Mossley 1 - 1 Wakefield

If I had a shiny new pound for every time I heard somebody mentioned the phrase "after the Lord Mayor's show" during the course of this game, I'd have left Seel Park on a wet and miserable Saturday afternoon at least, oh... £14 better off.

To be fair to the players in white shirts the chances of this particular ninety minutes of football ever coming close to matching the roller coaster of excitement experienced in the midweek fixture against Brackley were always going to be remote. But that didn't stop there being a anti-climactic feeling hanging in the cold, damp air.

The match started brightly with both sides trading early chances. The visitors were the first to try their luck when Chris Howarth's run across the edge of the Mossley box resulted in a shot that curled just over Peter Collinge's goal. This was followed moments later at the opposite end of the pitch by a Wakefield defender scooping a free-kick from Sam Walker off the goal line.

After this action heavy opening the game quickly settled into a pattern: Mossley pressing hard for a goal while Wakefield looked to hit their hosts on the break. And in the 44th minute it was a game plan that bore fruit for one team. Sadly though that team wasn't the Lilywhites.

An overly ambitious pass brought a promising Mossley attack to a sudden end and Wakefield quickly countered. Exploiting gaps in the defence they eventually worked the ball to Jon Froggat who, despite the best efforts of Collinge, got just enough power on his shot to see it trickle over the line and put his side ahead.

It was a goal that came somewhat against the run of play too. While it wasn't a half littered with chances, what few there were after that end-to-end opening had all fallen to the home side; Walker saw another free-kick prevented from reaching its target by a finger tip save from Wakefield keeper Zolna, who also performed acrobatics to stop Steve Settle finding the net with a clever lob.

Their lead should have been a very short one though. Within seconds of the match restarting Settle had the opportunity to draw the home side level from close range but he skied his effort high over the cross bar.

Steve Settle in the midst of sending the ball high over the bar.

A rather sluggish start to the second half by Mossley allowed 'The Bears' to become the dominant side for the first time in the match and with it came numerous chances to sew the result up.

It was only after Wakefield spurned a glorious opportunity to double their lead though in the 67th minute - Howarth slicing the ball wide after a shot from Froggat had rebounded to him off the foot of the post - that Mossley stirred from their slumber and set about rescuing the game.

Zolna however was proving to be a troublesome thorn in the Lilywhites attempts at restoring equality to the score line but with seven minutes left he was finally beaten. A nudge in Steve Moore's back by Wes Milne sent the Mossley man tumbling to the ground in the box and the felled forward picked himself up to fire home the penalty he'd won.

Steve Moore is grounded by Milne for the penalty.

In the closing minutes of the game Moore had a goal correctly disallowed for offside and another effort that had Zolna scurrying across his line to stop, but the score remained unchanged as the final whistle brought proceedings to a close.

Both sides will probably have cause to argue it was two points lost rather than one won but taking the whole of the ninety minutes into account, the draw was possibly the fairest outcome.

What is it about home games with Wakefield? Is it compulsory that they all must be a shade dull and boring? Have we signed a contract in blood that forbids more than a modicum of entertainment and excitement taking place in Seel Park fixtures between the two sides? I only ask because for the third year running both sides produced a game that will not live long in the memory.

Admittedly this meeting made for a slightly more entertaining component to the unholy 'Wakefield' trinity but not by much.

As I said way back at the beginning of this post though, you can hardly fault Mossley for this. Considering what they've gone through in the past week (coupled with more bad weather and an even heavier playing surface) it's no surprise that they looked a touch jaded during this game. Heck, even the supporters still looked drained from the trials of the previous Tuesday night.

Goodness knows what Wakefield's excuse was however as apart from that 20 minute spell of pressure after the interval, and the goal just before it, they weren't exactly ripping up trees. Maybe they stopped up late on Friday watching fireworks?

Before I draw this posting to a close I think it's worth mentioning again the spirit Mossley have shown recently in not believing that a game is beyond saving. As previously mentioned in the aftermath of the Brackley game it's fantastic to finally see a Mossley team that doesn't know when its beaten; games last ninety minutes and we now have a side that plays for that long, plus whatever time is added on.

Anyway, there's a rare week off now which should hopefully give everyone chance to recharge their batteries ahead of a hectic, cup game filled end to the month and I don't know about you but I need it!