If Watching It Once Wasn't Bad Enough...

Due to a number of technical reasons too boring to go into detail about, I wasn't able to put any of the video footage I took at the Wakefield game up on the blog at the week end. However, now that those problems have been solved, I can finally upload them.

I know that it's something people have hardly been on the edge of their seats waiting for but what little action there was I've compiled into a highlights (or rather moments 'moments that almost woke the crowd up') reel.

So if you want to relive Mossley's final game of the 07/08 season you can courtesy of You Tube, where it is now kept for the ages. If you don't, well... I don't think anyone could blame you!

Then again, once you take out 86 minutes it looks like it was a half decent match:

Mossley 0 - 0 Wakefield

I was hoping to start this, the final match report of the season, with some inspiring words that would resonate amongst those who are proud to associate themselves with Mossley AFC.

Unfortunately all I can come up with is: "Good grief! Wasn't that a dull game?"

Whilst it's a sentiment that will probably get everyone nodding in agreement, it wasn't one I was aiming for.

With neither side on show having anything left to play for the final game of the season turned out to be a ninety minute long sedative; the kind of game where you'd happily stick pins in a voodoo doll of yourself just to stay awake.

I could go into detail about what happened (meaning exilharating passages of text such as 'the spherical playing apparatus rolled gently across the low-growing, green herbage covering the ground, before finally crossing the whitewashed line running parallel to St Jospeh's primary school' and 'the assistant referee signalled goal kick and everyone nodded in agreement for it was a goal kick') but the chances are that either you or I could have slipped into a boredom induced coma long before the third paragraph.

Of course, being responsible for the clubs official match report, along with the one that's printed in the Reporter, I've had to do a straight report on the game and here it is:

With promotion and relegation no longer on the thoughts of both Mossley and Wakefield, there was a concern amongst the supporters present that this would be a game that contained little of note.

And sadly those instincts proved to be correct as the final match of the season looked, for the most part, like the first pre-season friendly of the 08/09 campaign.

What little action the opening period saw was dominated by the home side but their season old problem of converting that superiority into shots and, ultimately, goals once again came to the fore. This meant that despite the ball spending a considerable amount of time in his box, Wakefield keeper Andy Woods had little to do other than pluck the odd cross out of the air or restart the game with a goal kick.

An incident that would have been mentioned in the report had it not been ruled offside

Only twice was he called upon to actually making a save and they both came from shots outside the area. The first was a straight forward catch from a long range effort by Martin Allison but the second, a 35 yard snapshot by Michael Fish, forced him into making a sprawling save to turn the ball away for a corner.

If Mossley shaded the first half, the visitors edged the second, even if it was only by the length of a gnats eyelash. Wakefield were more than content to defend deep and hit Mossley on the break and as the home side laboured in attack, it was a tactic almost paid dividends for them.

Fortunately for Mossley they had goalkeeper Ashley Connor to thank for the final time this season in keeping the scores level, pulling off three good saves to stop the Yorkshire side from notching their third successive victory over the Lilywhites within the space of two months.

As the game slowly lurched towards its conclusion (so slowly in fact that you could have sworn time was going backwards) Mossley almost snatched a dramatic winner in added on time at the end of the match. Some good work by Gareth Hamlet set in motion a chain of events that forced Woods into making three saves in almost as many seconds at his near post to deny Hamlet and Allison twice.

More goals have been scored in games involving Mossley than any other club in the Unibond North this season. Therefore it was somewhat ironic that after 41 games which had seen a total of 160 scored, the 42nd and final match should end without one.

And while Mossley would have undoubtedly liked to have finished what has been a turbulent season with a bang, the result did at least ensure that they go into the next one unbeaten in three league games, as well as giving them their first clean sheet since the end of November.

I don't want to blow my own trumpet but I think I deserve some kind of medal for managing to get 466 words out of a game that could best be described by putting Z-Z-Z-Z in a 96 point bold font.

