Radcliffe Borough Are Coming!

Here we go! The mini-season of numerous 'six pointers' that we'll be facing over the coming weeks begins in earnest as Radcliffe Borough make the short trip around the M60 to Seel Park, their first league visit for twelve years. Whether they actually get to play is another matter entirely.

Not for the first time this season the vagaries of the British weather means that the chances of the game going ahead are still pretty much in the balance. Though the snow we've had is only a dusting at most, the frost (Seel Park's greatest nemesis), sub-zero temperatures and biting easterly winds mean you're more likely to see Sir Ranulph Fiennes making his away across the penalty area at the Park End than James Turley this Saturday.

Still, we live in hope and if the match does go ahead it's going to be the first of many big ones (oo-er, fnar, wahey, snigger, etc.) that we'll be involved in for the forseeable future. With games against Grantham, Leek, Kendal and North Ferriby on the horizon it's a must win game for not only Mossley but their visitors too. A victory for either side would leave their vanquished opponents grip on a Unibond Premier League place even more precarious than it was before the kick-off, whilst a draw could allow Leek Town to gain ground and possibly leapfrog both of them. It's safe to say that there's going to be some fraught nerves watching this one.

Mossley will be hoping for a repeat of September's 3-1 victory at Stainton Park, a result which (along with the following home and away performances against Whitby) had supporters believing that the corner had been turned following our less than auspicious start to the season. If only we knew then what we know now - that the corner was actually a sharp u-turn. Ahh... the naivete of youth.

Since that match both sides have undergone a few changes, the Lilywhite's in particular are likely to field barely a handful of the players who helped to gain those three valuable points last Autumn. Meanwhile recent departures at Borough have seen Chris Downey leave to concentrate on his business which means the threat of one goal we were bound to concede has gone.

Radcliffe currently occupy the position directly above Mossley in the league table but despite having an advantage of two points over the Lilywhite's they've also played two games more. On 'foreign' soil Borough have managed just one win and five draws this season which is the second worst away record in the league. However those eight points gained match the sum total of Mossley's achievements at Seel Park since August. Is it the recipe for a memorable meeting between two equally matched sides or the perfect ingredients for one of the worst games you're likely to see for some time? Only time and the weather will tell.

Prediction: As we're currently on our second best run of form this season (four points from two games) I think Mossley's confidence will be higher than that of Borough's and, if we can put in the full ninety minutes, we'll pick up the win. Besides, it can't be anything less can it?

And in a bit of late news, if the game does go ahead you'll be able to see match highlights and post game interviews on Channel M (Sky channel 203) four times between 5:00pm and 7:00pm and in their hour long 9:00pm bulletin.