The Support Back Home

As I won't be one of the not insignificant number of Mossley fans making their way down to Brackley tomorrow, I'd like to take this opportunity on the eve of the club's most important FA Trophy game for oh, two weeks at least, to offer my support to the players and management by saying...


And if it's at all possible, a replay on Tuesday would be nice. Naturally I'd like us to win the tie at the first time of asking but if there's a chance to put off going to Woodley Sports for a little while longer I'll happily settle for a rematch.

The Leigh Gene-gifs

Apologies for the punnery in the post title but it should give you a very big clue as to what this update to the blog contains.

Yes, once more Mossley80 is giving you the chance to view some goals from a recent Tuesday night cup victory in low quality owmyeyes-ovision (trademark not pending). This time though there's no audio - just the clips.

To view them all you have to do is click on any of the following four pictures and the goal pertaining to that link will open in a new tab or window. Simple as that! So without further ado:

Who knows? One day we might be allowed to show proper video footage again...

Mossley 4 - 0 Leigh Genesis

Saturday, 8th November 2003 at Clitheroe's Shawbridge ground.

I know that's a peculiar way to open a match report but it's an answer to a question that may be on the lips of a few people after this result. Whether those few people are actually reading this is another matter entirely but because a) I don't like anyone to feel left out and b) I was never a huge fan of the game show Jeopardy, I shall explain what that date and place allude to: it was the last time Mossley went ten games unbeaten.

Of course there's a reason why such a query is pertinent to the curious at this time and by now it should be obvious why. In case putting two and two together and getting four isn't your forte though, this victory over Leigh was Mossley's tenth game in a row unbeaten.

The club formerly known as Horwich R.M.I. will no doubt point out that they fielded a much changed and weakened side from the one that we faced at the weekend (a popular excuse for teams that lose cup games these days, along with 'unimportant' competition) but as the saying goes, you can only beat what's in front of you and Mossley did it quite comfortably. Eventually.

Three days earlier the two teams had played to a rather drab stalemate in a league game and, for the most part, the opening half hour to this encounter was a continuation of what had transpired at the Leigh Sports Village.

Attempts at breaking the deadlock were limited to some few and far between half chances: Chris Baguley wasted a couple for Genesis while the ones that fell to Steve's Settle and Moore proved similarly unsuccessful for the home side.

Even though a third of the game had barely transpired the unwelcome possibility of there being extra-time already seemed a very real one. Thankfully though a goal from out of the blue by Steve Moore not only lessened the prospects of an additional thirty minutes but finally injected some life into a decidedly low key contest.

In the interests of providing some balance to this report I should point out that the opening goal was scored from a very, very offside position. As I have no interest in being non-partisan though, it was a perfectly good, legitimate goal!

The Lilywhites would have gone in at the break two goals to the good had Sam Walker lowered his sights by a millimetre or two before crashing a shot off the crossbar but considering how spectacularly quotidian the half had been, the fact one goal had been scored was more than enough to heighten the spirits of those with a Mossley-centric view on proceedings.

The previous two meetings between the sides this season had both ended in one-all draws but – thankfully - the chance of history repeating itself for a third time was quashed almost immediately after the interval; Matty Kay getting the faintest of touches on Ben Richardson's deflected cross to direct it beyond Dean Porter and double Mossley's lead.

Richardson played an instrumental part in the Lilywhites third and fourth goals as well... come to think of it, he set up the first goal too! A powerful run into the box and a simple square pass gave Moore the opportunity to notch his second of the night, and if it hadn't been for a good save from Porter, Richardson could have claimed Mossley's fourth for himself. However the Leigh keeper could only parry the wing-back's thunderous thirty yard effort into the path of some inrushing white shirts and the loose ball was guided over the goal line by Matty Kay.

Hopefully at some point over the next day or so I'll be able to upload some low quality clips of the goals to the blog. The operative word in that previous sentence being 'hopefully'. If not this week though they'll be online next.

Further chances came and went for Mossley to add to their total but the fact none were converted doesn't detract from what was a comfortable win against good opposition and an ideal confidence booster ahead of Saturday's trip to Brackley in the FA Trophy.

