Mossley 4 - 1 Warrington Town

What a difference four days, nicer weather, a change in formation and a more positive approach to scoring makes.

Eighty nine and a half little hours which saw Mossley transform from a team that was a distant second best in their defeat to Radcliffe, to the one that had left Stalybridge and Hyde fans resorting to grumbles that "results don't matter at this stgae" after being beaten on their pre-season visits to Seel Park.

The talking point amongst the home supporters prior to the match was which Mossley team would turn up for the kick-off and happily for all concerned it was the one that spanked Clitheroe's bottoms in their own back garden.

If Mossley had any nerves going into this match following the reversal against Radcliffe four days earlier, they were undoubtedly banished with the opening goal of the game in the eighth minute; Dave Hanlon slotting the ball between Warrington keeper Ritchie Mottram and his near post to notch up his first goal in a Lilywhites shirt.

The home sides position in the game improved one hundred percent when Michael Fish added a bit of breathing space to the scoreline sixteen minutes later. On this occasion Hanlon was the provider, his cross finding the head of Fish who in turn put the ball beyond Mottram from close range.

To be perfectly honest these were the only two incidents of any note in the first half hour of the game. The final fifteen minutes of the opening period though saw Mossley step up a couple of gears and fashion enough chances to have won the match a couple of times over.

Despite threatening to run rampant though Mossley only managed to add one more goal to their tally before the whistle signalling and end to the first half blew. Once again it came through another close range header from Fish, the Lilywhites leading scorer beating team mate Lee Blackshaw in the race to get on the end of Danny Dignan's excellent right wing cross.

Not only did it give the home side what at that point seemed like (and ultimately proved) an unassailable lead, it also had the happy side effect of silencing the very annoying drum brought along by one of the visiting fans.

Now I'm all for atmosphere at football matches, and frankly if one place needs it it's Seel Park, but banging a drum isn't it. As a letter writer to today's Non-League Paper points out, why do it? Are they so insecure that they need to try and make themselves the centre of attention (“Look at me, I'm a character”) because the one thing it doesn't do is drive a team on? Instead of inspiring the team or crowd all it does is give people daydreams of using the drummers noggin to bang either it or the terraces with. Thereby giving them a headache instead of the rest of us.

And while I'm on the subject, maybe its just me but do these drummers always seem smug to you? Like they think they're the only people to have mastered something that most of us have been able to do since we were at least six months old.

Anyway, after that little rant it's back to the match.

After what I suspect was a half-time team talk containing words that would make even Mossley supporters blush, Warrington emerged from the changing room l looking a completely different side from the one that had entered it shell shocked. Straight from the restart they put their hosts on the back foot and a goal six minutes in from substitute Billy Webb only galvanised their efforts even more as the Lilywhites struggled to rediscover their first-half form and the drummer started his incessant banging again.

And if it hadn't for some inaccurate finishing, particularly from Carl Rendell, it's possible they could have surpassed the comeback they'd produced against Bamber Bridge days earlier when they drew 3 - 3 after being 3 - 1 down.

From the hour mark on though Mossley slowly began to reassert their control on the game, nullifying whatever threat Warrington still posed and turning their own goal scoring opportunities from a trickle into a steady stream once more.

Any wind left in Warrington's sails was finally knocked out of them in the 77th minute. As with the third goal Dignan was again the provider but the beneficiary of his inch perfect cross this time was Danny Egan. The former Macclesfield player, a second half substitute for the injured Fish, diverting the ball home in the six yard box with an outstretched leg.

Mossley had chances to make the victory an even more convincing one in the closing stages of the game. However the final 4 – 1 score line more than adequately conveys the superiority of the Lilywhites over their guests on the day and it's a result that, at this admittedly very early stage of the season, moves them into third place in the table.

While the move to a standard 4-4-2 formation and setting our stall out further up the pitch certainly played their parts in Mossley's improved showing, another important factor was, as one of the Bus Shelter Standers rightly pointed out, Warrington not continually closing us down in the manner Radcliffe had done. It gave the Lilywhites room to play and play they did; some of the passing and movement off the ball was superb and all four goals were well worked and well finished. Kudos to all associated with this performance.

A six point haul from the first three games of the season is probably more than what many Mossley supporters would have realistically been expecting given the fact we had a brand new side but I don't think any will be complaining.

And finally, well penultimately, to all those supporters who asked me when was the last time Mossley scored three goals in the first half of a game: it was in March when the Lilywhites won their first game of 2008 against Chorley and not, like many thought, in the dim and distant past, even if it does feel like it.

That's it for the reading (if indeed you have bothered to read the above) and now it's time for the watching. Hopefully it will get a few more views than the one for the Radcliffe match: