Radcliffe Borough 0 - 1 Mossley

The best thing that can be said about a game which perfectly complimented the dull skies it was played beneath, is that Mossley left for home with the three points that were on offer thanks to a solitary second half goal.

With 13 minutes left, substitute Jamie Miller and Danny Toronczak combined down the right and the latter provided a superb low cross to the far post where it was met my Lee Blackshaw. Whilst his initial shot was well saved by Lake, the Radcliffe keeper could only deflect the ball upwards, allowing Blackshaw a second bite of the cherry and the former Glossop winger headed it into the net for his third goal of the season.

Mossley had started the match reasonably brightly but their attempts at opening the scoring were more often than not let down by a weak shot that followed some good build-up play. As the first period wore on those chances began to dry up and it was only a sublime move on the half hour mark involving Martin Allison and Gareth Hamlet, which Toronczak narrowly failed to apply the perfect finish to, that provided any real respite from the dour midfield battle the match was quickly becoming.

The early stages of the second half promised better things, especially when Lee Connor's firm header from a corner was blocked on the line by a Borough player. Radcliffe immediately responded by winning a series of corners themselves but that proved to be it for the game as a spectacle until Blackshaw popped up with his match winning goal.

Whilst Mossley were hardly the force they've shown that they can be at times this season, they were never in any real danger of losing. Borough entered the match still waiting to register their first win in the league and they provided little to suggest that this would be the game in which they broke their duck. Apart from those three successive corners not long after the interval, visiting keeper Ashley Connor had so little to do I wouldn't be surprised if he was charged the £7 other spectators had to pay to watch the game.

It might not have been pretty but Mossley will be pleased to have successfully negotiated what was a potential banana skin without any slip-ups. And when all is said and done, league positions are based on points and not the entertainment factor of matches, which is why the Lilywhites will return to Seel Park more than delighted with the three they gained from this game.

A delight that was only surpassed by the one the final whistle brought to the supporters. I love watching Mossley – always have and, touch wood, always will, but there are times at matches when I half wish that basket weaving had caught my eye more at a formative age and this was one of them. Oh boy was it boring.

The pleasing thing about matches like this though is that it makes you appreciate the good ones all the more. Not only that but it puts the recent 120 minute snore-athon against Skelmersdale in a whole new better light too.

That said there can be no arguments that the result wasn't the correct one. We were by far the better team, controlling the majority of the possession and the only side to create any real chances. Another thing to add under the positive column is that this was the kind of game we've never managed to win in the last couple of years, so it's as good a proof as any that progress is being made.

On the negative side we didn't look altogether comfortable with the switch to a 3-5-2 formation from the 4-4-2 line-up we've used all season, and I dare say that a half decent side would have exploited the numerous gaps that opened up in the corners of our defence. Thankfully though we were playing Radcliffe.

Maybe I'm being harsh and it wasn't quite as bad as my memory remembers it but in my defence, on our way to the game we pulled into a garage and ended up next to a car where a woman was sat naked in the driving seat. And frankly, it's going to have to be one hell of a Unibond First Division North match to beat that.

However, if you're some kind of masochist and couldn't get enough of this game, a Radcliffe supporter has posted the 'highlights' of his sides performance in this match on YouTube.

Caution: Viewing may cause drowsiness. Do not watch if you are about to drive or operate heavy machinery.

Marvel as a free-kick comes to nothing.
Gasp as another free-kick is taken too quickly and the referee calls it back.
Amaze your friends by telling them that you saw that long throw-in actually take place.

Sarcasm – it may be the lowest form of wit but it's still the best.