I mean a tenth game in a row unbeaten, four goals scored for the third successive Tuesday, further progress in another cup competition and the phrase “bandy legged n*b” became the insult du jour... how can than not raise the spirit a little for what may be around the corner?

Anyway Mossley's reward for turning over Leigh is a late November evening trip to Lancaster. Oh. Joy.

Leigh Genesis 1 - 1 Mossley

This was one of those matches that certain clich├ęs were invented for so if you don't mind I'd like to get the more obvious ones out of the way as early as possible:

  • If someone said before the match we'd get a draw we'd have been happy.
  • It was hard at times to tell which side had been reduced to ten men.
  • A draw snatched from the jaws of victory.
  • Not a point won but two lost

You know those times when watching Mossley makes you so frustrated? Well this was one of them. Everything seems to be going well and then, out of the blue, we do something silly and a seemingly nailed on victory disappears to the sound of hands slapping against foreheads in disbelief.

Just over a month ago both sides had played out a rather mundane draw in the corresponding fixture at Seel Park and this meeting, for the most part, gave no indication of being any different.

In terms of shots and goalmouth incidents there was precious little to entertain Leigh's largest crowd of the season for long stretches of the opening period. Peter Collinge was forced into making a good save to stop Jamie Baguley giving the home side the lead from a free kick and, at the opposite end of the pitch, a series of corners had the Leigh goalkeeper, Stephen Drench, flapping around the box like a man trying to rid himself of a particularly bothersome fly.

Graham Kay almost benefited from one of Drench's many handling errors during this brief moment of excitement when he looped a header onto the crossbar but in the course of forty four minutes there was only one real talking point.

It took place midway through the half when Nick Allen was kicked in the head by Andy Heald after the Mossley midfielder had tackled him cleanly on the edge of the box. The referee saw the petulant and dangerous lash at the prone Allen and immediately showed the Leigh player a red card, though it did take him a while to leave the pitch as he dragged out his “Why me? I did nothing!” routine to an unimpressed audience.

Happily a second topic for half-time discussion arrived in the forty fifth minute. One of the few, and oh do I mean few, passages of good football in the match saw Sam Walker, Matty Kay and Karl Brown combine to move the ball across the pitch and into the path of Ben Richardson who was charging into the penalty area. Without breaking his stride the Mossley wing-back launched a venomous shot across Drench and into the roof of the net before embarking on a mazy, celebratory run.

It was a superb goal and I'd love to be able to show you video, or even one of those stuttering animated gifs, of it but I can't. Why? Because I was banned from taking photos.

That's right. You can drink alcohol sat in the stands at Leigh while the game is going on, you can video the game on your mobile but woe betide anyone taking snaps with a small compact camera from the tiny section of the ground everyone has been corralled into.

Actually that's not quite true and the whole thing wouldn't have irritated me quite so much if it wasn't for this - the fact that people in the block of seats next to me people were using them without censure. One rule for visiting fans I suppose, another for home supporters with their families. There's really nothing like an unevenly administered ruling to raise the hackles is there?

I'm not having a go at Leigh Genesis here but their landlords, Leigh Sports Village who are the ones who've put this ruling in place.

Anyway, mini-rant over and back to the game.

With the home side confined to nothing but the occasional effort from long distance and the visitors struggling to make their extra man count, the game in the early stages of the second half looked to be over and that everyone was simply passing the time until the final whistle sounded. At least it did until Mossley brought out the blunderbuss, took aim at their own foot and began firing wildly.

A minute before the hour mark, and under no pressure at all, the Lilywhites effortlessly gave the ball away thirty yards from their own goal and ten seconds later it was in the back of their net. Collinge had done remarkably well to keep the initial shot out from Tom Ince but Chris Thompson reacted quickly to bundle the ball over the line.

