Trafford 3 - 3 Mossley

I've been brought up to believe that if you can't say something nice then you shouldn't say anything at all. Good manners which mean I won't be giving a critical appraisal of the referee in this game (at least that is what he was supposed to be) or a certain ex-Mossley midfielder. At least I'm not going to try to mention them but I feel that may be an impossibility.

Okay then, I'll get it out of the way now. The match official: staggeringly bad. From the moment he only gave Mr X (I'm going to give him the satisfaction of having to write his name) a yellow card for a shocking tackle on Ben Richardson he began the descent of a slippery slope. The booking of Chris McDonagh for a challenge in which a goalkeeper and defender collided with one another a yard and a half in front of him being a 'highlight' of the countless other ridiculous decisions that grew in number as the match progressed.

As for Mr X... I didn't think my opinion of him could get much lower. The tackle that nearly broke Richardson's leg last week at Radcliffe was late but this one came after play had moved ten yards up the pitch and was the catalyst for all the unpleasantness on the night. To make matters worse the challenge was from behind giving Richardson no chance to get out of the way, the whole thing was then compounded by X standing low over the injured player and snarling at him ala 'Keane on Haaland'. A cheap shot from a player who despite trying to come across as a hard man is nothing than a coward, further evidence of which can be found in his post game behaviour which is detailed here.

But what about the match itself? Well there wasn't really much difference between it and the last game against Ossett.

Like Saturday's game Mossley seemed to switch off after quarter of an hour, only this time with a two goal lead courtesy of Chris McDonagh and some very nice approach play. Again mirroring the weekends fixture, Mossley only switched back on after the opposition had drawn level early in the second half and proceeded to create chance after chance and, sadly, miss chance after chance. One finally went in with ten minutes to go - Chris McDonagh completing a thoroughly deserved hat-trick - and with more chances going begging, the result seemed done and dusted.

At least it would have done if Trafford hadn't turned into a set of tumbling clowns around the penalty box - it was almost as if they were auditioning for a spot with the Cirque du Soleil currently in residence at the shrine to Mammon a mile up the road from the ground. I swear that every time the ball got near the area at least two players would hit the deck and the referee, being ever so eager to please his hosts, would award them a free-kick. Two minutes into injury time they got their final free-kick of the match and equalised, at which point we were treated to the sight of the goalscorer shunning his team mates to run to the opposite end of the pitch to give the supporters behind the Trafford goal the finger and unleash some words at them that I won't put on here.

What was the referee doing while this was happening? I've no idea, I wasn't watching. For all I know he could have been celebrating with the rest of the Trafford players.

Before the game I'd have been happy with a draw. When Trafford drew level I'd have been happy with a draw. So I suppose I should be happy with the final 3-3 outcome. Well maybe not that happy considering we should have had the game won long before the end and that we fell foul of an injury time goal courtesy of yet another nonsensical decision from the man in charge.

But then that has always the case on our trips to Shawe View. You know that a) no matter how well we play we're never going to win, b) the referee is going to be bad and c) so his assistant running the line in the top end half of the pitch - it's one of life's unwavering constants.