Good Friday turned out to be anything but for Mossley as their latest visit to Bradford's Horsfall Stadium ended like their first at the beginning of the month - with a three goal margin of defeat. And not for the first time this season I find myself having to write that it could have been a whole lot worse.
Getting any kind of positive result against promotion chasing Avenue was always going to be a tough task for Mossley but it was one made all the more difficult in the 15th minute when Michael Fish was shown a straight red card for an extremely rash challenge near the halfway line.
It was definitely a case of from 'hero to villain' for the Mossley number seven as he had given his side a shock lead in the fourth minute of the match. Despite the chilling, gale force winds blowing across the pitch, Danny Ryan delivered a perfectly weighted free-kick from the left into the Bradford box that Fish stooped to head home past a surprisingly static goalkeeper.
The advantage was to last barely two minutes though before Tristram Whitman drew the hosts level and from that point it was the home side that controlled the remainder of the game. Especially after the visitors had had their numbers reduced.
Ashley Connor produced a series of fine saves to keep the Lilywhites in the match, including one tremendous point blank stop to deny Gedman, but just when it looked like the visitors might make it to half-time without conceding another goal Bradford put themselves in front. And once again it Whitman that did the damage.
Picking up Gedman's intelligent flick on, the Bradford forward evaded the challenge of Mossley's last man Leon Henry and from the corner of the box he looped the ball over Connor and into the net.
The visitors feint to near non-existent hopes of rescuing the game were extinguished immediately after the interval. After failing three times to deal with a corner, Gedman bundled the ball over the line and when Williams added a fourth in the 67th minute from a free-kick, the only question remaining was not if Bradford would win but by how many.
Thankfully for Mossley one of the few bright spots for the Lancashire side on a dismal evening was that Bradford's fourth turned out to be their last, though they did go close numerous times to making the score line a more embarrassing one. And when the few flakes of snow that were falling at the start of the second period turned into a blizzard with ten minutes of the match left, the tie was effectively over as a game of football.
Yet again it was=s another night to forget for the Lilywhites and with a final position in mid-table now looking somewhat ambitious, it's important that Mossley start to string a sequence of positive results together if they're not to end the season on the dampest of squibs.
Report by SJNR