Without a point from the four games played in the first half of the month, November was rapidly in danger of becoming the period on the calendar which marked Mossley's transformation from a top of the table side into one of the also rans in the lower reaches of the league.
At least that was the case until game number five on Tuesday night when two unanswered goals at Bamber Bridge's QED Stadium ensured that the Lilywhites not only returned to winning ways but put the brakes on their slide down the Unibond First Division as well.
And while a 2 – 0 scoreline registered against a side sitting second in the league is impressive in itself, it's one that doesn't come close to accurately reflecting the gap that existed between the two teams on the pitch.
The first goal came towards the end of an opening period that, a tentative start aside, Mossley dominated. The abundance of pace in their forward line and the variety of attacking options available on the pitch were causing the home side no end of problems, but it was from a simple set-piece that the Lilywhites finally got the reward their first half efforts deserved; Graham Kay rising between two defenders at the far post to power Alex Mortimer's delivery from a free-kick low past Andy Banks in the Bridge goal.
The second half saw no let up in pressure from Mossley as they began to turn the screw even more on an increasingly hapless looking home defence. Chances came and went with a dizzying speed, so many in fact that there's nowhere near enough room in this report to catalogue the number of opportunities the visitors created, spurned or were denied profiting from by some very good goalkeeping.
No matter how well you're playing though, holding a one goal lead is always a precarious position to be in – you're only a momentary loss of concentration away from having your advantage wiped out. Therefore any fears there were of Bridge somehow managing to claw their way back into a game they were only bit part players in eased significantly in the 78th minute.
Michael Fish had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes when, twenty yards from goal, he curled the ball through a crowded penalty and past the despairing dive of Banks to finally give the Lilywhites the breathing space their endeavours deserved.
After the recent run of poor results this was a welcome and impressive return to form for Mossley, and a few more displays like it in the upcoming weeks should see them climb back into one of the play-off spots they spent most of the early part of the season occupying.
report by SJNR
pics by SJNR