Bamber Bridge 0 - 2 Mossley

Unfortunately time constraints mean that this is going to be a relatively short report compared to what usually appears on here. It's a damn nuisance too because this game, or rather Mossley's performance in it, is one I could spend hours enthusing about.

Without a point from the four games played in the first half of the month, November was rapidly in danger of becoming the period on the calendar which marked Mossley's transformation from a top of the table side into one of the also rans in the lower reaches of the league.

At least that was the case until two unanswered goals at Bamber Bridge's QED Stadium ensured that the Lilywhites not only returned to winning ways but put the brakes on their slide down the Unibond First Division as well.

And while a 2 – 0 scoreline registered against a side sitting second in the league is impressive in itself, it's one that doesn't come close to accurately reflecting the gap that existed between the two teams on the pitch. I say gap, it was more like a gulf at times.

The first goal came towards the end of an opening period that, a tentative start aside, Mossley dominated. The abundance of pace in their forward line and the variety of attacking options available on the pitch were causing the home side no end of problems, but it was from a simple set-piece that the Lilywhites finally got the reward their first half efforts deserved; Graham Kay rising between two defenders at the far post to power Alex Mortimer's delivery from a free-kick low past Andy Banks in the Bridge goal.

The second half saw no let up in pressure from Mossley as they began to turn the screw even more on an increasingly hapless looking home defence. Chances came and went with a dizzying speed, so many in fact that even though Mossley80 is no stranger to the lengthy match report, there's no way on earth I'm listing the number of opportunities the visitors created, spurned or were denied profiting from by some very good goalkeeping.

With a tad more luck it's entirely possible that Mossley could have got their goal difference back to how it was three weeks and thirteen goals ago.

No matter how well you're playing though, holding a one goal lead is always a precarious position to be in – you're only a momentary loss of concentration away from having your advantage wiped out. Therefore any fears there were of Bridge somehow managing to claw their way back into a game they were only bit part players in eased significantly in the 78th minute.

Michael Fish had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes when, twenty yards from goal, he curled the ball through a crowded penalty and past the despairing dive of Banks to finally give the Lilywhites the breathing space their endeavours deserved. It wasn't as good as his strike from practically the same spot in last season's corresponding fixture but it wasn't far off either.

In fact if Fish had scored it for FCUB, Halifax, Boston, Wakefield or any of the countless other clubs who have goals and match footage uploaded regularly to supposedly 'against league rules' video sharing websites, there'd be a whole host of people around the world saying how good it was. As the likes of Mossley aren't allowed to do that though you're going to have to take my word, and the word of everyone else who was there, that it was a pip and a dandy.

We may have beaten bigger teams with bigger score lines since August but this was probably the best ninety minutes of football we've played for a good while.

While it's hard not to get to carried away after seeing the side you support run rings around a team from the upper echelons of the league, you have to keep reminding yourself not to go overboard. However a bit of optimism doesn't go amiss every now and again and if (and it's a humongous if I grant you) Mossley can repeat what they did in Preston on even a semi-regular basis then we'll be in for a very good final two thirds of the season.

Undoubtedly some people will view Andy Robertson's return to the number one position in this game and the subsequent clean sheet as linked but the real reason for Mossley's improved defensive performance lies further up the pitch.

The difference having two combative midfielders in the centre of the park made was extraordinary and it was the pairing of Kelly and Weston rather than a change in goalkeepers which saw Mossley look more solid than they have done recently. Not only did they protect the back four they provided a platform to build attack after attack from too.

It would be wrong to single out these two players as the sole reason for our return to points collecting though as no one in an orange (or green) shirt put in anything less than a very good performance. From the front where the two Danny's chased and harassed the Brig defence all night to our solid showing across the back we were, frankly, brilliant.

It's entirely possible that Jericho's wall may come crashing down to the sound of Woodley's horn on Saturday but at least we'll head to Plastic Land knowing what we can do when we click and the confidence that brings.

And finally, a big thank you to the players for not only the result but coming across to clap the supporters at the end. It's a small thing but it's never not appreciated.