Subbuteo: The Non-League Edition. Michael Fish seems unperturbed by the giant hand hovering inches away from his head.

That said we didn't play too badly at all. In fact it was the kind of performance you wished we'd put in two or three months ago to stop the rot a bit sooner. Better late than never though and it did at least mean that we finished the year on an upbeat note which is something to be thankful for after all that has gone on in the previous eight months.

So roll on next season then and whatever delights await.

Wakefield Up Before We Go-Go

Here it is - the final game of the season.

Eight and a half months of blood, sweat and tears (and that was just the matches against Garforth) comes down to this: aiming to finish fifth from bottom whilst attempting to stop Wakefield from becoming the second team to do the treble over us in the league (the other in question being Curzon).

It would be nice to put one over our 8th placed opponents and it would be even nicer if it was through a winner scored deep into stoppage time at the end of the game, just to restore the balance of football karma after their winner in similar circumstances back in March.

Will we win? Will we go into next season on the back of three straight wins? Will there be 'a next season'? Will we keep our first clean sheet since November? Will more than 130 people turn up? Will Robinson – danger? Will it rain?

Answers to all those questions when we come back.

Prediction: It's always best to end on a high so a win for Mossley.

Mossley 2 - 1 Garforth Town

Ideally I would have liked this posting to have been longer but as I've forgotten how to do match reports on games that we've won, I'm afraid that the following is going to have to suffice.

As the sun starts to set on the 07/08 season, it turns out that victories are a lot like buses for Mossley in that you wait an age for one and suddenly two turn up at once.

After finally putting any remaining relegation worries behind them with their first win in six games at Bridlington last Saturday, the Lilywhites followed it up with a hard fought but ultimately merited victory over Garforth Town.

The first real shot in anger came in the 23rd minute from Mossley's David Boardman and not only did it force the Town keeper into making a good save but it kicked a moribund, atypical end of season affair into life as well. And Boardman was to have a hand (or rather foot) in all of home sides better opportunities that followed before he finally put the Lilywhites deservedly ahead five minutes from the interval.

Picking up the ball just outside the Garforth penalty from Michael Fish's pass, Boardman's first touch took him away from his marker before powering a low shot past Town keeper Phillips with his second.

He shoots...

... he scores! David Boardman puts Mossley ahead.

Or if still images aren't good enough for you, you can watch the goal in real time here:

The early stages of the second half saw the visitors finally take a more proactive approach towards getting something from the game by putting their hosts under their first sustained spell of pressure. Apart from two Mark Piper shots both expertly dealt with by Ashley Connor though, the Lilywhites' lead rarely looked in any danger. So much so that when Leon Henry scored his first goal for Mossley in the 71st minute by floating the ball over the despairing dive of Phillips from 20+ yard, the taking of the three points on offer looked like a formality.

Leon Henry makes it 2 - 0 with a very well taken goal:

Mossley being Mossley though, it wasn't to be that straight forward. Twelve minutes away from keeping their first clean sheet in nearly five months, Piper exploited a rare lack of concentration on the night from the home defence to lose his marker at a corner and head the dead ball kick past Connor. As well as being a relatively soft goal to concede and giving the visitors an unexpected lifeline, it also had the unwanted distinction of being the hundredth conceded by Mossley in the league during the 07/08 campaign.

The 100th goal of the league campaign to enter Mossley's net, er... enters Mossley's net:

Somewhat inevitably this lead to a few nervy moments for the home side in the closing stages of the game, particularly in the five minutes of extra time that were added on when the Yorkshire side fired off more shots than they had done in the previous ninety minutes. Thankfully though none of them went close to unduly worrying Ashley Connor and the Lilywhites lead remained intact when the final whistle eventually sounded.

It might not have been the greatest game in the world but it was an enjoyable one nonetheless and, along with the previous result, goes someway towards helping Mossley's troubled season end on a high, albeit a low high.

