And So It Begins

It’s a second successive season started away from home for Mossley as we make the “shorter than it seems” trip to our old friends at Clitheroe. So, a nice easy one to be getting off with then!

During the very early stages of last season it looked as though Clitheroe would be one of the teams that made up the small group of relegation dog fighters all leagues are legally obliged to have each year.

When Mossley arrived at Shawbridge in October the home side had only three points to their name and were still searching for their first win of the season. Two hours, one change of referee and one prolonged “zone out” session from Mossley later they had it; two late goals securing a 3 - 2 victory in a game the Lilywhites had never looked like losing until the man in the middle picked up an injury that necessitated a 25 minute stoppage.

It didn’t seem it at the time but in hindsight I think that for myself, and a few others too, it was this game that was the turning point in our season. The optimism that had been slowly generated over the summer was suddenly replaced by the realisation that the Mr Hyde side to our character was far more dominant than the Dr Jekyll side.

Everything that was to haunt us for the rest of the season was evident in this one match: the slipshod defending, the lack of focus, fitness and changes when they needed to be made. I could go into further detail about what happened but you’re probably better off just re-reading the match report for yourself.

That’s all in the past though and with our new fitness/training regimen I can’t see the team this year, should lightning strike twice, standing around idly for all but the final three minutes of a 25 minute stoppage.

Lining up for Clitheroe against us should be ex-Lilywhites Joel Pilkington, Jonathan Smith and Danny Toronczack so it's almost a certainty that at least one of them will score against us, the unwritten rules of football being what they are. The question is as to whether we can outscore them.

While the performances in pre-season have ranged from good to excellent, this is going to be one hell of a tough game for what is essentially a brand new side. As long as we made a good fist of it though I expect that the visitors on the terraces will return home happy.

Then again, with the amount of drink that's likely to be consumed between entering Mossley Station in the morning and leaving it on the return home at night, merriness, no matter what happens, is practically guaranteed.