Halloween appeared to arrive at Seel Park a day later than the rest of the country as visitors Newcastle Blue Star showed a few tricks and treated themselves to five goals and three points in as one sided a game as you're likely to see all season.
The game started badly for the home side with Blue Star putting them under pressure straight from the kick-off, and it went steadily downhill from there; Newcastle effectively ending the game as a contest before even a third of it had elapsed when Paul Brayson, in addition to earlier strikes by Darren Craddock and David McTiernan, put the men from Tyneside three goals up in the 28th minute.
That the scoreline was no different when half-time arrived was the one bright spot for Mossley at the end of the opening period. However there was to be no respite after the interval as within sixty seconds of the restart, three became four.
Receiving the ball twenty five yards from goal, Chris Emms was given the time and space to loft it accurately over three defenders and the goalkeeper for what would have been the goal of the game had Newcastle's fifth of the afternoon not surpassed it ten minutes later.
Brayson initially looked to have missed the chance of doubling his account when, in a race for possession with Mossley keeper Ashley Connor, his heavy touch appeared to have sent the ball off for a goal kick. A sudden turn of speed however enabled him to stop it dead on the touchline and from the acutest angle possible on a football pitch, the Blue Star forward somehow managed to steer the ball past two covering defenders and into the goal.
With a little over twenty minutes of the game remaining Newcastle keeper Dan Lawson was finally called on to do something other than sweep up over hit long balls, the visitor's custodian having to make a smart reaction save stop a header from Michael Fish sneaking past him. He looked a little less convincing a short time later when he almost fumbled a Scott Holt cross into his own net but that was to be he last test in the game.
The scoreline could have had an even more emphatic look for the visitors had they taken just a fraction of their chances in the closing stages of the game, but the welcome sound of the final whistle ensured that their tally would remain at just the five.
Whether things would have been any different if Mossley had been able to field something approaching their first choice eleven, rather than another reshuffled line-up brought about by the injury crisis that is currently enveloping the club, is probably a moot point as if Newcastle's performance in this game was indicative of how they play every match, I doubt that many sides in this division, even those operating at full strength, will better them over the course of the season.
report by SJNR
pics by Garry Hadfield