Mossley 1 - 1 Newcastle Blue Star

Yes, Mossley80 has match photos once again!

I apologise for their 'not very goodness' but having only had my new camera for less than 24 hours, I hadn't really had a chance to get used to it. That's by the by though. What you really want is the match report so without further ado...

Whilst a draw may not have ended Mossley's run of six games without a win, the point taken from this match was certainly a case of one won rather than two lost.

In fact it's probably true to say that Newcastle Blue Star will have headed back to the north-east wondering how on earth they weren't taking all three points with them. The main reason for them not doing so though travelled back to Tyneside with them: number nine Lee Novak, who missed a catalogue of chances so big that it would give the Argos one a run for its money in terms of size. That is unless he's missed the coach as well.

Novak expertly puts the ball over the crossbar from a difficult angle.

Despite the presence of blue skies (and what those old enough to remember described as being) sunshine, the match got off to a grim start for the Lilywhites when Newcastle took the lead in the 7th minute; Mossley being made to pay the price for failing to clear their lines properly by Chris Emms, who headed past Ashley Connor after connecting with a deep cross from the right.

Other than Leon Henry having a shot blocked by a defender in the 22nd minute, Mossley offered little in the way of threat to Lowson's goal, whilst at the other end of the field the Lilywhites defence were at times having their work cut out in dealing with Blue Star's attacks; the Geordies literally queueing up at times to have a go at goal. Thankfully though, just when it looked like the visitors would add to their lead, up popped Novak to direct the ball high, wide or both at the same time.

One moment just before the interval summed up Mossley's half. A lack of communication between Daryl Weston and Jamie Miller saw both attempt to go for the same ball and only succeed in knocking each other to the floor, allowing the visitors to counter and Mossley needing a good save from Connor to prevent Blue Star from doubling their lead.

Ashley Connor about to foil another Novak attempt..

The initial stages of the second half were no better for the home side or Lee Novak for that matter as he spurned two more good opportunities to increase Newcastle's advantage. Then out of practically nothing Mossley got themselves back into the game in the 53rd minute.

Hitting their opponents on the counter attack, a host of white shirts moved swiftly up the pitch and though Lee Blackshaw had his legs taken away from under him as he moved across the edge of the Blue Star box, the ball rolled along the 18 yard line to Michael Fish who hit a first time shot that flew past Lowson and pulled the Lilywhites level.

Fish's shot avoids the reach of Lowson as it head towards the net. Apologies for the blur-o-vision but like I said, I'm still getting used to the camera...

With both sides in need of the three points (Newcastle for a promotion push, Mossley to push themselves away from the drop zone) the last thirty minutes or so were as open a game of football as there's been at Seel Park this season. End to end is an overused phrase in football but in this case it's true.

Admittedly most of the chances were happening at the wrong end of the pitch from Mossley's point of view but thanks to Novak's continuing wastefulness in front of goal (I'd normally use the word profligacy but it already seems overused this weekend) and the combined efforts of both of Mossley's Connors and Dean Johnson (which included no less than three clearances from under the crossbar), Blue Star's goal tally for the match remained at just one.

Lee Connor challenges Lowson for the ball whilst on a rare foray upfield

Though not creating chances quite as clear cut as the ones their guests were making, Mossley were at least managing to make Lowson sweat a little more than he did in the first half. Lee Blackshaw went close to putting the home side ahead with a 20 yard shot that wasn't far away from hitting the back of the net rather than the back of the stand, which incidentally was also the destination of Weston's acrobatic volley from Blackshaw's set-up.

With time almost up it was Mossley who went closest to having the final say in the proceedings when, from fully 40 yards, Fish hooked Blue Star's clearance from a Mossley corner back towards goal, only for it to drop agonisingly wide of the left hand upright.

Michael Fish undergoes the close attentions of the Blue Star defence.

After a sequence of games were Mossley have appeared to have run out of steam before the half-time oranges have even been sliced, it's nice to see a second half performance from the men in white shirts. And whilst it's true to say that the game could have easily been over as a contest before then, its to Mossley's enormous credit that they dug deep and rescued the game. Even if it was with their only shot on target during the entire ninety minutes.

Kudos also goes to Fish and Weston who, after being dropped to the bench for this game (despite being two of only a handful of players to emerge with any credit from the defeat at Chorley), both produced fantastic displays after being introduced to the match in the first half following unfortunate injuries to Richard Conway and Aaron Kirk. And is there any position on the pitch that Leon Henry can't play in?

There's still room for improvement but hopefully the spring this comeback has put in our step will carry over to next week's 'six pointer' with Bridlington.

The end result might have been the spoils shared but it's a point which Mossley will be delighted with, especially as it seemed at such an unlikely one at the midway stage of the game. And if Mossley were to repeat this outcome in their remaining twelve games, it's 99% certain that Unibond football will still be being played at Seel Park next season.


Mike Smith said...
10:59 pm

Sod "blur-o-vision" Stephen - you got the goal - which is more than I did !