SPS To SP For FAT Game With MAFC

Another week, another cup competition and this Saturday sees Mossley start their assault on the other FA prize available to them this season - the Trophy.

Amid all the excitement generated by the win over Kendal last week in the Challenge Cup, it would be easy to dismiss this game with a shrug of the shoulders but not only is it an important competition in terms of prestige, it's also the second biggest money spinner for clubs at our level too.

Last season we left the Trophy at the first available opportunity by losing to Rushall Olympic. The season before that it was Cammel Laird who dumped us out on our backsides in the 2nd Qualifying Round. In fact the last time we actually reached the First Round proper of the competition via the qualifiers was way back in 1986, beating both Hyde and Stalybridge before we bowed out to Kidderminster Harriers.

And as if to prove that it is a small world, Mossley's opponents are the team Curzon beat to set up next week's Battle Royale at the Tameside Stadium - Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Our last meeting with Stocksbridge was a little over twelve months ago in the Unibond League Cup and though it started well it didn't end that way with the Lilywhites trying and failing to hang on to an early lead, eventually going down to a somewhat deserved 2 - 1 defeat.

That fixture was the first time we'd faced Steels in a knock-out competition and it was also the first time they'd ever beaten us; Mossley having won all of the previous games between the two.

A state of affairs that leaves the choice of two possible omens for you to take into the game: the bad one which says we've never beaten Stocksbridge in a cup competition or the good one which is that we've won every game against them at Seel Park.

Only one of them will still survive at the end of the match so lets hope that the good omen lives to be disproved another day.