It was also nice to finally get one over Garforth too. Its the third time I've seen them this season and I can only assume that their self declared comparison with Brazilian football is some kind of ironic joke being played on non-league football. The only thing South American about them is that it's where some of their forward passes and regular clearances may come close to landing in the near future.

After more poor games than I care to remember it was a refreshing and welcome change to see Mossley recapture some of their early season form in this game. It may be too little too late to stop this campaign from being something other than a disappointment but I'll take what little there is as a seed with the potential to grow into bigger and better things.

And on that healthy and rare note of optimism on Mossley80, I'll end the report and let you get on with something else much more interesting such as watching this.

Again And Again And Again...

As I did a preview for the initial staging of this rearranged fixture ten days ago, I’m not feeling the slightest bit compelled to write a new one. Call it laziness if you want, I call it running out things to say about Garforth at the fourth time of asking.

What I will say is that since writing this Mossley have finally won their second game of 2008 while Simon Clifford’s side haven't won for four matches.

Mossley also have to survive 180 minutes of football without conceding a goal if they’re not to see the figure of 100 appear in their ‘goals against’ column; no mean feat considering that it has been 23 games since we’ve kept a clean sheet.

The picture on the left is the only visual representation I can think of for 99 other than some red balloons. Just be thankful we weren’t stuck on 69...

Prediction: No change from what I wrote a week last Friday – a win for Mossley.

Bridlington Town 2 - 3 Mossley

See, I told you!

Not only did Mossley register their long time coming second win of 2008, but they also claimed their first win on Yorkshire soil this season and, in doing so, ensured that the club would still have its Unibond status for the start of the new campaign. At least that is if the club is still in exisistence come August.

As well as avoiding the possibility of finishing rock bottom of the First Division North, the 3-2 victory over Bridlington Town at the windswept Queensgate Stadium (at least I'm guessing it was a tad breezy) also means that we can't finish second bottom either. Who said that this was a disappointing season?

In the end it was two goals from Martin Allison and a 61st minute winner from Paul Garvey that ensured that Mossley will start the 08/09 season with at least two wins under their belts since the year was rung in.

Whilst having bored everyone in the build-up to this match with tales of how this was a nailed on three points, the final scoreline was something of a surprise; mainly because when I rang up Bridlington at half-time to find out the score, the combination of a crackly line and the Tameside Stadium's overly loud P.A.system had lead me to believe that we were 3 - 0 down!

Yes, instead of braving the elements sweeping in off the North Sea, I was shivering myself silly at Curzon's bitterly cold home on Ashton. Which was surprising really as places with as much sand as Curzon had on their pitch tend to be a lot, lot warmer.

The Sahara encroaches onto the Tameside Stadium playing surface

I could go into great detail about the clash (rather too literally at times) between the Blues and, the not Blues for the day, Clitheroe but as I don't really want to I'll keep it short and say that this was a great game of football. Goals, countless talking points and more ex-Mossley players than you could shake a stick at - it certainly made a refreshing change to be at an exciting match on a Saturday afternoon. As someone pointed out as the game neared its climax, it's hard to believe that Mossley are actually in the same division as the sides that fought out an entertaining 2 - 2 draw.

Gary Lowe's scarf is not available to buy in the club shop.

It was also interesting to see, or rather hear, that the playing of "I feel good" after Curzon score isn't as bad as things get. If it's Norton that scores the goal, the crowd also get a brief burst of the opening verse of Toni Basil's seminal 1980's hit 'Hey Micky', an act which registers a high 8.7 on the Camp-ometer. What next? A brief snatch of "Favourite Things" from The Sound of Music when Josh Mitten scores?

So instead of reading about the game you can, in a first for this blog, watch selected highlights of it. See four well taken goals, witness some tough tackles, observe a slightly embarrassing miss and, most of all, be amazed at Curzon's incredible tumbling Spaniard*:

* As always - be careful as it contains some particularly off colour language.

Beside The Sea

Well here it is, our last away day of the season. And it's one that sees Mossley making the longish trip to the North Yorkshire coast to face Bridlington Town for the latest installment in the saga of who's going finishes the closest to Woodley Sports come the end of the month.

