Trafford 0 - 2 Clitheroe

I'll readily admit that while there are many things I'm not good at (a claim the regular readers of this blog will no doubt concur with), making accurate predictions is a skill I'm particularly lacking in. However I think I can declare with some confidence that a significant number of Mossley supporters will have breathed a sigh of relief when the news came through that the game at Bamber Bridge had been called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

I'm aware too that those same supporters won't admit to that being the case but after the debacle - yes, I have no qualms in labelling it a debacle - at Lambeth Grove the previous Tuesday the threat of something worse happening against a much better team was a very real possibility.

The postponement though meant that for the second weekend running the hunt was on for another game to attend. The local Conference North games were dismissed from the "which match" equation very early on (and forever will be while they charge £10 admission), swiftly followed by Curzon's fixture with Warrington (it was cold enough as it was on Saturday without making it worse by standing on the terraces of a stadium with a design flaw that accentuates it). This left just two possibilities: a match at Abbey Hey and one at Trafford.

As games in Gorton have never been pleasurable experiences (matches often taking third place to wondering 1) just what the ker-azy locals are going to lob over the perimeter next and 2) whether it will hit you or not) it was decided that Trafford versus Clitheroe would be the match of choice. But then you already knew that by looking at the heading to this post didn't you?

Initial fears that the journey to the opposite of Manchester would be punctuated by hold-ups at notorious Christmas traffic black spots - the Ashton bypass, Stockport and the Trafford Centre - proved to be unfounded as the roads were empty. Seriously. No snarl-ups, no go slows, no stops, no waiting... it was like Christmas Day itself rather than the third Saturday before it.

Anyway, talking about traffic density (or the lack of it) isn't talking about the match. Then again there's not really much to discuss their either. A good, if fractious, first half gave way to a pretty dull second period that was enlivened briefly by a mass punch-up instigated by a series of reckless tackles by Melford Knight. How he managed to avoid a red card and remain on the pitch for ninety minutes is a puzzle only equalled by that of how his opposite number, Gavin Lee Ellison, did likewise. That's right! Two of Mossley's greatest ever midfielders were on show and what a master class they provided. Not too sure what it was in though...

The highlight of the handbag war however was Clitheroe's keeper running three quarters of the length of the pitch to join the melee before doing his best 'hold me back' posture; a situation which would have looked less ridiculous if some one actually had been trying to hold him back. Instead he looked like a very bad mime artist trying to walk into an imaginary strong wind.

With seven minutes of the game left Clitheroe took the lead and in injury time they added a second; a thunderous shot from distance which hit the crossbar twice before going into the net.

It wasn't the greatest game in the world but it was by no means the worst either. I realise that's a terrible way to sum up a match but there's nothing more to be said about it really. No, wait! Hang on! There was the er, ... ... the erm, ... ... Sorry! Thought I'd remembered something for a moment then but I hadn't.

Never mind, eh?


Mike Smith said...
10:25 pm

Melford Knight ??

A "series of bad tackles" ??

Am I back at Seel Park, late September 2009 ??