Wakefield 0 - 2 Mossley

I've thought long and hard about a suitable opening to this report but I can't for the life of me think of one. So in lieu of a sparkling first paragraph, just pretend you've read something clever and witty and move on to the next bit.

Following the events of the previous game against Durham, I'd be lying if I said I was looking forward to this trip across the Pennines to see the Lilywhites face Wakefield.

The prospect of watching another ninety minute instalment of Mossley's slow limp towards the end of the season wasn't particularly enticing. A sense of duty though meant we arrived at the College Grove ground at 7:15pm and immediately saw something that gave us a clue that the night might be a bit different to what we were expecting.

The vision on arrival was that of an old man in a cardigan and slippers who'd climbed up a large wooden fence to peer through a hole at a women's hockey team in training behind it.

We could have given him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was merely a fan of the game but the speed at which shot off once he'd seen us suggested his attention was focussed more on the aesthetics of the participants than the intricacies of the sport.

And if you think we may be doing him a huge disservice by jumping to such a conclusion and besmirching his character, it's also worth pointing out that he went and 'hid' behind a car on a side street, occasionally peeking his head out from cover as we walked past. The actions of an innocent hockey fan or a lecherous old perv? You decide.

To be fair to the vintage voyeur though, the sight of women running around in short skirts on the adjoining hockey pitch was the only thing worth watching in the opening half hour of the game.

The good old hockey game. Minus ice.

To give you some idea of how interesting the opening third was, I can't remember a single thing about what happened on the pitch. I can on the other hand tell you in detail what the conversation on the terraces was about (or at least I could if I thought discussions of Sapphic love and the sexual mores of one particular family were suitable for a blog open to all ages).

Happily though (if only for level of taste and decency on our section of the terracing) events on the green rectangle came to the fore when the game unexpectedly burst into life in the 32nd minute.

A mazy box to box run by Clive Moyo-Modise ended with the South African under-21 international being tripped just outside the penalty area. The resulting free-kick was fired low towards goal by Danny Dignan and, as the ball passed through a wall of defenders, it took a slight deflection that was enough to wrong foot Wakefield keeper Andy Woods and put Mossley ahead.

And it got even better for them nine, attacking minutes later when the lead was doubled. Again it was another set-piece that was the catalyst for the goal but this time it was Woods himself who did the damage.

Despite being at distance so far from goal that Wakefield only formed a token wall, Dignan struck a powerful effort that had the goalkeeper scrambling across his line before it hammered back off the upright. Moyo-Modise picked up the rebound and though his shot wasn't great, Woods recovered to make a good stop. At least that was how it initially appeared.

However, as the outfield players began to start making their way back up the pitch, the keeper fumbled the save while prone on the ground and during a series of increasingly bizarre contortions pulled in an attempt to reclaim it, he somehow managed to punch the ball into his own net.

It was a moment that could have made him a star on YouTube, but as the league still refuses to embrace something that may generate a bit of publicity for clubs struggling with falling attendances, his potential brush with fame will quickly pass.

The hopes of a perfect half however were dashed in stoppage time when Leon Henry was shown a straight red card for retaliating to a challenge that should have been as equally deserving of a dismissal.

If it hadn't happened right in front of the Wakefield bench its almost certain that Leon would have only received a yellow card at most but the rabid reaction of the Wakefield management probably swayed the referee's judgement.

Not that Mossley can have real complaints about the officials. For the first forty minutes it was almost as if he was an 'awayer' as the visitors got the benefit of the doubt in most of the marginal and not quite so marginal decisions. It did even itself up in the second half as Wakefield picked up a long succession of favourable decisions, but it was nice to finally see again a set officials intent on trying to keep a low profile rather than manoeuvre themselves into being the centre of attention.

Any worries that the flourish of crimson may have had an adverse effect on the visitors were quashed almost immediately after the restart. Despite the patched up nature of Mossley's team (for example, only one of the back four was playing their regular position) and the disadvantage in numbers, the Lilywhites controlled the second period. And that they did so without abandoning the attacking football they'd ended the previous half playing made it all the more impressive.

In fact, with a bit more luck and composure in front of goal the result would have been put beyond doubt long before the final whistle; Dignan, Egan and Kay all going agonisingly close to increasing the home teams misery.

Even when Wakefield began throwing men forward in a desperate attempt to get back into the game, Mossley remained calm and composed and limited the Yorkshire side to just the one real opportunity; one which was bundled over an open net by James Dudgeon with quarter of an hour remaining.

As the final whistle approached Wakefield became more and more desperate in their attempts to score, but once a team starts taking pot shots at goal from forty yards out you know that the game is effectively over.

And soon after it was with Mossley leaving the pitch to a rapturous round of applause from the thirty or so supporters who were now grateful they'd made the trip.

I could single out some real star performances from this game but the effort from the whole team was so good it would seem unfair to do so. To put it simply this was the best display from the Lilywhites in... oh, months. From front to back we were near faultless.

Possibly the only downer on the night was that the game was won with two 'slutchy' goals as far away from the football that surrounded it in terms of quality as it's possible to get. Then again, as long as the ball goes in the net who really cares how it gets there?

After a sequence of admittedly not so glorious results and performances, this was a pleasant, and more than welcome, reminder that the Mossley who impressed many earlier in the season with their style of football is still there.

And finally, like the opening paragraph I can't think of one to close it so if you'd be kind enough to make up your own I'd be very much obliged.