With Mossley having failed to register a home win in the league since October, their ambitions of occupying a play-off spot come the end of the season have been kept alive by their performances away from Seel Park. As the saying sadly goes though “all good things must come to an end” and the Lilywhites four match winning streak 'on the road' did so in embarrassing fashion in North Wales.
The damage was mainly done within the space of five first half minutes. Lee Canning was given the time and space to head home a free-kick on the edge the six yard box and Rob Hopley took advantage of some similarly slack marking to double Bay's lead following yet another set piece.
Two quickly became three as less than a minute after Hopley's strike the Mossley defence parted like the Red Sea allegedly did for Moses and Canning was gifted the opportunity to notch his second goal of the game.
With over three quarters of the match still remaining things looked a trifle ominous for the visitors but some horrendous misses and over elaboration by Bay meant that there was no change to the scoreline by the time the interval arrived.
It allowed hopes of an unlikely comeback to be raised just after the start of the second period when Michael Fish pulled a goal back for the Lilywhites from the penalty spot. The faint optimism it generated was soon dashed however as Mossley conspired to concede two more goals in quick succession.
Bay's fourth was tapped in from close range by Edwards after the visitors had somehow managed to turn a situation in which they were under no apparent danger into one that finished with an opponent standing in front of an open net with the ball at his feet.
Its status as the most ludicrous goal Mossley have conceded in recent memory however was sadly to be a short lived one. Just three minutes later a breakdown in communication between Simon Wood and Andy Robertson ended with the former tapping the ball through the latter's legs as he bent down to collect a ball on the edge of his box.
Just when it looked like Mossley might escape the ignominy of conceding a sixth, Garside wrapped up the scoring in the 87th minute with what comfortably the best goal of the afternoon; the Bay substitute finishing a fluid move by half-volleying an effort from twenty yards beyond the reach of Robertson.
Admittedly Mossley's task wasn't helped by the loss through injury of three of their more consistent performers in recent months but that can hardly be used as an excuse for what transpired.
That said it's hard not to wonder how different things might have been had a looping effort from Fish in the third minute not been acrobatically headed off the line by Graham Branch, or if they'd taken just one of the other opportunities that presented themselves – the Lilywhites having created just as many chances as their hosts did in the entirety of the match.
Still, losing by six goals to one can hardly be classed as unlucky and hopefully some of the harsh lessons learnt in this game will stand them in good stead for reclaiming the ground they've lost on the other teams in a chase for a play-off spot.
report by SJNR