Mossley 4 - 1 Rossendale United

This is it - the last one. The final match report of a season that has been, technically, shorter than most but felt an awful lot longer.

I'd like to go out with a spectacularly well written piece - something deep and meaningful that inspires both tears and smiles and leaves you yearning for the arrival of August - but as I've done no such things in the past, why start now?

What you'll get instead is a straight to-the-point report that will begin by stating both the season and John Flanagan's brief reign as Mossley manager came to an end with a victory, before going on to say that it guaranteed the Lilywhites seventh spot in the Unibond First Division North and condemned Rossendale to finishing a second successive campaign at the foot of the table.

As much as I'd like to avoid using the the cliché “a typical end of season affair” to describe the match it's hard not to as the game rarely developed a head of steam under the spring sunshine bathing Seel Park. Especially during a first half in which the two goals that gave Mossley the lead at the interval were the only moments of note in an otherwise lacklustre opening period.

The first goal arrived just after the half hour mark when a Dale defender tried to chest a right wing cross from Mike Fish into the arms of his goalkeeper Tom Brocklehurst. Unfortunately for him he completely misjudged just how far away the intended recipient was and only succeeded in cushioning the ball into the path of the inrushing Lee Blackshaw who converted the chance gifted to him.

Lee Blackshaw reels away after opening the scoring.

An error played a part in Mossley's second goal as well, however it shouldn't take anything away from the build-up which involved a blistering run over half the length of the pitch by Ben Richardson to get on to the end of of long, looping pass. His shot wasn't a particularly well struck one but the United keeper inexplicably let the ball pass through his hands as he bent to collect it, allowing the effort to roll slowly across the goal line and into the net.

Ben Richardson's shot prepares to slip through the grasp of the goalkeeper.

Thankfully for those watching from the terraces the second half had a bit more life to it – a situation aided in no small part by David Owens pulling a goal back for the visitors almost immediately after the restart. They came agonisingly close to levelling the scores too when Williams and ex-Mossley forward Ian Barker both hit the cross bar within the space of ten seconds.

It was a warning that finally woke Mossley from their post half-time slumber and Matty Kay restored the Lilywhites two goal advantage with a neat finish from ten yards. The goal was his 29th of the campaign but the 30th remained elusive despite Kay going desperately close on a number of occasions to registering it.

Matty Kay notches his 29th goal of the season.

Another goal was to come though and with five minutes remaining Mossley completed their scoring for the afternoon and the 2009/10 season when Chris McDonagh headed an inswinging free-kick beyond the dive of Brocklehurst.

Chris McDonagh (10) rounds off the afternoon's entertainment.

The post match news of Flanagan's resignation as manager due to work commitments undoubtedly took some of the shine off the win. But if the squad he leaves behind, and the spirit he's imbued them with, can remain intact over the summer there's no reason to believe that Mossley can't set their sights for a higher finish than seventh.

And that's it - a weary report to end a season of ups, downs and the odd moments of going round and round in circles.

Those of an eagle-eyed disposition will have noted that the above looks awfully like the official report and there's a reason for that: it is the official report, albeit with a new top and tail. I wish there could have been more differences but the time needed to do that has to be spent on other things - things which will hopefully be up on this very blog sometime in the near future. And you never know, they may even be worth reading.

Did I just hear you say, "there's first time for everything"?