Football can be a cruel game at times as Mossley found out to their cost at Wakefield's windswept College Grove ground.
The White Rose county hasn't been a particularly happy hunting ground for the Lilywhites on their travels this season: a solitary draw being their best result in six games on Yorkshire soil. And it's a statistic that failed to improve after their latest trip across the Pennines.
Not that it wasn't for the want of trying as Mossley produced some of their best attacking football for months but the long standing problem of failing to make their dominance count was to once again prove costly.
As has been often the case in their current win less run, the Lilywhites exerted an enormous amount of pressure on their opponents in the opening stages of the game but with little in the way of shots on goal to show for it. However, after Lee Blackshaw and Wakefield's Jay Sobers had traded long range shots that gave both keepers cause for concern, it was the formers side that upped the ante.
Chances soon turned from a trickle to a stream as Blackshaw and Adam Morning began to torment and open up the home defence, seemingly at will. However, Andy Woods in the Wakefield goal was proving to be more than a match for anything that Mossley could throw at him.
At least he was until the 33 rd minute when he was left flapping at the Yorkshire air as Morning's in swinging corner sailed over both his hands and the goal line to give the visitors the lead. For the remainder of the half Mossley continued to press forward in an attempt to not only double their advantage, but give the score line a more accurate reflection of the balance of play. Unfortunately though that second goal was to remain elusive
As football clichés go, 'a game of two halves' is a particularly hackneyed one but one that sums up this match perfectly. If the first period belonged to Mossley, the second most definitely belonged to their hosts.
Two minutes after the restart Sobers outlined his sides intentions by evading a series of challenges before unleashing a thunderous shot that cannoned back off the goal frame. Mossley's response was their two best (and only) opportunities of the second period and both came within a split second of each other; Lee Blackshaw having an effort headed off the line and Dean Johnson half-volleying the clearance narrowly wide of the right hand upright. Other than that the Lilywhites had little else to show for the amount of possession they held around the box.
The longer the half wore on the more Wakefield's better levels of fitness began to tell and after playing second fiddle for a little under an hour, the home midfield began to control the game, Sobers in particular playing a huge role in proceedings; instigating the majority of the home sides attacks and having a role in both of his sides goals. The first coming in the 65 th minute when Chris Howarth looped a left wing cross over Ashley Connor from close range.
Wakefield proceeded to squander a succession of chances through a mixture of their own ineptness at finishing and some good Mossley defending, it looked as though the Lilywhites had done enough to earn themselves their first point on their travels for three months. Especially when substitute Ferguson fired tamely wide from a very good position in the 90th minute. Unfortunately it wasn't to be the last chance.
Deep into injury time and with the full-time whistle only seconds away, the Lilywhites conceded a soft free-kick midway in their own half. Sobers fired the dead ball towards the back post where centre half Wes Milnes directed it past Ashley Connor to give the home side victory with virtually the last touch of the game.
Whilst it's hard not to feel despondent at such a late, late defeat, Mossley can take a lot of heart from this performance, their best for some considerable time. And with Wakefield still to visit Seel Park twice before the end of the season, the Lilywhites will be more than confident of reversing this outcome in those games.
Report by SJNR
Nicky Thompson wins a header
Adam Morning lines up a free kick
Adam Morning wrong foots his marker
Mossley's goal direct from Morning's corner kick
Paul Quinn heads goalwards
Lee Connor challenges for a header
Mike Fish gets his shot away
Fish gets chased
Morning on the surge again
wrong foots a Wakefield defender
pics by Garry Hadfield