While the final result in this match is another one to add to the ever growing list of defeats this season, what the scoreline doesn't tell you is that this was a game Mossley deserved to take something from. That they didn't was once again down to failings that has been a facet of their play since the turn of the year.
The match started like so many others have done recently with Mossley under pressure right from the kick off, and it took their opponents no more than three minutes to put the ball in the back of Ashley Connor's net; Kelsey taking advantage of some non-existent marking to control and power home a right wing cross from just outside the corner of the six yard box.
Ossett's second arrived in a similar fashion seventeen minutes later, Kelsey this time turning provider with a low cross from the left wing which Catton tapped home from close range under no pressure.
Both goals sandwiched a host of other openings and opportunities that presented themselves to the home side and to be brutally honest we could have easily been four or five goals down before the midway point of the first half had been reached. However, just when it appeared that it was going to be another match that had the Mossley supporters wishing they'd brought their abacuses to keep a tally of the score, something unexpected happened. Not only did the visitors stem the flow of Ossett attacks but they began to look the better side.
Chances slowly started to present themselves to the Lilywhites as play became increasingly confined to the half the Albion were defending. Gareth Hamlet, Paul Garvey and David Boardman all went close to reducing the arrears as their once confident opponents began to wobble ever so slightly.
With time running out in the opening period it looked like Mossley weren't going to get the reward their belated efforts warranted but right on the stroke of half time they halved the deficit. Picking up the ball after his shot rebounded off the post, Paul Garvey laid the ball back to Daryl Weston on the right hand side of the Albion box. The Lilywhites full back then fired in a looping cross directly onto the head of Gareth Hamlet, who in turn directed the ball past the outstretched arm of the Ossett goalkeeper.
The second half began with Kelsey flashing the ball across the face of Mossley's goal, but the longer the match wore on, the more the visitors began to exert a tighter grip on the game. However the increase in possession failed to translate into an increase in shots on Albion's goal.
In the 71st minute Daryl Weston was shown a straight red for an innocuous looking tackle on the halfway line. Not only did he win the ball, he did so without coming close to touching his opponent yet the referee couldn't get his card out fast enough to send him from the pitch. He was then immediately followed by manager Gerry Quinn for vehemently displaying his disbelief at the decision to the referee. A disbelief that appeared to be equally shared by Ossett.
Ten minutes later things went from the crazy to the utterly ludicrous. Gareth Hamlet became the second Mossley player to be issued with his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card for the strength of his protestations at the awarding of his first booking. There's no excuse for dissent but his reaction was somewhat understandable considering that he'd initially been cautioned for a volley of verbal abuse that had been directed at a linesman by an Ossett player.
Despite being at a numerical disadvantage for the closing stages of the game it was Mossley that finished the match in the ascendency, so much so that for the final ten minutes the crowd were treated to the sight of a team with ambitions of making the play-offs, playing for time against nine men. Sadly the lack of a decent final ball when they got into dangerous areas meant that a famous comeback remained elusively out of reach.
Unfortunately though the game will be remembered more for some of the decisions made by the referee rather than the football played in it. That said the referee wasn't the reason why the visitors lost. For that the Lilywhites only have themselves to blame, ultimately paying the price for twenty minutes of defensive madness at the start of the start of the game and their inability once again to turn pressure and dominance into goals.
Report by SJNR