Mossley 0 - 0 Woodley Sports

Before I got round to writing about this match I was intending to impart with some words on the recent departure of manager Shaun Higgins, his role being filled in caretaker capacity by Gareth McClelland and the youth team's victory in the Manchester FA Youth Cup final. All of which seemed to have happened in the space of six hours on the 7th of this month.

Time and other more important matters however dictate that there's not going to be a lengthy essay on the latest spin of the revolving door that constitutes the entrance to the manager's office at Seel Park. What I will say though is that no matter what the mitigating circumstances may be - financial restrictions, personality clashes, the learning process, etc. - you'd be hard pushed to find a club at a level above park football who would still employ a manager whose picked up only one point in eleven games. A quarter of a season's worth of league fixtures in which the only bright spot was a solitary draw. No manager goes out to deliberately lose games though (at least not until they put me in charge at Manchester United) so commiserations to Mr Higgins on his spell in charge not working out. Thank you but it wasn't meant to be.

The king is dead, long live the new king who turns out to be Gareth McClelland, latterly scout at Chester and someone who has already appeared unnamed on this blog very recently. His instalation in the Mossley managerial ejector seat is only temporary but if he does well over the seven remaining games this season then there's little chance that the job won't be his on a more permanent basis. Well, the Mossley definition of permanent anyway which is between eight to fourteen months.

The new man's only previous experience in a managerial capacity at a non-league club was a few months spent at Woodley Sports last season and it was against his ex-charges that he took up the reins at Seel Park. To add an even keener edge to the game his opposite number in the away dugout was former Mossley manager Chris Willcock, facing his old club for the first time since resigning a year earlier to take up what turned out to be a very short lived spell as assistant manager at Stalybridge Celtic. Coupled with the large number of players in both sides who were facing a team they'd once turned out for, the game had the makings of being a potential humdinger; a blood and guts thriller of a derby with all but a handful of the people on show with points to prove. Potential however eventually gives way to reality and as always it can never match up.

The match was awful. Indescribably so.

Woodley had a shot in the 1st minute, Mossley had one in the 70th and nothing of any note happened on the pitch in-between or after. And boy, do I wish that I was exaggerating for comedic effect.

It was the football equivalent of the test card. Ninety minutes of pure beige. A glance around the terraces at the 80 minute mark (a time during a 0-0 game when tensions should be in the process of being stretched to a highly pitched twanging point) saw people just sat on the terraces chatting, reading the programme, playing with their phones... anything but watch the match and you really couldn't blame them.

It means that the sole positive to come out of the afternoon is that Mossley arrested their losing streak, which as consolations go isn't such a bad one but it would have been nice to have done it in a slightly more interesting fashion. Still, from such tiny acorns do mighty oaks grow and who knows where this match of mind-numbing, string-of-defeat ending banality will eventually lead us? And yes, I'm well aware of how thin that straw is I'm clutching at.

Oh, I almost forgot the Youth Cup final that I mentioned in the opening paragraph. I don't have the time at the moment but there'll be more on that, even if it's only a video, at a later - probably a much, much later - date.