If anything good came of the equaliser from a Mossley perspective it was that it finally appeared to inject a spark of life into them. Suddenly there was a bit more urgency to their play but even with the advantage in numbers they failed to create as many opportunities as they should have done. It would be nice to report that Leigh were hanging on with ten men but they weren't; it was altogether more comfortable for them than it should have been,

The two good openings the Lilywhites did work came within sixty seconds each other as the end of the game loomed. The first chance brought a great save out of Drench to deny Richardson what would have been a near perfect copy of his goal in the first half, while the second saw Nathan Neequaye hammer a shot against the post from close range.

Plenty of bluster was shown in the final few minutes from both sides but a match winning goal never materialised or even looked like doing, leaving Mossley to rue the lapse in concentration which turned three points into one.

Should we be happy with a point away to a team currently residing in the top six? Or should we be upset at only managing a draw against a side who played for seventy minutes with ten men and barely mounted any meaningful attacks?

From my own personal point of view it's the second reason which, while some of you may feel harsh, does at least show we're making progress. How so? Well who'd have thought we'd be coming away from the home of a side chasing promotion despairing at our failure to win? Not me for one and that fills me with a lot of hope for what may be to come.

I am left though with one question niggling away at the back of my mind and one you may be able to help me with. Despite all the managers and players that come and go at Mossley, why do we always struggle against ten men?

That's stumped you hasn't it? Suddenly finding an answer to the meaning of life seems simple in comparison doesn't it?

Hopefully the third meeting between the sides this season on Tuesday in the League Cup will provide something other than the rather staid 1-1 draws the two previous encounters have produced. And no, I'm not holding my breath either.

Mossley 4 - 0 Maine Road

The eagle eyed amongst you may notice that there aren't many differences between this report and the official one I've done which appears elsewhere. There are two reasons for this. First of all I'm feeling particularly lazy today and secondly... actually, I'm feeling so lazy I can't be bothered coming up with a second reason.

I did have one, something to do with there being video in the report, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. Never mind, I'm pretty sure it wasn't that important.

And speaking of unimportant things, it's that time of the year again when the Manchester Premier Cup invades the fixture lists to the collective sound of “meh” from clubs and supporters; the levels of interest in embarking on the 'Road to Boundary Park' being so low that there isn't a device accurate enough to measure something so small yet. Finding the Higgs-Boson particle is as easy as picking your nose compared to discovering any enthusiasm people have for the MPC.

But we shouldn't get too snobby. After all it's a cup and when you're starved of having had something shiny and silver to polish in recent years, any is as good as the rest and Mossley moved a tiny step nearer to possibly laying claims to this one: four unanswered goals being more than enough to give them safe passage through to the next round.

The saying goes in football that the sign of a good team is one that wins when not playing up to the standards they themselves have set and this is certainly true to some extent of Mossley in the first forty minutes or so of this game.

They weren't playing badly, in fact they enjoyed plenty of the ball but it was their Vodkat League opponents who continually looked the more likely to do something constructive with it during their spells in possession. And by the time the Lilywhites had managed their first shot on target in the 39th minute the visitors could, and some may say should, have been two goals in front.

A one handed save at full stretch from Peter Collinge stopped Steve Cheetham putting Maine Road ahead in the 22nd minute, but the keeper could only stand and watch as Danny Self wasted his sides best opportunity five minutes later; the ex-Mossley winger, unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box, glancing a weak header wide of the upright.

But then came that first shot from the home side and with the assistance of a bit of luck, the lead too. Whether Matty Kay's strike would have found the back of the net had it not been for a wicked deflection off a defender is debatable but no-one could begrudge him claiming it as his tenth goal of the season.

A clearance off the line stopped Maine Road levelling the game just before the interval but a more determined and sharper looking Mossley side emerged from the dressing room after the break – no doubt with a bit of a ticking off ringing in their ears. And within three minutes of the restart they'd done enough to seal the win.

Like the first goal, the second of the night got a final touch off a Blues defender before crossing the line too. This time however its status as an own goal was unquestionable. Under pressure from Steve Moore, Lee McGregor's attempts to deal with a cross ended with him shinning the ball powerfully past his own keeper from twelve yards and into the top right hand corner of the net. A little over sixty seconds later two became three when Andy Watson headed home Karl Brown's inswinging corner to register his first goal for the club.

