Off To: Fleetwood

Our campaign in the third most important cup competition begins on the Fylde coast as we make the first of our two trips this season to Fleetwood.

It was 1989 when the two sides last met in the League Cup and, despite it being the final of the competition at Manchester City's Maine Road ground, the football almost became secondary to events that were happening off the pitch. That night the back of the Main Stand became a war zone as people masquerading as supporters of both clubs engaged in running battles with one another throughout the entirity of the game.

The real fans sat at the front of the stand, desperately trying to concentrate on the game as the police moved in to attempt quell the chaos behind them, weren't given much to cheer about in a match enlivened only by the three goals scored - Mossley getting two to Fleetwood's one.

The trouble meant that the fans who'd followed Mossley's peculiar path to the final (having been knocked out in the first round, the Lilywhite's were reinstated after Barrow were found to have fielded an ineligible player) were denied the opportunity to see the trophy being presented to captain Dave Martin after the decision was made to do it in private. All that was left was for the subdued supporters to make their way home (with a less than necessary police escort) and read the "How could they?" editorial on the front of the next day's Manchester Evening News which attempted to draw some ridiculous parallels between what happened at Maine Road and the Hillsborough disaster which had occured three days previously.

Since then though ties between the two clubs have grown stronger and games between the two sides have become friendlier affairs, if only on the terraces! Fleetwood currently have ex-Mossley forward Phil Denney leading their line and Stuart Barlow in their squad so it's probably odds on that one or both will score; Barlow in particular seems to find the net every time he plays against us. However both teams enter this Second Round tie on the back of a less than sparkling run of form though both did pick up a good point apiece away from home at the weekend so all's not lost for the Lilywhites.

Prediction: A win? Why not? The law of averages and all that.