Mossley 0 - 2 Ossett Town

Apologies if it seems I'm trivialising an horrific disaster but being one of the few people left writing about Mossley's on-pitch exploits it's hard not feel like I'm on board Titanic on a cold April night in 1912. We're sinking fast, the lifeboats have gone, Bruce Ismay's sat in one ready to blame it all on the crew, chaos is ensuing and the Captain's called Smith. Yet here I am, like a member of the ships string quartet, attempting to add a surreal air of normality to proceedings whilst we accompany the other unfortunate souls who are going down with the ship. Not so much 'Nearer To God Than Thee' as we head into the murky depths of the Unibond First Division but 'Nearer To Quorn Than Leek'.

It would be nice in what could possibly turn out to be Mossley80's final match report of the season to be able to reflect on a real rip roaring final match of the 2006/07 campaign at Seel Park - a last hurrah before heading back from whence we came twelve months ago. Sadly though, what transpired on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon was a game that made common or garden pre-season friendlies look like gladiatorial battles to the death.

The referee attempts an early escape from the mundaneness by getting injured.

Twelve minutes had dragged by when a sloppy bit of play in midfield handed possession to the visitors. Ossett quickly moved the ball up the pitch and, from just outside the edge of the area, Hayward curled the ball around Steve Wilson to give the Yorkshire side the lead.

Mossley then embarked on a short spell of pressure which saw them win four corners in the space of two minutes and it was from the last one that they came closest to scoring. Joe Shaw managed to get on the end of the loose ball following a knock down only to see his acrobatic effort cleared off the line by a defender with the goalkeeper nowhere to be seen.

Joe Shaw's effort is cleared and the appeals that it crossed the line fall on deaf ears.

Not long after the game was effectively ended as a contest. Town dissected the home defence with a precision only matched by the highest calibre of surgical lasers and Hayward was once again tasked with dispatching the ball past Steve Wilson from outside the area.

Hayward scores Ossett's second. Or it could be the first... No, it's definitely the second. Possibly.

At this point some of the few people who were at the game and are now reading this may be commenting on things not happening in that order and it's quite possible that they didn't. Or maybe they did. The truth is I can't remember as all but the tiniest percentage of my brain power was focused solely on to trying to avoid slipping into a football triggered narcoleptic attack. All I know is that those events did happen.

On the half hour mark Steve Burke went close to halving the deficit with a shot from the edge of the Ossett box that flashed just wide of the post but it was to be the last notable bit of action, other than the referee being substituted at half-time due to injury, for a good hour. Indeed, if it wasn't for the noble art of conversation it's quite possible that the crowd could have slept through Ossett having a goal disallowed for offside.

Goal number three hits the back of the net before being chalked off for an offside.

Steve Burke once again had an effort fizz the wrong side of the post with a shot from twenty yards before being shown the red card on the say so of a linesman for an off-the-ball offence. One minute later the same linesman was flagging for the referee's attention again and this time Steven Shiel was the recipient of the referees marching orders, sent from the dugout to the stand.

After this brief moment of unnecessary fluster the game returned to being a nondescript affair with Mossley's few forays forward being brought to halt by Ossett captain James Cotterill attempting to hit Micklehurst with his clearances; the former Barrow defender obviously having learnt during his brief time in prison earlier this year for breaking a Bristol Rover's players jaw in an FA Cup tie to put distance between himself and dangerous balls.

As the match entered its death throes, substitute James Turley's harrying of the Town defence presented him with the opportunity to force Skiba into making his first save of the half but the sound of final whistle that soon followed was greeted with a sigh of relief normally reserved for those occasions when you enter a public lavatory and don't have urine sloshing over the tops of your shoes.

So Mossley end the season's home campaign as they began it - by losing to side situated just off the M1. There were some performances worthy of gracing a better game but the overall feeling was one of marking time till the end of the season

Being truthful though, did you really expect anything different? Crowds have dropped by a third over the last two months, victories are rarer than affordable housing and over half of the team have been publicly labelled as not good enough by the manager in what has to be the worst motivational address since Cardigan told his troops that the ration problem would sort itself out naturally after a charge into a place called the Valley of Death.

Still, only two games to go (Fleetwood Town and Gateshead) before we can pretend the last twelve months were just a bad dream and start again afresh next season...