A scene from our last visit to the Queensgate Stadium. Clicking the picture will take you to a bigger, yet much grainier, version of it.

Like Ossett in our previous match, we enter the third game of the season against our opponents with both sides having picked up a victory apiece in the previous two games. The Lilywhites won the first encounter 2 – 1 at the tail end of 2007 (little knowing that it was to be our last win for two and a half months) while the second meeting last month wasn’t quite as close - Bridlington inflicting a slightly embarrassing 5 – 2 home defeat on us.

If you scroll down this page (or click the relevant link in the side bar – it should be obvious which one) you’ll find an overview of Bridlington’s recent match with Woodley Sports. If you can’t be bothered (which I assume will be everybody reading this) what it basically says is that Brid are a nice passing side with a fair amount of creative players spread amongst their line-up.

Happily for Mossley however, their major failing appears to be in front of goal where they appear to possess all the incisiveness and eye for goal of... well, us really. Granted, it’s an opinion formed on the basis of just this one match but as such trifling matters like that don’t stop professional pundits, so it’ll not stop me either.

Prediction: As I'm not going, a nailed on win for Mossley. Something which I hope will be confirmed in the numerous calls to Bridlington I'll be making from the Tameside sand trap this Saturday, where I'll be watching Clitheroe put a further dent in Curzon's title aspirations.

Ossett Albion 2 - 1 Mossley

The problem with writing official match reports is that they're often quite mundane and characterless. This is because they come under close scrutiny from the league who have a zero tolerance approach to the criticism of players and officials. It's a stance which is entirely understandable given the number of people who are quick to blame everyone else other than their own teams failings.

Sometimes though they have to be criticised so in order to get around this unspoken rule euphemisms have to be used. For instance 'hot headed' is used to describe a centre half who's a borderline psychopath and 'rash challenge' to illustrate a tackle that away from the football pitch would be classified as aggravated assault. When it comes bad officials, you'll often see the word 'controversial' liberally applied or one of its many synonyms used instead.

With that out of the way it's on to the match report itself, and apropos of nothing in particular, Mossley crashed to a sixth successive defeat in a game that will long be remembered for a series of extremely controversial decisions rather than the football played.

(See, that long preamble wasn't for no good reason at all. I don't just chuck these things together willy-nilly you know)

As this isn't the official match report though I'll quite happily tell you that some of the officiating in this game was absolutely appalling, culminating in two dismissals that turned what should have been a good finish to a game of football ended into something approaching a West End farce.

Regular readers will know I'm not one for criticising officials in these things as you tend to find that no matter how strange and aggravating some decisions are, they're rarely the sole reason for a defeat. Suffice to say however, if the paths of Mossley and the referee in this game never cross again it will be a hundred years too soon. More about those decisions later.

The match started like so many others have done recently with Mossley under pressure right from the kick off, and it took their opponents no more than three minutes to put the ball in the back of Ashley Connor's net; Kelsey taking advantage of some non-existent marking to control and power home a right wing cross from just outside the corner of the six yard box.

Ossett's second arrived in a similar fashion seventeen minutes later, Kelsey this time turning provider with a low cross from the left wing which Catton tapped home from close range under no pressure.


Both goals sandwiched a host of other openings and opportunities that presented themselves to the home side and to be brutally honest we could have easily been four or five goals down before the midway point of the first half had been reached. However, just when it appeared that it was going to be another match that had the Mossley supporters wishing they'd brought their abacuses to keep a tally of the score, something unexpected happened. Not only did the visitors stem the flow of Ossett attacks but they began to look the better side.

Chances slowly started to present themselves to the Lilywhites as play became increasingly confined to the half the Albion were defending. Gareth Hamlet, Paul Garvey and David Boardman all went close to reducing the deficit as their once confident opponents began to wobble ever so slightly.

