a cannon.

Steve Burke celebrates his first goal for the club

For the second week running Mossley conspired to concede a goal of farcical proportions in the closing moments of a game. The ball was punted aimlessly into the Mossley area and, under no pressure at all, Steven Sheil and Danny Trueman got into a mix-up that ended with the Mossley keeper spilling the ball across an unguarded goal. With all the time in the world available Craig Hall simply tapped the ball home and set off on a celebration that should only be acceptable from somebody who has cured cancer - not scored into an open net from three yards out. Honestly, if Mossley's games from the tail end of last season onwards had been videoed, we could have made a fortune in cornering the market with clips for football gaffe DVD's this Christmas. We are certainly our own worst enemies at times.

The least we deserved from the game was the chance to play Guiseley three times in week by taking them to Seel Park for a replay. But in truth we could have done better and won the game there and then if only we'd shown more nous as an attacking side and start to convert possession into chances and, hopefully, goals. I think the analogy between winning a raffle and buying a ticket is suitable here.

For a club that was bullish in the non-league press before the season about their ambitions and wealth, Guiseley are a spectacularly ordinary side. Hopefully Mossley will have seen enough from Guiseley today to know that they can (and should?) win the league game between the two sides at Seel Park next week.

Opening the 'Big Book of Football Cliches' at FA Cup -> Defeat it says "we can now concentrate on the league." And besides, we 'd rather wait to win the FA Cup at Wembley than Cardiff, wouldn't we?