Over the remainder of the match Mossley continued to press forward in search of more goals and such was their dominance there could have easily doubled their final total. They were only able to add one more though; Nathan Neequaye guiding home fellow substitute Lee Blackshaw's cross four minutes from time.

In the end the score line may be a touch harsh on Maine Road given their first half performance. But it's also one that's hard to argue the Lilywhites didn't deserve after a commanding second half display that ensured their unbeaten run stretched to eight games.

The result may be a touch harsh on Maine Road but it's one that a testament to Mossley's recent improved form; emphatically winning a game that not so long ago they would probably have stumbled to defeat in.

Anyway, I mentioned video way back at the beginning of the post and here it is. It's slightly different to the other clips I've posted over the last year as they aren't highlights – just the goals. So what you lose in action is more than made up for by the fact it's short and consists only of good things.*


Can we keep this splendiferous run of form going when we resume league duties on Saturday at Leigh? Who knows but fingers crossed, eh?


* I was tempted to add a comment here 'saying just like me!' but I'm far too modest...

Spalding United 1 - 3 Mossley


Good news everyone! This seasons trip to Skelemersdale's state of the art (a) ground has been delayed for a little while longer.

The reason as to why being even better news - that on the day we were due to make the journey along the M58 to that miserable hole on the edge of an industrial estate, we'll instead be playing in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy.

That we are is thanks to two goals from Matty Kay and one from Steve Settle which were enough overcome the threat posed by our Unibond First Division South opponents, Spalding United. And I'm afraid that that's the sum of my knowledge about Mossley's victory in deepest, darkest, tulipy Lincolnshire. If you wish to know more than I suggest looking here as it's likely to be the only place where you'll find a proper run down of events.

The one 'live report' I did hear was that it wasn't a very good game. But when you haven't made a five hour round trip to watch it like me you don't really care as long as the result is a great one - and that it was.

What was I doing while Mossley were apparently easing to a comfortable victory 120 or so miles thataway? Well I was watching Role Models before turning to Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports and coming to the conclusion that it may be one of the worst programmes on television.

I know this is a view that's tantamount to heresy in the world of football (and it's something I may go into at greater length someday) but take Jeff Stelling out of the equation and what you're left with is drama school histrionics from people who can barely string coherent two sentences together. Or one sentence in the case of Paul Merson.

Anyway, next up for the Lilywhites and, all being well, this blog is the midweek Manchester Premier Cup game against Maine Road; the chance to put those dreams of a day out at Wembley aside and fantasise about the possibility a cold night out in May again at Boundary Park.

Goals. Juddering, Stuttering Goals

As promised a little over 24 hours ago, the goals from the Lancaster City match presented in glorious 256 colour, 8-bit jerky-o-vision.

To view them just click on the images and the footage will open in a new tab (or a new window if you're still mad enough to be using Internet Explorer 6). There's also audio that accompanies the clips and instructions on how to the marry the two will be beneath the animations.

So enjoy. If you can...

I know its a ridiculous way of showing the goals but that's ridiculous Unibond League rules for you.

Mossley 4 - 1 Lancaster City

The best performance of the season.

Quite a dramatic way to start a match report I'm sure you'll agree but it's a statement that is true. We might have knocked three unanswered goals past Harrogate, five past Bedworth and given Trafford a bit of a pummelling but what made this game different is that Lancaster are a good side.

Having already been beaten by the Dolly Blues at Seel Park this season, and with the visitors coming into the game on the back of a 7-1 routing of Woodley Sports at the weekend, there were some doubts on the terraces before the match as to whether Mossley could keep their run of good form – five games unbeaten – going.

I'll hold my hands up here and freely admit that I was one of the naysayers. Being a pessimist I really couldn't see us getting a win. Instead I foresaw a dull game stretching into thirty minutes of unwelcome extra-time, before a lengthy penalty shoot-out declared Lancaster the winners and football the loser. But, unlike a lot of people, I'm more than happy to be proved hopelessly wrong and not for the first time I was.

