Mossley 6 - 2 Ossett Albion

Your eyes do not deceive you. The scoreline that makes up the heading to this post is correct. It may have taken a month but Mossley have finally registered their first win of the season and did so in (what the unwritten law of UK football match reporting compels me to label as) emphatic fashion.

Just as one bad result isn't a portent for months of doom, gloom and despair, one good result isn't a sign of a renaissance. I've no doubt whatsoever that this is probably going to sound like I'm being picky or purposefully negative but all the good things about Mossley's performance in this game are balanced out by the poor quality of their opponents. And I'm being generous in labelling them poor.

In Ossett's defence (and the only defence that can be associated with Ossett in regards to this game) they are in the midst of an injury crisis which has left them without the services of nine regular starters. However, as the cliché goes you can only beat what's in front of you and the Lilywhites beat what was in front of them well, one or two scares aside.

I do have more thoughts about this game jotted down on a piece of paper but as the week has gone on the will to arrange them into a cohesive structure has been slowly sapped by other events. So instead of presenting you with some musings about formations, tactics and an elephant that has appeared in the room, I'm just going to finish with some video footage of all six of Mossley's goals; a change of plan which some of you will no doubt believe to be a bit of a blessing:

Runcorn Linnets 4 - 0 Mossley

To put it simply:
If there's a Mossley fan around who was surprised about this result then good luck in finding them. The 4-0 score line might have taken a few people aback but the defeat to a mid table NWCFL side was expected; it was as non-shocking as cup shocks are ever likely to get. There's a report on the Runcorn site here if you want the details on Mossley's capitulation to a side from a lower division but as you can imagine it doesn't make for anything other than grim reading.

Bottom of the league, out of the FA Cup, an increasing number regulars missing from the terraces and we're barely into the second week of September: can the season get any worse than this?

That was a rhetorical question by the way.

Mossley 0 - 0 Runcorn Linnets

If I was to write the report this match deserved you'd have finished reading it by now. In fact there'd have been nothing to read apart from the heading - just six or seven inches of white space. It started, it stopped and in the ninety minutes in between little of any consequence happened. The supposed magic of the FA Cup was certainly not with this game.

Runcorn had the better of the opening 22 and a half minutes, which included a couple of vociferous appeals for a penalty, while Mossley were on top for the remainder of the first period but only had a Cavell Coo shot directly at Linnet's keeper Richie Mottram to show for efforts. The teams then left the field for the break, came back on again and proceeded to cancel one another out for three quarters of an hour.

Oops! Sorry, there were a couple of moments worth mentioning. Kayde Coppin hit the post when one of his free-kicks took a huge deflection of a Runcorn defender and Martin Pearson produced a fantastic save that the referee did the huge disservice by failing to recognise it and awarding a goal kick instead. The less said about one incident in the second half though when a series of increasingly ridiculous passes across the Lilywhites back line allowed a Runcorn player clean through on goal, the better. Thankfully for Mossley the Linnets player who was the beneficiary of this generosity skewed his shot so far wide of the target that the goalkeeper didn't even have to attempt a save. And therein lies the reason why this game has gone to a replay: neither sides possession of an attack worthy of the noun.

In Mossley's case this didn't come as much of a surprise once the team line-ups were announced and it was revealed that we'd be starting the match with a centre half playing as a centre forward. The first week of September and we're already struggling to find round pegs to fit into round holes. Happily the visitors to Seel Park were just as woeful in front of goal and that's why there is at least some good news: we didn't lose! If that doesn't sate your appetite for reasons to be cheerful about, how about the fact we weren't overwhelmed and looked more than a match for an eighth placed team in the North West Counties League, which does bode well for next season.

Things You Thought You'd Never See Again

#1: Mossley topping a table

Okay, it's not the club and rather the town itself but in these thin times we can but dream. In case you're wondering the image is from the BBC quiz Pointless and yes, I'm well aware of the humour that can be had in the marrying of Mossley and the show's title.