Glossop North End 0 - 2 Mossley

Be it a finger of Kit-Kat that's all chocolate and no biscuit or snooker coverage finishing earlier than planned on television, thereby allowing a decent programme to fill the schedule, it's always nice to be surprised.

And there was no bigger surprise than the one which greeted unwary visitors to Glossop's Surrey Street ground last night.

The odd lick of grey paint aside it's still the exactly the same as it was when Mossley last visited in 2004(and when I last visited in December). There is however one big difference.

Gone is Britain's largest, grass flecked mudflat that used to be passed off as a football pitch and in its place is a lush green carpet. Admittedly it's a carpet that looks as though as it has been laid over some medium sized sleeping animals in a couple of places, but the transformation from what it used to be to what it is now is simply extraordinary - it's now almost a perfect playing surface.

No Photoshop trickery here - that actually is Glossop's pitch.

Congratulations to the groundsman for doing something that ought to make solving world hunger and ending all wars seem like a piece of pee in comparison.

So to the match, and what a good match it was too.

The Glossop side of the late Noughties are far removed from the Glossop side that many of you will be familiar with from our time in the NWCFL. The modern day Blues are a good footballing side, and with Mossley keen to let the ball do most of the work too, it made for an entertaining game. And frankly one you wish all friendly matches (and even competitive games) were like.

That said, despite the teams being closely matched in some areas there was a near gulf in difference between the two in one very important part - the attack. While the home sides forwards struggled to get anything out of a very well marshalled Mossley back line (and grew increasingly more petulant as the game wore on), the Lilywhites went close time and again to finding the back of the net. The fact they weren't a couple of goals to the good at the break was down mainly to a couple of goal line clearances and some very good saves by their goal keeper.

The Derbyshire sides luck ran out though in the second half just after they'd, as it always tend to happen, had their best spell of the game. A block tackle on the edge of the six yard box by Kieran Fletcher set in motion a sweeping Mossley move which, eight passes later, Sam Walker finished by calmly placing the ball under the keeper.

If it was a league or a cup match people would have been raving about the goal for a considerable length of time, but because it's pre-season it will be largely forgotten which is a shame. However, thanks to You Tube, it shall remain viewable for the ages. Or at the very least until Google shuts down the servers on the financial black hole the video hosting site currently is.

From this point on the result never looked in doubt, despite the lack of any kind of cushion to the score line. A second goal finally arrived in the last minute courtesy of a superb finish by Nathan Neequaye and that was that - the season had moved another ninety minutes closer and Mossley had another victory under their belts at the expense of North End's pre-season 100% record.

Don't believe me about the goals? See for yourself then:

The one sour note of the night was the behaviour of the Glossop captain who became the first person I've seen for a long time to actually be booked in a non-league friendly. Of course the referee could have asked the home team management to remove him from the game and spare him a yellow card, but the fact is they should have had sense to sub him once the official had spoken to him for the third time about his conduct.

Even the Glossop fans stood next to me were shouting for their manager to take him off as he continually talked himself into trouble. Friendly or not, there are some things so you can't say to an official and because of this he starts the coming campaign one card closer to an automatic suspension than every other player in the league.

But that was the only downer on what was other wise a very good night.

Both sides had a good run out and will be all the better for it. As a Mossley fan there was a lot to be cheered about ahead of the coming match at Garforth. And should Glossop manage to find a couple of people to spearhead their attack, I look forward to them joining the Unibond League next year and leaving New Mills to face another season of NWCFL football in 2010/11.


NNC said...
8:18 pm

Feeling adventurous were we?