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...