Just when it looked like things were clicking into place once again following the week end showing at Wakefield, Mossley's season took another disastrous turn for the worse. Well at least it did if you're just going off the scoreline.
On the face of it there's no denying that a 5 - 2 defeat at home, to the team currently second from bottom of the division, is an embarrassing one. Especially when you're trailing by four goals at the interval.
The full picture however is not entirely one of doom and gloom as the Mossley performance in this game was light years ahead of those witnessed in the similarly heavy defeats against Lancaster and Skelmersdale, and even some of the more recent ones where we've lost by the odd goal such as Harrogate. Not that that really makes the result any less of a bitter pill to swallow or hide the fact that the warning signs are flashing.
The match almost got off to the perfect start for the Lilywhites when, with just twenty seconds having elapsed, Adam Morning bounced a shot off the right hand upright. A little over three minutes then went past before the same post was hit again, this time by Gareth Hamlet following a goalmouth scramble. Unfortunately for the Lilywhites though these efforts sandwiched Bridlington's second minute opener - a stunning strike by Gowens from the right wing that left Ashley Connor rooted to the spot as it arced around him and into the net.
Despite being a goal behind Mossley looked the better team but with no-one able to direct any of the numerous chances that presented themselves towards the target, Bridlington's keeper Hill remained relatively untroubled with only a close range effort from Darren Royle causing him any kind of consternation
That said he was still seeing more of the ball than his opposite number at the other end of the pitch so it came as something of a surprise when Town doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute. The first goal was good but the second was even better. Receiving the ball a good 35 yards away from goal, Fleming hit a thunderous drive that evaded Connor's vertical leap before dipping under the crossbar and hitting the back of the net.
If the first two goals were 'wonder strikes' that little could be done about, the same can't be said for the next two. Mossley's failure to adequately clear their defensive lines following a throw-in led to McGarry adding a third for Bridlington on the half hour mark, and on the stroke of half-time the same player was given the time and space to make it four with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Mossley finally managed to get on the score sheet in the 53rd minute whren Martin Allison's attempt to charge down a clearance was rewarded after the ball ricocheted off him and into the net. And when the same player pulled another goal back from the penalty spot seven minutes later, it suddenly looked as though Mossley were about to fashion a remarkable comeback.
That optimism lasted for less than two minutes. Taking advantage of a huge gap that opened up in the home defence, Gowens made his way towards the edge of the box unchecked before slotting the ball past Connor for Town's fifth goal of the night.
To Mossley's credit though they refused to lie down and die. Right up to the final whistle they continued to enjoy plenty of possession and created a host of chances, but just as in the first half (and many games prior to this one) the lack of any kind of accuracy meant that the deficit in the score remained at three.
Report by SJNR
Pics by Garry Hadfield