UniBond League Division One

Saturday 25th March 2006
@ Seel Park, Mossley

1. Lee Bracey (7)
2. Andy Thackeray (10)
3. Joel Pilkington (9)
4. Nicky Thompson (9)
5. Danny Meadowcroft (c) (9)
6. Melford Knight (7)
7. Joe Shaw (8)
8. Martin Allison (7)
9. Rhodri Giggs (7)
10. Chris Downey (8)
11. Adam Morning (7)
12. Paul Garvey (7)
(for Knight 67 mins)
14. Paul Challinor
(not used)
15. Arron Kirk
(for Giggs 86 mins)

Chris Downey (20 mins)
Chris Downey (81 mins)

Stocksbridge PS
1. Hodgson R
2. Collner
3. Lowe
4. Anson
5. Schofield
6. Colley
7. Wright
8. Hawes
9. Zoll
10. Shaw
11. Cockerill
12. C.Smith
(for Zoll)
14. McLean
(for Schofield)
15. Ring
(for Shaw)

K.W.Haycock (Bradford)

This was a terrific three points for Mossley make no mistake about that.

A very good Stocksbridge side gave Mossley a very stern test but the Lilywhites showed great resilience, defended superbly and attacked with purpose in what was a thoroughly entertaining game played in the right spirit.

Stocksbridge flew out of the blocks and inside a minute leading scorer Stefan Zoll lobbed over Lee Bracey but saw his effort bounce off the bar. Moments later Steve Hawes flashed a fierce drive a fraction over the bar.

Mossley’s response was immediate. Rhodri Giggs saw his header come back off the bar and Chris Downey was a fraction away from scoring in Mossley an exhilarating end to end opening phase.

As the game settled Mossley began to dominate and Stocksbridge raids became fewer as Mossley passed the ball around the park at a high tempo.

The Lilywhites broke the deadlock on 20 minutes. Joe Shaw’s angled through ball from deep on the right was controlled brilliantly in mid air by Chris Downey and the Lilywhites leading scorer then calmly placed the ball out of reach of Steels keeper Hodgson into the far corner.

Mossley continued to press but despite a number of half chances were unable to add to the lead before the break.

Stocksbridge realising they were still in the game came out all guns blazing in the second period and pinned Mossley back for lengthy spells.

The outstanding Andy Thackeray made a fantastic last ditch tackle to deny Zoll and Joel Pilkington made two dramatic goal line clearances as the visitors threatened again and again.

Mossley reshuffled, replacing Melford Knight with Paul Garvey and Mossley began to threaten again for the first time in the half.

An incident in the 74th minute changed the game in Mossley’s favour. Paul Garvey raced through a static back four and was attempting to round Steels keeper Steve Hodgson only for the visitors custodian to upend him just outside the box and was shown an instant red card as Garvey looked a certain scorer.

Substitute striker Andy Ring donned the keepers shirt and dived to his right to save Adam Morning’s ensuing free kick.

Five minutes later Stocksbridge changed keepers again with another substitute McLean taking over between the sticks.

Mossley wrapped up the points in the 81st minute. Paul Garvey again slipped his marker on the left and although McLean parried his goal-bound shot Chris Downey was on hand to thump home the rebound from close range.

Morning then saw a shot slip under McLean’s body only to hit the outside of the post and Downey went close to completing his hat-trick as Mossley finished in the ascendancy.

Seven points clear at the top with seven games to play and back to something like top form augers well for the run in and without tempting fate Mossley now have a great chance to win the title and promotion to the Premier Division.



Chris Downey slots home the opening goal . . .

. . . and raises his arm in celebration

Andy Thackeray goes close

Hodgson prevents a second goal

stand in keeper Andy Ring saves Adam Morning's free kick

Andy Thackeray