FA Cup Preliminary Round

Saturday 27th August 2005
@ Coach & Horses Ground,

1. Lee Bracey
2. Andy Thackeray (c)
3. Christian Cooke
4. Karl Vernon
5. Danny Meadowcroft
6. Nicky Thompson
7. Rhodri Giggs
8. Jordan Goodeve
9. Phil Denney
10. Chris Downey
11. Adam Morning
12. Joe Shaw
(for Cooke)
14. Melford Knight
(for Thompson)
15. Steve Sheil
(not used)
16. Paul Challinor
(not used)
17. Phil Melville
(not used)

Rhodri Giggs (8)
Adam Morning (28)

1. Bonnington
2. Hilton
3. Elam
4. Cheetham
5. Boulter
6. Davey
7. Anson
8. Marsh
9. Smith
10. Tevendale
11. Holmes

12. Rowley
(for Anson)
14. Bray
(for Smith)
15. Roney
16. Kontou
17. Richardson


After avoiding one another on the football pitch for 102 years Mossley and Sheffield will face each other twice in four days following a 2-2 draw in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.  As to who is happier with this outcome is open to debate:  Sheffield who twice came from behind or Mossley who were under the cosh somewhat for lengthy periods of the second half.

The visitors started the stronger of the two teams and forced a long succession of corners that were dealt with in a very physical manner by the home team.  In the seventh minute though Mossley tried something a little different at a corner and Rhodri Giggs dropped off his marker to glance a near post corner across the face of the goal and into the far corner of the net.

Everything seemed to be going well for Mossley until Sheffield hit them with a sucker punch in the 16th minute.  A long clearance by the Sheffield keeper Bonnington was knocked down to Peter Smith on the edge of the penalty area and he curled a powerful shot into the goal at the near post.  A moment of madness and brilliance restored Mossley's lead in the 21st minute.  Bonnington bowled the ball out to Elam who then gave the impression of a man trying stamp out a fire in his attempt to try and control the pass.  Adam Morning quickly robbed the left back of the ball and from thirty yards coolly lobbed the ball over a stranded keeper and into the back of the net.

The rest of the half became a scrappy stop/start affair with the whistle seemingly never out of referee Mr Knee's mouth but the home side finished the stronger, carving out a few good chances that should have given Mossley a wake up call as to what could happen in the second half.  Sadly it was a warning that went unheeded as, like the second half in the previous game at Stocksbridge, it seemed more like a matter of when and not if the home side would score.  Whilst Mossley were more than happy to continually knock the ball long upfield, the lack of support to Denney and Downey meant that it was coming straight back and the visiting defence was under almost constant pressure from a side starting to knock the ball around on the floor with some fluidity and pace.

After a series of close calls the inevitable happened just after the hour mark when a cross from the left beat everyone except Sheffield captain Chris Hilton who smashed the ball into the net.  The effect the goal had was to briefly shake Mossley out of their second half stupour and within three minutes of the equaliser Downey had had a goal bound effort blocked by a last ditch challenge and Denney had seen Bonnington palm over his powerful drive.  The Mossley defence were still overworked though and Lee Bracey was called on more than once to produce a fine stop that kept parity to the scoreline.  However he too could only watch as Sheffield came within a whisker of taking the lead and possibly the game when a quick break finished with a Sheffield substitute missing the goal by what looked like a matter of millimetres.

On a day when a lot of Mossley's First Division rivals where knocked out of the cup by teams from a lower division the Lilywhite's can perhaps in some way be grateful that they've still got the opportunity to have another crack at reaching the next round and show Sheffield just what they're capable of doing.

report & pictures courtesy SJNR