Ignore the bleatings of some City supporters on their own forum, the ludicrous report in the Lancaster Guardian which called Mossley 'workmanlike': meaningless cup and a few rested players or not - they were well beaten. And in some ways quite fortunate that they weren't beaten by more.

While it's true that Lancaster could have been two goals up at the break as one poster on the aforementioned message board has stated, it gloriously ignores the fact that Mossley could have been not two but three or four up by the time it came for the players to troop off and suck on some orange slices. Or in the case of the visitors, possibly some lemons given the sourness and bitterness they exuded in the second half – I've never seen a team, or to be more exact a defence, whine so much.

The eventual outcome of the game never looked to be in any doubt once Steve Settle gave the home side a 40th minute lead. Prior to it though the game was balanced like a see-saw ridden by two equally porky kids.

The Lilywhites were creating the majority of the chances but just as they'd done against Clitheroe in their previous game, the lack of an end product was giving their opponents goalkeeper, Neil Beesley, a trouble free time.

Lancaster on the other hand weren't posing quite as much of a threat but twice they almost took the lead following good passages of football; Mark Jackson somehow managed to miss an open net and hit the upright with a diving header, and Adam Farrell was denied by a stunning reaction save from Peter Collinge.

But then came Settle's strike which tipped the game in Mossley's favour; the former Leigh winger reacting the quickest to divert a Steve Moore effort across the line after it had rebounded off the underside of the crossbar. Moore did find the back of the net though straight after the interval, doubling the home sides lead with a venomous shot from close range.

The lead was halved almost immediately when Roger Sharrock netted for City but it failed to herald any kind of resurgence in the visitors. Instead it was Mossley who continued to press forward and the two goal advantage was soon restored when Graham Kay headed a Ben Richardson cross past Beesley. Twelve minutes later Kay's namesake Matty sealed the victory, and with it a place in the next round, with a shot from just outside the box.

In the closing stages of the game the Lilywhites had more chances to inflict further misery on their opponents but the winning margin remained at three, mainly due to the sole efforts of Beesley as his defence crumbled in front of him.

I know that I've omitted quite a bit of detail regarding the goals but why paint a picture with a thousand words when you can just look at that picture? Or rather a couple of hundred of them shown sequentially at a rate of twenty four a second? Because that's what you'll – hopefully – be able to do at some point over the next couple of days.

It's not going to be high quality footage but after the 'successful' trial (a conclusion arrived at simply because there was no moaning) in the Radcliffe cup game a few weeks ago, I'm going to convert the footage of the goals into animated gifs and put them online. You can thank me later... or more than likely not at all! (And they're here if you want to see them.)

Whatever the pros and cons are of the President's Cup (the latter being significantly greater in number than the former) , the opportunity for Mossley to register a good win over a good side and extend their lossless streak will undoubtedly give them a boost as they head to Spalding United in the FA Trophy this coming weekend.

And I say this with all due respect but it's hard to believe that this side is almost the same one that was struggling so badly a little over four weeks ago. A solid looking defence, a highly competitive midfield and a mobile forward line playing intelligent, attacking football – those long ball infested defeats to Salford and Lancaster seem almost sepia tinted.

I'll end though by saying I'm having second thoughts about that opening to this report. It seems a bit too final for me so I shall amend it a little:

The best performance of the season... so far!

Clitheroe 0 - 0 Mossley

If you've read the report on the game that's in the Non-League Paper you're probably thinking that I should be ecstatic with a point rather than just happy, seeing as it paints a picture of a match in which the home side fashioned considerably more chances than the plucky visitors.

What it skilfully neglects to say is that the game should have been done and dusted as a contest in the opening thirty minutes because during that time frame Clitheroe barely got out of their own half; they simply weren't allowed to by a Mossley side firing on all cylinders. Well... all but one.

You see, not only was this Mossley at their best, it was the Lilywhites at their most frustrating too. A solid defence and fast attacking football ultimately let down by the final ball; be it an over hit cross or a shot that was dawdled on for too long. Wonderful and hair tearing in equal measure.

