30 Years Ago: Part Seven

As briefly mentioned at the end of the sixth part of this blog's reminiscences about Mossley's 'golden age', the Lilywhites reward for their one goal victory over Crewe Alexandra in the 1980/81 FA Cup was...

The following articles are taken from the edition of the Mossley & Saddleworth Reporter published in the week leading up to the game. Along with previewing the game and detailing the story that Mike Summerbee would not be replicating his cameo in a white shirt from the previous round, there's also news of Mossley's hi-tech approaching to securing their property; one which judging by trips to numerous grounds in the 21st Century has yet to be surpassed by advancements in technology:

After all the build-up the game unfortunately turned out to be something of a damp squib. At least it was if you were a Mossley supporter because I'm sure the travelling fans from Mansfield were reasonably happy with what transpired. The Lilywhites, while not disgracing themselves, didn't put in the kind of disciplined performance they were noted for until it was too late. Not for the first, or indeed the last, time at Seel Park there were a lot of people left to ponder on the thought: "if only..."

Below are four reports on the game taken from the Sunday and Monday editions of the tabloid newspapers:

The cup exit, as bitterly disappointing as it was, did at least mean that Mossley could concentrate on trying to secure a third successive Northern Premier League title and reaching Wembley again in the FA Trophy.

It wasn't to be though. The 13 point lead Runcorn had built up in the league while Mossley were on their FA Cup run proved to be insurmountable (it was a time when it was still only 2 points for a win) and the Lilywhites finished runners-up; a position they would end up in at the close of the following two seasons as well. In the FA Trophy Mossley made it as far as the quarter finals before they came unstuck in North Wales, losing 5-3 to Bangor City.

And with that comes the end of this look back at what happened three decades ago when Mossley, a team from a small Northern mill town, were arguably one of the top sides plying their trade outside of the professional leagues. There are a few scrapbook cuttings left but they're from a time that no-one particularly wants to relive: our mid-eighties slide to ignominy and the first of a long series of brushes with oblivion.

I hope that this and the preceding six parts brought back some happy memories for those of you who were around to experience this incredible period of the club's history first hand. If you're too young to remember or weren't following Mossley at the time then I hope they proved to be of some interest.

Most of all though I hope they brought some enjoyment. Even if it was only a little bit.