The passage into the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup proved to be a relatively comfortable one for the Lilywhites at Valley Road, home of North West Counties League opponents Flixton.
That's not to say that weren't a few moments of concern, particularly in the first half when goalkeeper Liam Higginbotham had to react quickly to stop a free-kick taken by Ashley Kelly from sneaking in at his unguarded near post. Tom Murphy shot into the side netting and Kelly went close again with a shot that flashed across both Higginbotham and the goal.
Those incidents excepted, the majority of the action took place inside the Flixton half but despite the possession Mossley enjoyed they only had one goal to show for their endeavours. That solitary first half strike arrived in the 14th minute when, after managing to wriggle free of the very close attentions of Flixton's McAllister, Danny Dignan fired a cross into the box that was met and placed past the goalkeeper by an unmarked Ryan Cook; the Mossley number eight's first for the club.
Over the remainder of the period the visitors had enough chances to have booked their place in the next round by the interval but a steady mix of poor finishing, some good block tackling and the occasional save by Perry meant that come the start of the second half, Flixton still harboured hopes of causing an upset.
These hopes got a further boost at the start of second half when Perry saved a Michael Fish spot-kick after the home side were penalised for a handball in the box. However it turned out to be short lived as four minutes later Fish shrugged of any disappointment he may have had at the penalty miss to double Mossley's lead, stroking home a right wing cross by Dignan in what was almost a carbon copy of the first goal.
As Flixton's discipline began to fray, leading to a whole host of bookings for dissent, Mossley started to put further distance between the two sides. Dave Hanlon and Graham Kay went close to adding a third to Mossley's total before Fish did just that in the 74th minute. Just as he'd done in the previous round against Ramsbottom, the Lilywhites leading scorer chased down a backpass and in doing so, forced Perry into making an error that he capitalised on by rolling the ball into an empty net from an acute angle.
A fourth and final goal for Mossley on the afternoon came in the 82nd minute via the head of Danny Egan. The substitute planting Simon Wood's deep cross past a static keeper from close range. That wasn't to be the end of the scoring though. With the game approaching its climax and the result not in question, the home side found a second wind and while it may have been scant reward, Rick Hodkin made sure that the Lilywhites wouldn't be heading back to Seel Park with a clean sheet.
It's something I doubt they'll be too upset about as they also head home with an increase in prize money from the FA and, more importantly, a place in the draw for the next round.
Report & Video by SJNR
Ryan Cook slots home the opener
Phil Charnock sets up Danny Dignan
Lee Blackshaw takes on the Flixton defence
Mike Fish scores the second from Dignan's cross
and turns away in delight
Nick Boothby wins a tackle
Mike Fish scores the third goal
pics by Garry Hadfield