Mossley 2 - 2 Chorley

Another day, another game and another report that could simply consist solely of 'hum' and 'ho' being arranged into a well known saying.

It's hard not to imagine Mossley and Chorley having left Seel Park on Bank Holiday Monday with a mixture of conflicting emotions - both relief and disappointment at picking up a point in a game that either side could have easily won and lost. And the supporters likewise will have left in two minds; happiness at the the fact the game eventually provided some entertainment but sadness that the excitement came courtesy of a seemingly unending series of mistakes and not any great play.

The first half was one short on chances, good football and entertainment but happily for Mossley, it was one which concluded with them holding the lead. The solitary goal that gave it to them came in the 23rd minute when Graham Kay looped a header into the net; an opportunity that presented itself following a short spell of pressure brought about by the visitors failure to clear their lines after a corner.

Graham Kay heads Mossley into a first half lead.

Such was the lack of anything else of note from either side (especially the Magpies) over the course of the opening forty five minutes, it seemed like that goal would be the defining incident of the day. Unfortunately it was a train of thought that didn’t take into account the generosity Mossley have been displaying towards opponents this season at Seel Park.

In their previous two home games the Lilywhites have conceded goals almost immediately after the half-time interval and this match was no exception. In fact it proved to be worse as Chorley struck twice in the opening four minutes of the second period to edge them selves in front. Both goals stemmed from defensive errors with Terry Fearns punishing the home side for the first and Chris Amadi (by far and away the best player on the pitch) the second with a superb finish from the corner of the box.

With Mossley offering little in the way of an attacking threat, it looked increasingly unlikely that they’d be able to arrest the run of home defeats. Thankfully though the rushes of blood weren’t solely confined to the Lilywhites back line as the visitors needlessly conceded a penalty eighteen minutes from time. Matty Kay successfully converting the spot kick for his third goal of the campaign.

As the game balanced on the proverbial knife edge, both sides proceeded to squander chances in an error strewn final fifteen minutes to the game. Mossley’s best opportunities fell to Matty Kay but twice he failed to connect properly with the ball as it bounced tantalisingly across the face of the goal.

While at the other end of the pitch Fearns should have secured the win for Chorley in injury time but his shot after being put clean through on goal had a touch of cockiness about it. Instead of placing the ball firmly past the onrushing Peter Collinge, he tried to be oh so clever by chipping him with the outside of the boot and paid the price – the ball arcing away from goal and bouncing harmlessly wide.

On the balance of play the draw was possibly the fairest result and given that either side could easily have lost in the closing stages, I suspect both will ultimately be happy with the point gained.

As welcome a point it was too, it was though another Mossley performance that was lacking in certain areas. There was a fair amount of spirit shown but you can't win games on that alone. You need creativity, guile and solidity too and there wasn't much of that in evidence. Again.

Much will be made of Mossley's threadbare squad on the day (we only had two subs to choose from) but the truth is that, the minor reshuffling aside, we played not much differently to how we've done when there was a full compliment to pick from.

The forward line was still isolated to the point where at one stage in the second half, new striker Chris McCaughtrie was playing deeper than some of the midfielders in an attempt to get a touch of the ball. The defence continued to be their own worst enemy, while the midfield was like the staff in Curry's when you want to buy something - there one minute and gone the next.

While leaving the ground after the match I overheard someone say that we should be beating sides like Chorley. Well if that was you then I hate to break this news: we are a side like Chorley, we're a mid-table Unibond First Division North team. Didn't you realise? And until some of the problems that have afflicted us in these early games have been rectified, that's where we'll remain for the foreseeable future.

Unless of course we decide we want to keep some of the teams at the bottom of the league company.

Ah well, it's still early days.