With time running out in the opening period it looked like Mossley weren't going to get the reward their belated efforts warranted but right on the stroke of half time they halved the arrears. Picking up the ball after his shot rebounded off the post, Paul Garvey laid the ball back to Daryl Weston on the right hand side of the Albion box. The Lilywhites full back then fired in a looping cross directly onto the head of Gareth Hamlet, who in turn directed the ball past the outstretched arm of the Ossett goalkeeper.

The second half began with Kelsey flashing the ball across the face of Mossley's goal, but the longer the match wore on, the more the visitors began to exert a tighter grip on the game. However the increase in possession failed to translate into an increase in shots on Albion's goal. With this in mind it's hard to argue that Mossley would have definitely salvaged the game had the following events not happened but it does make for an interesting "What if?"

Yes, you've reached that point in the report where it's time to talk about those disputable decisions I alluded to earlier.

In the 71st minute Daryl Weston was shown a straight red for an innocuous looking tackle on the halfway line. Not only did he win the ball, he did so without coming close to touching his opponent yet the referee couldn't get his card out fast enough to send him from the pitch. He was then immediately followed by manager Gerry Quinn for vehemently displaying his disbelief at the decision to the referee. A disbelief that appeared to be equally shared by the Ossett players and management.

Ten minutes later things went from the crazy to the utterly ludicrous. Gareth Hamlet became the second Mossley player to be issued with his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card for the strength of his protestations at the awarding of his first booking. There's no excuse for dissent but his reaction was somewhat understandable considering that he'd initially been cautioned for a volley of verbal abuse that had been directed at a linesman by an Ossett player.

It was at this point, with the game slowly slipping into the realms of the bizarre that I wondered if we weren't being set-up for one of those hidden camera TV shows; the kind were a celebrity whose status is defined by a letter at the bottom end of the alphabet suddenly appears and tells you that it was all a joke. Sadly, as Gareth Hamlet was 'helped' off the pitch by a contingent who hadn't been sent from the visitors bench, it was all to real.

Despite being at a numerical disadvantage for the closing stages of the game it was Mossley that finished the match in the ascendency, so much so that for the final ten minutes the crowd were treated to the sight of a team with ambitions of making the play-offs, playing for time against nine men. Sadly the lack of a decent final ball when they got into dangerous areas meant that a famous comeback remained elusively out of reach.

Now that the dust has settled on the events at the Queens Terrace ground, the fact remains that, unlucky or not, it's yet another defeat for Mossley. Even though it was one of the better performances we've seen in recent times but with the news that relegation is once again back on the agenda for one unlucky club, we need the win that will make us mathematically safe.

Admittedly, after having seen them play recently, it's highly unlikely that Woodley will get the seven points needed to go above us (even if they had fifteen games left let alone three) but it would be nice to see Mossley cement their place in the Unibond without relying on the continuing misfortunes of our near neighbours.

Only Four More To Go...

It’s to Yorkshire we head once more as the penultimate away fixture of the season sees us make the relatively short hop once again to Ossett.

Thanks to the ludicrous set-up of the league this season, this will be our third league meeting with the town’s lower ranked team. Honours from the previous two games are evenly shared with both sides winning their respective home games. The aggregate score from these meetings currently stand at 5 – 5 though Mossley are winning on the away goals rule.

The last match at Dimple Wells saw the home side run out 4 – 2 winners. Hopefully the scorer of Osset’s first goal on that night will be able to repeat the feat again this time around seeing as he now plays for us; the ‘he’ in question being David Boardman.

A run of eight games without defeat has taken our opponents to sixth position but they need a win to keep their still faint hopes of playing at least one extra game at the end of the season alive. Mossley on the other hand just need a win – be it scrappy, fortuitous or deserved. To be honest a draw would do and even a 1 – 0 defeat would be a sign of improvement.

Prediction: As always with Mossley – expect the unexpected. So with no-one expecting us to win that’s just what we’ll do, leading to three very welcome points heading back to Seel Park.

