Chadderton By Moonlight

After the road to Wembley it's the road to wherever the Manchester FA decide at the last possible moment to the hold the final.

It's that time of the year again where clubs are forced to fore go any planned league fixtures in order to fulfill the demands of a County Cup competition, totally devalued by the lack of participation from professional clubs. Or to look at it from a completely different angle, it's the opportunity for a few teams to compete to see who'll lose to Droylsden in the final, such is the (temporary) Blue Square Premiership sides domination of the competition in recent years.

Of course the natural reaction to this game is "Who cares?", but after our less than sparkling performances in the cup competitions so far this season, I think the answer should be "Us!". Besides the chance to make a bit of money should we draw Hyde or Ashton in a later round and the opportunity to break up the long procession of league games that would otherwise occur after Christmas - it's silverware and probably our best chance of winning some this season, so why not give it our best shot? It hasn't done Droylsden any harm over the past few seasons.

Our first step on the path to glory however sees us having to negotiate a potential banana skin in the shape of Chadderton. This season the Oldham side were taken over by a couple of local businessmen with big plans for the club, backed by even bigger wallets. The latter of which has helped them sign some familiar names to Mossley supporters such as Adie Orr and Nehru McKenzie, as well as players more closely associated with our local rivals like Phil Edgehill.

At this stage of the competition last season we were taken 'all the way' by Salford City; a late goal seeing us eventually run out 1 - 0 winners in a game so soporific that supporters who attended were banned from driving or using heavy machinery for a week afterwards.

Hopefully things will be better than twelve months ago but, given our aversion to winning cup games this season, who knows?

Prediction: I'll stick my neck out and say a win for Mossley. Just!