Mossley's hopes of a top half finish to the season were heavily dented at Durham City's Arnott Stadium where Lilywhites keeper James Mann had a night to forget.
The home side, needing to win to give themselves a fantastic chance of automatic promotion, were quickest out of the blocks and took the lead in the 7th minute. Tommy English wrong footing both Reece Kelly and Ben Richardson before finding Calvin Smith with a low cross that the latter squeezed home at the near post as Mann and his defenders hesitated.
The goal avalanche didn't happen then though, in fact far from it/ It was Mossley who controlled the remainder of the first half. There were half chances for Chris Hirst and Matty Kay before Mossley drew level in the 17th minute. Good work by Kay and Hirst saw Miuke Fish turn his marker in the box to rifle home his 20th goal of the season with a well placed shot.
Mossley applied more pressure and Nathan Neequaye was desperately unlucky not to put Mossley ahead when Turns somehow blocked his close range header without having seen it coming. It was a miss Mossley were to rue as despite dominating possession they were unable to forge a lead. As the half drifted into overtime Mossley were hit with a controversial sucker punch. Steven Richardson looked to be yards offside as he raced clear to lob the advancing man from a difficult angle and give the home side a lead they barely deserved.
However, the second half began in the worst possible way for Mossley as in the very first minute Richardson again charged forward with Nick Boothby in hot pursuit and with Mann racing out into no mans land calmly knocked the ball into an empty net from 25 yards.
It was a killer blow for Mossley who certainl;y didn't deserve to trail by such a score at that stage. The Lilywhites didn't roll over though and continued to try and force openings while Durham had invoked a shoot on sight policy with the breeze at their backs that was to pay rich dividends and cause anguish for the hapless James Mann.
The impressive Tommy English then scored a hat trick in fairly quick time. A pass from the right found him in space and as Mann again raced out to block he saw English's initial shot rebound back to English and bobble back into the net off his shins.
Worse was to follow for Mossley as English unleashed a swerving thirty yarder that left Mann grasping at air as it found the top corner and then to copmplete Mossley's misery English spotted Mann too far off his line and launched a floated shot from just inside his own half that left the Mossley custodian clawing at air.
It was harsh on the team as a whole who had played some excellent pass and move football all night but had been unable to find the openings at key moments in the game and were punished without mercy by the title favourites.
Report by Orpheus
Pics by Aaron Flanagan