Woodley S 1 - 1 Bridlington Town

The inevitable postponement of Mossley's penultimate home match of the season after almost twelve hours of non-stop rain, snow and sleet gave a handful of Mossley supporters the chance to see two of the Lilywhites opponents in the race for the wooden spoon battle it out.

Woodley vs. Bridlington - packing them in.

When Woodley took the lead in the 66th minute is was a tad against the run of play and by that I mean it was a travesty. Up till that point Bridlington had been the only side on show that looked like scoring. That they weren't the four or five goals ahead that they deserved to be was down to one thing - a complete inability to put the ball into the back of the net. If it wasn't for plastic grass you could have sworn you were at Seel Park.

So not only was Woodley's goal against the run of play, it was with their first real shot as well. The Bridlington keeper did well to turn a long range free kick onto the crossbar but whilst his teammates stood around thinking "Blimey, that was close", Farrell knocked home the loose ball before embarking on a celebration not befitting someone who's just scored a tap-in. As you can see for yourself:

The destination of the three points looked to have been sealed not long after when Town's tricky little left winger was quite rightly shown the red card for abusing the match official. He did have something of a point though in his exclamation of tosspot as the referee, for the second time in the game, had allowed play to continue despite an incredibly blatant foul committed on the edge of the Woodley box.

With time running out Town got their first bit of luck in the match. A harmless looking cross looked to have been headed clear by one of the two Woodley centre halves, only for the ball to bounce off the back of his central defensive partners head and fly into the net. A moment of pure comedy that I rather frustratingly failed to get any footage of.

A typical scene from this game: Town on the attack with the wounded in the background.

Before the match the consensus was that the best result for Mossley would be a Bridlington win but with Radcliffe's surprise victory at Skelmersdale, a draw turned out to be the better outcome.

I'll admit that there was some hesitation about attending this match as the previous games I've seen involving Woodley this year as a neutral have been poor. It was therefore something of a surprise to not only be entertained but witness the best game of football I've seen in well over a month. It would have been nice if that accolade had fallen to a match involving Mossley but you can't have everything.

A scene that didn't fail to emit a few comments from the small band of Mossley fans in attendance. Including an unrepeatable one about a refrigerator and a piece of meat.

Woodley have seen quite a few changes since their previous manager left. Not only is their not one recognisable face on their team, they also have a, how should I put it diplomatically, certain gusto in their approach to tackling. But least they're attempting to marry that steeliness with some decent passing football, a world away from the neck aching long ball of the previous regime.

As for Bridlington, a draw was the least they deserved from the match. Their approach play was excellent but their astonishing knack of wasting glorious chance after glorious chance is something that I hope they carry into next weeks game with Mossley. If we can find our shooting boots I think there's a good chance we could be in line for a point or three.

A rare moment caught for posterity: a Bridlington shot on target during the match against Woodley (ultimately ruled out for offside).

Coming Up: A Mossley Win

The silky Brazilian skills of Garforth Town (no, I couldn’t type that with a straight face) make their second appearance of the season at Seel Park this coming Saturday, as Mossley make another attempt to reverse their poor run of form.

And do you know what? I think we’ll do it. Of course there has to be a reason for such optimism and I'll explain why later.

Garforth are something of a paradox. If you click on their web site you’ll be bombarded with content detailing how they play football the right way, with skill and flair - "samba football". A quick glance at the fair play table tells a different story though. While it’s true to say that some referee’s may be over zealous with their officiating, you don’t find yourself second in the leagues bad boy table through sheer bad luck.
Across the various club forums of the Unibond North Town's 'rough and ready' approach has been heavily criticised, procuring them the kind of reputation that that would get Don King itching to represent them.

The Yorkshire side have already beaten us once this season, in the first game in fact, and were a hairs breadth away from beating us again back in November. It needed a last minute penalty scored by Danny Toronczak to rescue a point for the Lilywhites in a game that, for three quarters of it at least, Garforth never looked like losing.

