Mossley 1 - 0 Leek Town

When the stakes are high, as they were in this game, you don't expect to see a game that will immediately enter a list of the best five matches you've ever seen; a football truth that didn't come remotely close to being disproved in this game. However, when you're in the position that both Mossley and Leek find themselves in it's the result and not the performance that matters. And happily it's this that the Lilywhite's will be taking more comfort in than the visitors.

The first half actually bore an uncanny resemblence to the one at Harrison Park in January only this time it was Leek instead of us who were on the back foot. The subtle difference was that whereas in that game the home side were getting off plenty of shots, albeit without coming close to hitting the target, Mossley were struggling to force the Town keeper into even having to take a goal kick. To give Leek their due though they did look dangerous on the break but, like us, they struggled to create anything meaningful when it came to the crunch.

As such the first period was notable only for two incidents. The first was an horrendous tackle on Joe Shaw by Dave Tickle which was worthy of a much stronger card than the yellow he received. The second came when Jonathan Smith's powerful header from a corner was cleared off the line by Rob Hawthorne, the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock.

I suspect that both sets of supporters were hoping for better fare in the second half but what no-one could have predicted was the role reversal that was to take place. After controlling the majority of the previous forty-five minutes Mossley were suddenly being forced onto the back foot, the Staffordshire side reciprocating the pressure they'd been under. Worryingly, they were starting to ramp up the shot count too.

In my report for the game at Leek I made the comment that if you were ever to be given a last request before facing a firing squad, ask if the Leek Town forwards can do the shooting. Thankfully it's something that's still applicable today. Despite the number of shots that were starting to rain in not one looked like troubling Steve Wilson in the Mossley goal.

It was therefore somewhat against the run of play when Mossley took the lead just after the hour mark. After struggling to cope with an inswinging corner from David Eyres, Leek keeper Peter Collinge made a complete hash of a second successive corner by fumbling the ball at the near post. Steve Burke was the first player to react and he flicked the ball with his heel back across the goal line. Agonisingly the ball bounced off the far post but as it retraced its path across the face of goal Melford Knight hammered the ball into the roof of the net.

Leek upped the pressure and were denied an almost certain equaliser by Joel Pilkington who threw himself in front of the ball in the six yard box. Collinge then became the first keeper to be forced into making a save when he pushed out Clive Moyo-Modise's shot from the edge of the area. It was M&M again who came to closest to putting the game beyond Leek but after racing from the halfway line with the ball his shot beat the keeper but not the post.

With five minutes left Mossley conspired on no less than three occasions to give Town a potential way back into the game. The first was when an attempt to clear a corner entered the realms of the farcical. M&M failed to control the clearance and the ball bounced off his shin and back towards the penalty area. As it rolled back towards the penalty area two Mossley players completely missed the ball as they went to kick it, leaving three Leek players who'd slowly been making their way back now in possession, unmarked and on the edge of the penalty area. Some quick thinking by Steve Wilson forced them into taking the ball slightly wide but for reasons best known to themselves Leek dallied on the ball instead of taking a shot. This allowed Mossley to get some bodies behind the ball and when the shot did come Smith was able to produce a superb block that protected his sides lead.

Leek were then denied what appeared to be a ceratin penalty when Hawthorne was sent crashing to the floor by a tackle from behind - a challenge that not only left the Town player receiving treatment for the remainder of the game but also gave him a late night ride in an ambulance to the A&E department on Fountain Street. One minute later Mossley rode their luck again. A corner dropped into the penalty area and as a Leek player attempted to turn with the ball he was pulled to the floor by an arm in a white shirt and once again strong appeals for a penalty were ignored by the man in the middle.

So after over five months of defeats, draws, dross and possibly something else beginning with d, Mossley finally manage to win at home in the league. Who'd have thought that when we beat Whitby at the beginning of last October that Christmas would come, go and be a distant memory before we claimed three points at Seel Park again?

Well done to the two people who spotted the deliberate mistake of getting the score in the headline wrong. Prizes are in the post. Not necessarily adressed to you but they are in the post.


Anonymous said...
8:55 pm

If only the title was the real scoreline, I for one would have returned to Stoke with a cheery smile!

All the best


Mike Smith said...
11:59 pm

Stevie Stevie what's the score Stevie what's the score ??

Mike Smith said...
12:02 am

Cut and paste problems too I believs ?

Mike Smith said...
11:15 pm

End para 1 still = end para 4 !!