Mossley 0 - 2 Kendal Town

I really don't want to start using the 'R' word, especially this early in the season, but with each passing game it's looking increasingly like our hopes for Premier Division survival are resting on the belief that there are four teams worse than us in the league. And if those four teams do exist the mind can only boggle at the thought of what the supporters at those clubs are having to watch.

That said, Mossley's performance against Kendal was certainly better than the one in the previous game against Cammell Laird, if only slightly. Unfortunately, this time around we weren't playing a side from a lower division but one in the same league as us. And one that hadn't won in the league since the beginning of September (whole eleven games ago) to boot.

The only other remotely positive point that can extracted from this game was that we didn't concede a last minute goal for the fifth game running - instead we conceded it on the stroke of half-time, an unmarked Foster hitting a superb strike past Danny Trueman from just outside the area. It's not as though the warning signs weren't there either because as early as the thirtieth second of the game Mossley's lax marking allowed Dodgson to shoot wide from a similar position, something which was to happen twice more in virtually identical circumstances before the visitors took the lead.

S-S-S-S-SCRAMBLE! James Turley tries to open up space for a shot.

At the other end of the field the home side were at least showing some promise with numerous goalmouth scrambles raising the excitement levels amongst the crowd. Sadly though Kendal's resolute defending meant that the Lilywhite's efforts to fire off the occassional clean shot were constantly being foiled by a body (or four) in a yellow shirt suddenly appearing between them and the goal in a desperate attempt to block the shots.

Mossley's best opening came when a mix-up between the Kendal keeper and his left back gave Lee Shillito the opportunity to curl the ball into an open goal from the corner of the box. Everyone in the ground watched the shot slowly made it's way towards goal only for the unnatural silence to be broken by the audible relief of the travelling supporters as the ball arced its way past the goal kick side of the post.

A case of counting chickens before they've hatched? Lee Shillito and James Turley prepare to celebrate as the formers shot curves towards the goal, only for the gods of football to intervene and flick it wide

The second half opened brightly for Mossley when Peter Wright fired a Shillito cross narrowly wide of the upright but the promise of a greater response to Kendal's goal on the stroke of the interval was not forthcoming. Instead, Mossley's continuing desire to pump the ball as high and as far up the pitch as they could to their diminutive front men meant that not only were they constantly turning over possession, but the visitors complete dominance in the centre of the pitch meant that they couldn't win it back. Thereby allowing Town to not only control the game but adding an air of inevitability to their second goal too.

That it came as late as the 75th minute was something of a shock, which is more than can be said for the method in which it was scored. In time honoured tradition (well, for this season anyway) Mossley's inability to defend the left hand side allowed Dodgson to run three quarters of the length of the pitch unimpeded before picking out Warren Beattie who applied the finishing touch. Yep, things are so bad at Mossley now that I can't even be bothered to do a laboured gag about being scored on by Warren Beattie.

Maybe it was the prospect of losing by more than one goal that did it but the last ten minutes saw Mossley click into life once more. A shot from outside the box by David Eyres sent Thompson scrambling across his goal line to make his first save of the half and James Turley crashed a free kick against the angle of post and crossbar from a free-kick.

Thompson goes full stretch to keep out Eyres's second half daisy cutter

The Cumbrians were still a threat at the other end though and for every effort that Mossley created, Kendal went close to increasing their lead. Both sides traded disallowed goals as the match drew to a close but the sound of the final whistle was greeted with the same enthusiasm by both sets of supporters: Kendal's for the win and Mossley's because the game was finally over.

Much is bound to be made of the suspensions to Melford Knight and Chris Ward, but it's not as though the news they wouldn't be playing was sprung on us prior to kick-off. It's been two weeks since they were both shown the red card at Ossett, a period of time in which we've managed to sign two centre halves (with the fate of a third still pending) but not significantly strengthened an area of the team that's been weak all season.

Speaking of centre halves, Gary Furnival has been a great signing for the club, as shown by some outstanding displays in the centre of our defence. So the question has to be asked as to why the management decided to put him at left back where he was horribly exposed? Okay, we've signed two central defenders on loan but does that mean we have to destroy the confidence of our in-form players by shuffling them around to accommodate short term loan deals? Never mind, eh? Who cares about team morale when putting square pegs in round holes has worked so well this season?

The 'long ball' was once again back with a vengeance but as its been mentioned elsewhere on the information super highway, this is apparently down to scared players lumping it forward rather than any pre-ordained plan. Something which begs the question, What are they frightened of? The players certainly haven't been on the end of any wrath from the terraces and it doesn't explain why experienced players are doing the same.

I honestly thought we'd win on Saturday. Even when were one down midway through the second period I was confident that the team would 'click' and that we'd at least get a point but, as with so many other games earlier in the seasion, the 'click' didn't happen till it was too late.

A visual metaphor if ever there was one. Kendal score their second and the drizzle turns into a torrential downpour. At least it stopped people from leaving early and missing out on the 'full' Mossley experience.

Kendal deserve plenty of credit for their performance: they kept their shape and got stuck in whilst we barely won balls that were 60/40 in our favour; we looked fairly timid even - a worry when we're about to face two of the leagues toughest sides. Still, it's often when you're at the lowest point that things take a turn for the better. Fingers crossed that this is the low point.