Our opponents-to-be's league position of 8th may get some people fretting about the outcome of the match but appearances can be deceptive. While Simon Clifford's side may sit in the outer fringes of a play-off spot, the Miners are currently on a run of three games without a win - just like we are. Taking only away games into consideration they're four games without a win - erm, just like we are. Plus they haven't scored in the last two of those away games - we have! Ergo we'll win

Yes I know we're playing at home and we last kept a clean sheet 21 matches ago but its a straw and I'm going to clutch at it.

Prediction: As I’ve said already – a win, and a much needed win at that, for Mossley. Along with a considerable number of yellow cards being flashed in our opponents direction. And as well as a third consecutive sentence beginning with the letter 'a', here's another prediction: Mossley's goals against column in the league won't tick into three figures.

Now I'm off to get treatment for the heavy blow I received to the head prior to writing this preview.

Mossley 0 - 4 Harrogate R.A.

Before I begin, let me emit a hearty sigh, ... , that's better.

With the unofficial news last week that there will be no relegation from the Unibond First Division North due to Newcastle Blue Star's decision to withdraw from the league, the possibility of Mossley's season going from bad to catastrophic looks unlikely to come to fruition.

It still however remains on course to go from bad to worse to even worse; the latest stop on that journey being a crushing 4 - 0 defeat at home to the team immediately above them in the table. A scoreline that Mossley could have no complaints about even if Harrogate's winning margin had been double what it was at the end of the match.

The visitors first goal in the 20th minute came as little surprise as they'd spent the majority of the preceding 19 minutes peppering the Park End goal Mossley were defending with shots. A move down Mossley's right hand side looked to have come to nothing when two Harrogate players got in each others way attempting to control ball. With no challenges forthcoming from the home defence though, they were able to untangle themselves and Carl Fox was allowed the time to turn on the edge of the box and fire a shot past Ashley Connor.

Mossley finally managed to break the almost incessant cycle of Harrogate attacks just after the half hour mark and with their one notable move of the half they put the ball in the back of their opponents net. Unfortunately the finishing touch applied by Gareth Hamlet was done so from an offside position, and with the goal ruled out 'normal service' resumed.

Just one video for your viewing 'pleasure' this week – Mossley's disallowed goal:

Just when it looked though like Mossley would make it to the interval only a goal in arrears, Railway doubled their lead. In the final minute of the half Scott Ryan took advantage of the inordinate being afforded to him to cut in from the left hand touchline and slip the ball under Connor. There was still time left in the half as well for Harrogate themselves to have a goal ruled out for offside.

The terraces weren't awash with much optimism at the start of the second period that Mossley could claw their way back into the game. What little there was though was pinned on the hope that with the wind at their backs, the Lilywhites would pose more of a threat as an attacking force. And whilst it's true to say that they enjoyed more possession than they had done in the opening half, there was little constructive done with it. In fact it wasn't until the 67th minute that Harrogate's keeper into action for the first time, Tom Morgan dropping low to his right to keep out a header from David Boardman.

Harrogate's response was to almost immediately break up field and with little in the way of a defence to stop him, Matthew James killed off Mossley's lingering hopes of salvaging anything from the match by netting his sides third.

Bizarrely this appeared to be the cue for Mossley to embark on their best spell of the game and for the first time in the match they actually made their opponents sweat a little. Lee Blackshaw almost pulled a goal back with a terrific shot that hammered off the underside of the cross bar and a long range effort by Leon Henry was plucked out of the air by Morgan. The brief attempt at a revival came to an end when Harrogate once again caught Mossley flat footed at the back and a strike from substitute Chris Rosindale took his sides total to four and the number of goals conceded by the Lilywhites in all competitions this season into three figures.

The remainder of the game was almost exclusively played out in the Mossley half of the field and if not for some more fine saves by Connor and a goal line clearance by Danny Ryan, the eventual result would have been even more emphatic.

Apart from the continued efforts of a few players and the return to action of Paul Garvey after a long injury lay off, the only positive to be taken from the game, other than that the margin of defeat being only four goals, is that what has been a wretched second half of the season is ninety minutes nearer finishing.