The Pavlovian reaction to a missed opportunity in football - a cry of “ohhhhh!” and the placing of hands on the head - was one the travelling contingent of supporters displayed many times during that opening third to the game. It was almost agonising as the Lilywhites went so near on numerous occasions to taking the lead, yet in doing so remained so far away too.

You didn't have to possess incredible powers of foresight to know that Clitheroe would eventually force their way into the game and they did so with two shots that Peter Collinge did fantastically well to stop and hold. Mossley responded with a quick break that finished with Steve Moore rather tamely shooting into the arms of goalkeeper Danny Hanford, who was called into action again moments later to tip an inswinging corner from Karl Brown onto the cross bar.

It was these incidents within a few minutes of each other which set the pattern for the remainder of the game. Shots were cleared off the line, goalkeepers flew through the air, crosses rolled across the face of goal just millimetres beyond the reach the outstretched legs of inrushing forwards: it was exciting end to end football.

Actually I should qualify that statement. It was exciting when the team you supported was on the attack. When they were on the receiving end of one it was more than a little nerve shredding. The sensations heightened in the closing moments of the match during which both sides had a host of opportunities to win the game; the visitors thwarted by Hanford, the home side by their lack of accuracy.

Going back to the Non-League Paper though, it also states that the home side should have had a penalty and they should have done... if an incident had actually occurred in which one was merited but there wasn't. What the report was alluding to was a tackle by Graham Kay midway through the second half in which he clearly won the ball before the attacker fell over his leg.

If there's any sense of injustice at a decision in the game it's Mossley who should be feeling it. With ten minutes of the game gone Steve Moore was brought down from behind just outside the box. Given that the person doing the bringing down was the last man and denying a goal scoring opportunity as well, it was assumed that not only would a free-kick be forthcoming but that we'd see red card waved in the direction of Liam McManus too. And what followed was a lesson in why assumptions are useless in this particular sport.

The free-kick was awarded but rather astonishingly there was no dismissal - not even a yellow card or a "don't do that again" talking to from the referee. Even the Clitheroe players looked shocked that they weren't having to make plans to play eighty minutes with ten men.

What it did though was set the tone for a string of bizarre decisions (that benefited both sides) over the course of the game from the man in the middle. And never has that term ever been so applicable to a referee because only at set-pieces did he ever seem to leave the central third of the pitch; it really was just one step up from the match being officiated from a deck chair by the centre spot.

As close and as even as the game was by the sound of the final whistle, it was one Mossley should really have won in that opening thirty minute spell; allowing us to spend the final hour of the game with our metaphorical slippers on, reading a metaphorical paper from the comfort an even more figurative armchair, safe in the knowledge that all three points available were ours.

That said however I'm still happy with a point. Why? Not sure really... I think it may be the prescribed medication kicking in!

Seriously though, a point in a fixture which is notorious for unpredictable results and a sense of being hard done by is good enough for me. More so because it shows we're improving as this was exactly the kind of game we'd have probably lost a month ago. You know, way back in the dim and distant days of early September when it looked we'd concede a goal if the opposition as much as glanced at our half of the pitch.

It's also pleasing to note that an ex-player didn't come back to haunt us. Then again as that ex-player was Gavin Lee Ellison, a player jostling with Fraser Robinson and Neil Brisco for a certain special spot in the pantheon of recent Mossley greats, it's maybe not that altogether surprising.

All things considered then, not a bad day at all. Good game of football, fifth match unbeaten, another clean sheet, weather not too bad and a decent atmosphere. Even though the latter was almost ruined by the presence of someone who still believes that sounding an air horn when the ball is kicked is the height of terrace wit and a valuable psychological tool. Whereas what it actually does is make everyone else wonder if it would make the same sound if it got inserted somewhere, preferably sideways.

For a week and a bit though we can at least forget about the trials and tribulations of league football and concentrate on three cup competitions. Whether or not the importance of them can be boiled to ‘only one really mattering’, it would be nice to be able start a report in a fortnight’s time mentioning our eight game unbeaten run.

