Salford City Are Coming!

Mossley’s October mini-break from the trials and tribulations of Unibond League football continues as the cup competition that everyone loves to shrug their shoulders at rolls into town.

Yes, the Manchester Premier Cup (the County FA competition deemed to be beneath the professional sides in the area) returns once more as twelve local clubs are slowly whittled down over the course of the next six months, until one side gets the right to be the team who loses to Droylsden in the final.

FC Dave Pace have had a near stranglehold on this cup over the last few years and in all honesty I can’t see this season being any different either. For all his bluster about how little he regards the competition he doesn’t half take it seriously and maybe the ‘win it all’ attitude he instils in his team is something we can all learn from. After all, a cup’s a cup, no matter how much of a joke reputation it has.

Tomorrow night (or this evening if you’re not reading this yesterday… I think) we set a foot on the path to wherever by playing our first game against Salford City for two and a half years.

Our last meeting came during the 2003/04 NWCL title chase when we visited Moor Lane ground for our penultimate away trip of the season. What we came away with was a spectacularly comfortable 5-1 win with six different Mossley players on the score sheet.

Of the 14 named for that game only one remains - Steven Sheil (who scored the opener), whereas Salford’s team in the intervening years has been shorn of the names that we used to know and dislike. Dave Brown rejoined them briefly earlier on this season before returning to the Bury Big Heads but other than Ben Thornley there won’t be many familiar faces in the Tangerine shirts. One player to watch out for however is midfielder Tunji Moses, son of Remi, who is building up something of a reputation as ‘a hard man/assassin’ in the lower leagues. In fact it may be wise for Mossley to try and rustle up some body armour as a precaution…

We’ve only ever lost at home once to Salford City and that was, you’ve guessed it, the last time we played them in the Manchester Premier Cup. That was in the semi-finals of the 2003/04 competition when our run came to an end on home turf as City won a rearranged tie 2-1; the original fixture having been abandoned a week earlier when the Seel Park floodlights blinked off with the Lilywhite’s a Bradley Wasahlo goal to the good.

This will be the first of our four meetings with Salford in the Manchester Premier Cup that hasn’t taken place at the semi-final stage. Go on, impress your mates with that.

Prediction: A tough one this as it depends on just how serious both teams are in wanting to win. If (and fingers crossed) we field our strongest side we should progress into the next round. However I’ve got a really weird feeling that we’re going to make a few changes and find ourselves travelling to Moor Lane at some point in the not too distant future for a very tough replay…