I don't think it would take more than two guesses to work out the kind of enthusiasm with which I approached the writing of this match report. I mean, how on earth do you put a new a spin on the latest in a long line of capitulations stretching back to the start of the year?

But for some good goalkeeping and some less than accurate finishing (I really should assign a keyboard shortcut to that phrase given the number of times I've used it this season) we would have been on the end of a much heavier, and frankly more realistic, defeat. The problems in this game were the same as the ones in the last match, the one before that and so on, so I hope you don't mind if I don't repeat myself for the umpteenth since the end of 2007.

A photograph of some snow taken during the second half. Why? Because there was little worth snapping on the pitch.

While it's true that we're still lucky to have a club at all to support this season following our mid-season dalliance with oblivion, the truth is that more results and performances like this one will only bring the wolves to the door once more as interest among those still bothering to attend dwindles further.

The saddest aspect of this match is that despite the low attendance, there were a few faces amongst the crowd that haven't been Seel Park for quite a while. And following the display they witnessed I'll wager that it'll be some time before we see them again.

As it stands we now have four games left in this campaign to reclaim a bit of pride and build a springboard into next season. Can we do it? Eternal optimists and those who believe five points out of forty eight is merely an unavoidable blip will say yes. But I'm confident they'd baulk from putting money on it.

Oh well, I'm sure it will be better next week when Garforth Town show up.

Overcrowding Not Expected

All five of Mossley's final games this season are against clubs from the White Rose county and they begin with the arrival of Harrogate Railway Athletic this Saturday.

This will be our third league meeting with Railway in the 07/08 campaign and the Yorkshire sides first ever visit to the hilltop away side only points dispenser fortress that is Seel Park.

The first match saw both sides share the points in a 1 - 1 draw, but it was different outcome in January when it was only a succession of poor finishing by numerous Harrogate players that stopped the Yorkshire club from racking up a more convincing win than the 2 - 1 scoreline they ended up with.

Harrogate's recent form has been up and down whist ours has mostly been the latter. That said, Railway still remain one of the few clubs we can realistically hope of overtaking in the pursuit of a better league position come the end of April.

Prediction: We've drawn with them once this season, we've lost to them once this season. The third game will see us complete the set with a win. Trust me - I'm right about this one.

Tumbleweed Wednesday

No midweek football means that, once again, I'm relying on the work of others to to keep the blog ticking over by listing a few links that you may find interesting.

It's no secret that Mossley are having a few problems on the pitch at the moment, particularly in regards to scoring and defending them. Thankfully though it hasn't got quite this bad:

Laurel and Hardy were great weren't they? There wasn't an occupation that was around in the early part of the last century that they couldn't mine for comedy - boat painters, car mechanics, piano movers and, memorably, the Foreign Legion.

One notable exception though was firefighting but now, thanks to two US firemen (albeit unwittingly), you can get a taster of what it would have been like had Hal Roach allowed Stan and Ollie to make a film that would probably have had 'blaze' in the title:

Have you ever bought some food purely on how it looks on the packet, only to find out that what's inside the packaging doesn't even come close to resembling the on the front? Well you're not alone (presuming you answered yes) because someone has gone to the trouble of detailing the discrepancies with photographs: Advertising vs Reality

My particular favourite is Grunkhol (about a third of the way down the page) as instead of a plate of food, it looks suspiciously like a grass verge that's popular with the local canine community.

Finally, a financial forum may be one of the last places you'd think of visiting for a really good laugh but I highly recommend reading this thread at MoneySavings Expert.com, as it details a fraud victims dealings with debt collection agency Debitas. Particular highlights from the many phone transcripts with call centre staff listed include the aforementioned victim pretending to be god and, in one inspired exchange, to have travelled two months back in time.

Hopefully there are one two things here that will keep you occupied for a few minutes while we await the arrival of Harrogate Railway Athletic.