Then again, even if results went against us, I’m sure the Non-League Paper wouldn’t mind if we did.

Mossley 5 - 2 Bedworth United

The road to Wembley. It’s long and we may not get to the end of it but unlike our “who forgot to put the petrol in?” attempt to travel it in the FA Cup, we’re at least out of the drive way in the FA Trophy.

It was the visitors from the Zamaretto Midland Division though who made all the early running in this Preliminary Round match; the home side struggling to find the rhythm which had seen them win their previous three games. A task admittedly not entirely helped by the very strong wind they were having to play into.

I’d like to be able to tell you exactly how breezy it was but unfortunately Francis Beaufort forgot to include on his scale a category, between rustling branches and foamy waves, specifically for those moments when floodlight pylons appear to bend double.

When Mossley did finally get their bearings the reward was instantaneous. Nineteen minutes had elapsed when Karl Brown received Jordan Goodeve's quickly taken free-kick and fired a 20 yard shot past Paul Shepherd in the Bedworth goal to give the Lilywhites the lead.

As Mossley continued to pile on the pressure it looked like it would only be a matter of time before they found the net again and they did so seven minutes before the interval. A rare lull in the wind allowed Peter Collinge's long down field clearance to reach the edge of the Bedworth penalty area. With the visiting defence seemingly more interested in observing this event than dealing with it, Steve Moore was able to take control of the ball and though his initial shot was saved he forced the rebound over the line with a little assistance from the boot of Shepherd.

I use the term ‘little’ in the ‘a lot of’ sense of the word because Moore’s shot may well have sneaked wide if United’s keeper hadn’t diverted it over the line in slightly comical fashion.

The actuality of going two goals behind appeared to instil a bit of fight into the Warwickshire side and Mossley had Collinge to thank for the visitors returning to the dressing room at half-time goal less; the pick of his saves being a stop with his right leg after Fazel Koriya had been put clean through on goal.

Following the break Bedworth continued to pile forward in search of a way back into the game and after a couple of near misses they eventually halved the deficit – Matty Blair becoming the first player to find the back of the Lilywhites net in over six hours of football.

However, just when it looked like Mossley may be about to undergo one of their infamous 'wobbles' Moore restored the two goal advantage; the former Curzon player finishing a great move by curling the ball around the dive of Shepherd from the corner of the United box.

It was a goal though not without its controversy. An attempted substitution by the visitors didn’t go quite to plan as the replacement player was refused permission to take to the pitch until he’d removed the white cycling shorts he was wearing under his teams green ones. As exercises go a meaningless one as he was that small his shorts resembled long trousers and you could barely see his socks let alone any light coloured Lycra wear. It meant Bedworth were reduced to ten men until the next break in play which unfortunately for them, as you may have guessed by now, was the goal.

Substitute Steve Settle made it four when he broke clear of Bedworth's very loose approximation of what an offside trap should look like and he grabbed his second, and Mossley's fifth, not long after with a stooping header from a Ben Richardson cross.

A perfect example of a consolation goal arrived twelve minutes from time when Jason Moore added a second for the Greenbacks but the closing moments were played out with the home side looking to extend their lead further; something they came close to doing on more than one occasion as Andy Russell had a goal ruled out for offside and Sam Walker saw a wind assisted effort padded wide by Shepherd.

And here it is, the part you’ve skipped all those lovingly crafted words above to see: highlights from the game! Actually you’re not even reading this bit either are you? Sigh...


Plenty of credit to Bedworth though for continuing to press forward in search of goals, even when all hope was gone, but significantly more praise should be bestowed on a good performance from the Lilywhites. It took a bit for them to get going but, an interval straddling iffy period aside, the victory and the margin of it were well deserved.

I’m sure the £2000 the club receives for winning the tie will be made to feel loved and cherished, but more importantly we get another weekend break from the drudgery of league football and the chance to dream once more of maybe visiting an overpriced stadium built for the nation in north London in May. Even if it does mean going to Spalding in a little under a fortnights time.

And no, I won’t be twittering from that one.