Mossley 1 - 0 Radcliffe Borough

Hold on to your hats everyone - we won!

Yes, after ten unsuccessful attempts to outscore their opponents since the opening day of the season at Garforth, the smell of a Mossley victory fills the air once more. And not only was it a welcome result, it was a thoroughly merited one too; even if the team did leave it to the last possible moment to claim it.

It took nearly two hours of football on the night for it to happen but Matty Kay's goal in the final minute of extra-time (his fifth of the season) was enough to separate Mossley and Radcliffe in a closely fought Unibond League Cup encounter at Seel Park.

Actually closely is probably the wrong word to use. While it's true that the result balanced precariously on a knife edge until those final few seconds, as most 0-0 games tend to do, the declaration of the home side as victors should have come a lot sooner. Like I said not two paragraphs ago, it was a win that was more than deserved but Mossley being Mossley we didn't half make hard work of it.

For the first time this season, at least in the games I've seen anyway, the Lilywhites were creating an awful lot of chances with a significant proportion of them being good ones too. Unfortunately (didn't you just know that was going to be the first word of the next sentence) the finishing touches weren't quite up to the same level as some of the moves they were stemming from.

In fact, despite the number of “oohs” and “aahs” that were coming from the home support as another attack ended up resulting in a goal kick, Borough keeper Lloyd Rigby wasn't having a lot to do other than observe a succession of chances fly narrowly wide of the goal frame he was protecting or, as in the case of a diving header from Matty Kay towards the end of the first half, crash against it.

He was finally called on to make a save, and a good one at that, just after the interval when Danny Egan broke clear of the visitors back line but it was a rare effort on target.

All this isn't to say that the visitors didn't have any chances of their own – they did, more than a couple in fact; just not as many as their hosts and with an even lesser degree of accuracy.

Mossley continued to look the side 'most likely' when the game moved into extra-time. There was a wobble when Egan talked himself into being shown a straight card, but it was brief and ten man Mossley continued to hold the upper hand. That winning goal though was still proving elusive.

However, with a penalty shoot-out looming large (which given the standard of finishing on the night was a frightening prospect for those supporters who wanted to see the game concluded before sunrise) the final act of the game took place.

It began with the number of players on the pitch being reduced by one more - Borough centre half Sean Connor receiving a second yellow card for a late tackle on Sam Walker. The free kick resulting from the incident was headed behind for a corner which Karl Brown swung into the box as the match entered its 119th minute. Out of the herd of players crowded in the box, Matty Kay rose the highest and planted a header powerfully past substitute keeper Joe Brobbin - sparking the kind of celebrations you don't normally expect to see in the first round of the Unibond League Cup.

All told this was the kind of performance that we haven't seen (and been crying out for) from the Lilywhites since the pre-season friendlies. There was a visible drive and determination amongst all the players, rather than appearing to be confined to just the odd few, and this may just be an amazing coincidence but this, our best display of the campaign so far, came during a game in which the ball spent more time on the grass than pinging through the air.

It wasn't perfect (a fair bit of finishing left a lot to be desired and the occasional yawning gap at the back went thankfully unexploited) but when a last minute goal wins you the game two hours after it started it's surprising how much you're willing to forgive.

It may not have been a classic but we played well and we won. And after the start we've had I'm more than happy with that.

Having forgotten to pick up my just charged camera battery as I left the house to come to the game, I had to make an incredibly inferior third party one last a couple of hours which meant that I missed most of the chances that took place.

By a stroke of luck though I decided to use what little power was left in it to film the last corner of the match as I knew it wouldn't make it through the impending penalty shoot-out. And as a consequence I have captured Mossley's late winner for posterity.

However, because the league have dictated that video footage of matches can only be placed on the internet via their official web partners, and not sites like YouTube in case the reputation of the Unibond League or their sponsors gets damaged (it's certainly nothing to do with money - no siree and shame on you for thing such a thing), I can't show you it.

Well, actually I can.

Rather than proper video footage I can bring you the goal in the form of an animated gif. The quality is nowhere close to being as good as that of a regular video clip but it's the only way I can put it on the blog. There's no sound either but there's a way round that too. So if you want to hear what happened as well, press play on the audio bar beneath the animation when Karl Brown places the ball down on the ground for the corner.

I admit it's not as good as watching a proper video of the incident but until the league change their ridiculous and self-defeating ruling regarding them, this Heath-Robinson approach is the best I can do I'm afraid.

What's the phrase... “It's better than nothing!”

It would be remiss of me before I finish this report not to wish Ben Richardson a speedy recovery after being stretchered off in the first 'second half' of the game. I've no doubt every one at the ground who witnessed the challenge will have an opinion on it but to me his injury was the result of a clumsy tackle rather than anything malicious. One of those incidents where ninety nine times out of a hundred nothing would have happened. Anyway, get well soon.