Mossley 1 - 3 Durham City

I'm going to keep this report short, not through circumstance but by choice.

I could put into words exactly how I feel about this game but what would be the point? Any criticism of the official would more than likely see the club punished, even though this blog has nothing to do with Mossley AFC in an official capacity whatsoever, so why run the risk of one person's opinion being taken as a bona fide statement from Seel Park.

Frankly the far better team on the day won and the performance of the official in the middle only serves to take the attention away from this indisputable fact. As bad as he was he wasn't responsible for the sloppy passing, the shoddy marking or any of the other contributory factors to the goals we conceded.

All of which came within eight minutes of madness at the beginning of the first half in an, at times, heated affair with league leaders Durham at Seel Park.

Benefiting from the strong wind blowing against their backs and a catalogue of errors from the home side, strikes from Chris Smith, Matthew Moffat and Steven Richardson raced their side into a three goal lead with the game barely quarter of an hour old. And had Richardson not wasted two other good opportunities it could have conceivably been a lot worse for the Lilywhites.

After that early blitz the home side began to force their way back into the game and by the time they reached the interval they were starting to look the better of the two teams.

The momentum they'd built continued after the break and from the restart they had their opponents on the back foot. The pressure almost paid off immediately too when when Danny Dignan was felled in the area by the Durham keeper, only for the referee to book the Mossley player for diving despite keeper Craig Turns nobly informing the official that he had indeed caught him.

They didn't have to wait long though to pull a goal back and it came when Clive Moyo-Modise struck a low shot through a crowd of players from the edge of the box.

The effect the goal had on Durham was visible but Mossley were unable to capitalise on a steadily growing panic in the visitors back line. Although they were playing the better football, and spending a lot of time in and around the Durham area, they couldn't turn that possession into shots on goal.

City's ventures forward on the other hand, despite being fewer and further between, always looked dangerous and that they didn't add to their lead was down to some good defending and a couple of stunning saves from James Mann.

As the teams trooped off the heavy pitch after a fractious end to the the game, Mossley will have done so wondering about what might have been had it not been for that early lack of composure that ultimately cost them the game.

I've not much more to add really. There is the caveat to Mossley's performance that with injuries and suspensions leaving us with only fourteen players to choose from, it was a scratch side the Lilywhites had to field. And while we had a few purple patches in the game it was never really going to be enough to beat a direct Durham side going for the league title.

Personally I can't wait for this season end.

Mossley's campaign now revolves around one cup match at the end of April, with nine other matches in between, and I've reached the stage now where I'm sick of seeing games spoilt by the officials. This isn't a poor hard done to Mossley thing, I've been a neutral at numerous Curzon, Woodley and Salford games since the turn of the year and seen matches change on the basis of some poor decisions – not marginal ones, down right awful ones.

Of course, officials are human like the rest of us but... oh, what's the use. Nothing will change so why bother arguing the case against.

I said I'd keep it short and there it is.


Joe Lawton said...
10:44 pm

Hmm... you say that the Durham keeper admitted he caught him, but that's not what you said immediatley after the incident, is it?

I distinctly remember you conceding that he dived, to the bewilderment of your loudmouthed buddies who were incensed at the decision.

Also, after the player had been booked, one of them gobs off to the ref shouting "why does he get a free kick for that?"

Please point him in the direction of "The Laws of the Game, Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct, paragraph 3, sub-section 2" which states

- "An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if, in the
opinion of the referee, a player commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12,
for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player".

The offence is unsporting behaviour (simulation) which merits a caution, but simulation in itself is not a free kich offence, but the referee needs to stop the game to administer the caution. Therefore, he awards an indirect free-kick.

Apologies for the rant, but being a referee myself, ignorance of the laws is quite annoying.

Talking of referees, I thought that the referee did quite well (cue gasps of astonishment from the Mossley clan). He got the odd niggly foul/push wrong, but other than that didn't cock-up any huge decisions.

Just like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on a fantastic blog. Shame about being from Mossley, though.

SJNR said...
11:07 am

I may have originally thought that he dived (and remember that I was in the minority) but the keeper did admit to the referee that he had caught him.