Mossley 1 - 4 Colwyn Bay

I'm beginning to think that I'm a victim of an elaborate conspiracy.

Last year I missed the opening game of the 2008/09 season; a two – nil win at Clitheroe that was lauded by all who went as a superb performance. Buoyed by these comments I attended the next match hoping to see what all he fuss was about. What I got to see though was Radcliffe Borough run rings around the home side as Mossley produced a spectacularly woeful performance. One in which our attacks consisted solely whacking the ball as far up the pitch as possible and one in which the defence was there in name only and not deed.

Fast forward twelve months and the reports from Mossley's opening day win at Garforth are unanimous in their praise of the display the Lilywhites put in to take the three points. A few days later it's my first game of the season and once again the evidence before my eyes doesn't match what I've been told. Instead of a nice passing game and some steely defending, all I see is the ball hoofed aimlessly down field once more and a back line that seemed to fade in and out of this plane of existence at startlingly regular intervals.

So come on, own up! We haven't played well on the either of the last two opening days have we? It's all just a ruse to make me feel bad about missing the opening two matches isn't it? Like I say, I sense a conspiracy.


The opening third of this game wasn't bad but it wasn't great either, the interest occasionally piqued by a goal line clearance here, a free header (or two) from a corner there, a “how did they miss that?” both here and there. In fact the whole thing was pretty much about as even as a game of football can possibly. be

That all changed though when the minute hand on the clock passed thirty, or rather 8:15pm, and Mossley took the lead. A cross Sam Walker floated into the box looked to be an easy catch for Bay keeper Chris Sanna but one fumble and a collision with three other players later, the loose ball landed at the feet of Mattie Kay and the Lilywhites midfielder calmly poked the ball into the empty net.

Matty Kay declares himself happy at scoring the opening goal.

Rather than putting the Lilywhites on the road to a much welcome victory against a side who've become one of their bogey teams, the goal merely turned out to be the equivalent of poking a sleeping bear with a pointy stick while covered head to toe in honey. And as a consequence the lead lasted all of two minutes.

Foreshadowing what was to come after the break, Eddie Jebb was allowed to cut in from the wing and move towards goal without so much as feeling the breath of a Mossley player bearing down on him. With time and space to pick his shot past Peter Collinge he did just that and it was all-square once more.

The home sides appetite for destruction was in evidence barely a minute into the second period. A bout of 'after you Claude' between the goalkeeper and defence allowed a Bay forward to nip in and launch the loose ball towards an open net. Or rather to a point at least two meters to the right of it.

What followed not long after could be claimed by the optimists amongst the Seel Park faithful to have been the turning point in the game. Bay right back Steve Aspinall completely misjudged the bounce of one of Mossley's 'attack launchers', allowing Danny Egan to get goal side of him as he bore down on the box. One hand on the shoulder and one dragging motion later, Egan was sent tumbling to the ground just outside the penalty area with only the keeper to beat.

It wasn't a penalty but the denying of an obvious goal scoring opportunity should have meant that Aspinall received a red card but no, in his infinite 'wisdom' the referee deemed only a yellow was necessary. There is a possibility the game may have swung in Mossley's favour had Bay been reduced in numbers but even as a Lilywhites fan I can't help but feel that we'd have still gone on to lose if we had the man advantage – we really weren't that good.

The resulting free-kick was fired low into Sanna's arms and little did any of us know that the effort was going to be our beloved 'Whites last shot in anger on the night.

On the next occasion the ball moved to the opposite end of the pitch the Welshmen took the lead. Again it had a generous helping of largesse from the Mossley players as the failure to twice clear their lines following a corner, combined with some statue like defending, allowed six and a half foot Daniel Jarrett to ghost in unseen at the far post and fire the ball home. Three minutes later and it was game over as another ball into the box was met with little resistance and Anthony Sheehan added his name to the goal sheet.

At this point the frustration began to show in the Mossley players and some hefty tackles were eventually eclipsed by one from Danny Dignan which started a 20 man free for all. The incident should have seen both him and the Bay defender who retaliated to the challenge by lamping him one in the face sent to the changing rooms. Once again though the referee showed an extraordinary amount of leniency by only showing yellow cards to the pair of them.

A difference of opinion ensues midway through the second half

With the final whistle nearing three became four as another defensive rick allowed Tom McGill to get his name on the score sheet, and it took a good save from Collinge in a one-on-one to stop a fifth being added in stoppage time.

It's a strange thing to say but a 4 - 1 subduing at home turned out to be a decent result because the margin of defeat could, and possibly should, have been so much greater. Every time the ball got near our defensive third of the pitch it looked like there was a chance it could end up in our net.

But there's no shame in losing to a good side and Colwyn Bay are a good side - that's a fact that's hard to deny. What you can't tell is just how good they are because with the way we played we'd make any side look good. Even Stalybridge Celtic.

Still, it's only the second game of the season and you can't really be too critical at this stage of proceedings. That said however what's not a little bit galling is that the pitch at Seel Park is the best it has been for years yet we made no real attempt to play the ball along the grass. Instead it was the long ball. One after another, ad nauseum.

Now I can understand that we may have been trying to utilise the pace of the two Danny's by dropping balls behind the Bay back line. However with two giants (and relatively pacey ones at that) making up the centre of visitors defence they didn't get so much as a sniff, yet there was no real variation from the formula when it was becoming obvious it was a plan doomed to failure.

It was only when we were 3-1 down and with time running out that we finally saw a bit of a difference. Dignan and Egan moved wide to allow Nathan McDonald to play through the centre and that extra bit of width finally caused the visitors defence to sit up and take notice a bit more. Too little too late though.

After the poor showing at home to Radcliffe last year, Mossley produced a fine display of good attacking football the following weekend to put three unanswered goals past Warrington. If history is going to repeat itself with the first two games of the season, let's hope the deja vu continues with the third against Lancaster on Saturday.


Anonymous said...
12:15 pm

Matthew Kay!
Long Time No See Dude:)
Used To Teach Us Footie :)
When You At Astro Next ?
Guess Who?
Love Beth AndHayleigh x