Mossley 1 - 0 Clitheroe

Not every game of football is going to be a classic. In fact most matches barely rise above the level of being merely average which makes those times when a great one comes along all the sweeter.

There are those games though that fall under neither category. Matches which scrape along the bottom of the football barrel and this was one of those few.

Oh, was this game bad. A ninety minute episode of 'My Family' bad. The match Kurtz had visions of before he died at the end of Apocalypse Now.

I don't know about you but when supporters start talking about organising a petition to get the league to deduct points from two teams in midst of playing one another, you know a match has reached an unspeakable level of atrociousness.

In fact I wish I could I forget it but as I've got a match report to write I can't. That particular little treat is going to have to wait a for a few hundred words.

The unpredictable nature of football means that at times a definition of it can be distilled down to one moment of brilliance surrounded by ninety plus minutes of tedium. And it's a definition that sums this particular game up perfectly.

With the game heading into injury time and towards the goalless draw that, like death and taxes, looked an inevitability from the moment the second half started, a series of one touch passes concluded with Lee Blackshaw receiving the ball with his back to goal, just inside the Clitheroe box. In one movement the Lilywhites winger scooped the ball over his shoulder and, on the turn, fired an unstoppable volley into the roof of the net – a goal worthy of winning a far, far better game.

And annoyingly its complete unexpectedness meant that I missed filming it. All I've got footage of is Clitheroe's keeper in mid-air and the ball hitting the back of the net – not good when it's a possible contender for goal of the season.

Both sides had gone into the game on the back of very impressive wins but there was little evidence of the type of football that got them on display.

The match had got off to a relatively promising start, particularly for the visitors with Mossley a distinct second best. For all their possession though, only once did the Blues really look like capitalising on their advantage. It came when a corner arrived at the feet of Jonathan Smith after making its way through a series of poor attempted clearances. But with more time available to him than he probably realised the Clitheroe centre half sent his snap shot high and wide of Andy Robertson's goal.

By choosing to swap the long ball tactics they'd been toiling with for more measured passes across the difficult playing surface, Mossley finally began to make some inroads into their opponents and the game slowly began to swing in their favour.

Clive Moyo-Modise became the first player to call a keeper into action when he worked an opening for himself with some fine footwork that bamboozled all but Martin Fearon, the Clitheroe keeper, who made a good stop. His next save a few minutes later was even more impressive, somehow managing to divert a close range effort from Lee Blackshaw away to safety.

It wasn't the end to Fearon's call to flying arms either. Once more he was to deny M&M a goal on his second debut but he almost paid the price for getting caught in no-mans land when Mattie Kay burst through from midfield and rolled a ball just wide of the post.

It was a strong end to the half for the Lilywhites though they did ride their luck when the referee ignored a very strong claim from Clitheroe for a penalty. That said Mossley themselves were on the wrong end of some highly debatable decisions which brought a couple of promising looking attacks to a premature halt.

All told it wasn't the best half of football there's ever been but what followed after the interval made it look like the 1970 World Cup Final. I can't remember seeing a worse forty five minutes of football for quite some time and talking to a few of the supporters present, neither could they.

Someone charitably described it as 'mundane' but 'awful' would be nearer the mark; both sides effectively cancelling one another out as the game devolved into the type of midfield battle which the word dour could have been invented for. There wasn't even the remotest hint that the game could spring into a modicum of life which made what happened in its closing moments, as supporters willed the game to finish, even more of a surprise.

However, Lee Blackshaw's superbly executed goal in time added on at the end of the match meant that for all its faults as a piece of entertainment, the game at least had a happy ending for the home fans in attendance.

At this point I'd write a few paragraphs summing up my thoughts on the game but I think that this time my feelings on what happened are pretty evident within the report itself.

And with that now out of the way, it's into the warm embrace of forgetting it all...