UniBond League Division One

Saturday 8th October 2005
@ Shawbridge, Clitheroe

1. Lee Bracey
2. Nicky Thompson
3. Andy Thackeray
4. Steve Sheil
5. Danny Meadowcroft (c)
6. Melford Knight
7. Josh Howard
8. Joel Pilkington
9. Phil Denney
10. Rhodri Giggs
11. Adam Morning
12. Paul Challinor
(not used)
14. Jordan Goodeve
(for Morning)
15. Nehru McKenzie
(not Giggs)

Jordan Goodeve (68)
Jordan Goodeve (82)

1. Paxton
2. Clarke
3. Hardwick
4. Parr
5. Kearney
6. Stansfield
7. Sargeson
8. Reynolds
9. Evans
10. Jackson
11. Garner
12. Melling
(for Parr)
14. Birchall
(not used)
15. Roberts
(not used)

Sargeson (35)
Evans (48)
Jackson (62)

It may have had to happen sooner or later but on a wet October afternoon Clitheroe finally broke the hoodoo that Mossley had over them on their own ground.  And while some will point to a refereeing decision in the first half as the reason for the defeat, the fact is that Mossley only have themselves to blame after producing another indifferent performance away from Seel Park.

It all started so well too with the first half-hour of the game almost entirely spent in the Clitheroe half of the field.  Despite there being visible signs of panic in the home defence went Mossley went forward (balls being cleared to touch immediately, etc,) the lack of a  final ball of any quality meant that most opportunities were squandered away.  The best chance fell to Rhodri Giggs after slipping his marker but his shot 12 yards out crashed into the stand behind the goal when he should have at least hit the target.

At the other end of the field Clitheroe's sole opening of the first half hour came from a free-kick after Lee Bracey picked the ball up outside his area.  A keeper handling the ball outside his area still seems to be one of those grey areas in the game with some referees punishing the offence with a red card whilst others only deem a free-kick necessary (in fact the latter was the option taken by an official in the same tie at Mossley a couple of seasons ago when the Clitheroe keeper handled outside the box).  Bracey's punishment fell between the the stools, a yellow card, and the resultant free-kick dropped over the bar.

Just after the thirty minute mark Nicky Thompson knocked the ball off a Clitheroe player for a throw-in.  The assistant referee signalled for a throw for Mossley and there was no sign from the fans or players that it should be any different.  Sadly the referee decided to overrule the linesman and as the Mossley players argued about the injustice of the decision Clitheroe took the throw, worked the ball inside and Sargeson rolled the ball into the corner from the edge of the area.  Then for the next forty five minutes Mossley simply disappeared.

Clitheroe started playing 20-30 yards further up the pitch and after being in control of the game Mossley were now the team under pressure and only a smart one handed stop by Bracey saved the visitors from going in at the break two down.  As it turned out it only stopped Cliheroe from doubling their advantage by minutes as sixty seconds after the interval Danny Meadowcroft was slipped by the player he was marking and his cross was met by an unmarked Evans and glanced into the bottom corner.  Worse was to come in the 62nd minute when a poor pass on the half way line found its way to Jackson and despite there being nine Mossley players behind the ball he was allowed to advance up the field unchecked before slipping the ball past Bracey for his sides third.

This was followed by Mossley's first attempt on goal of the half when a Phil Denney header dropped on the wrong side of the post.  Which team the three points were going to end up with wasn't really in any doubt despite the home sides failure to put the result beyond question by not capitalising on the chances Mossley were offering them almost by the minute.  That was until 13 minutes from time when some fast link up play between Howard and Denney worked an opening for substitute Jordan Goodeve to fire the ball into the net from just outside the area.  Five minutes later the deficit was down to one when another move along the floor ended with Denney flicking the ball with the back of his heel into the path of debutant Nehru Mackenzie, and his cross was turned into the net by Goodeve at the second attempt.

It was all too little, too late though as Clitheroe had done enough when Mossley didn't.  'Jekyll and Hyde' is a horrible cliche but I can't think of any other way to describe Mossley away from home at the moment.  We can go from the sublime to the ridiculous in seconds.  With the second part of a huge away double header coming on Tuesday it is imperative that not only the 'good' Mossley turn up but they do so for the full ninety minutes as well.

Report courtesy of SJNR


Melford Knight