November may be only eight days old but if it continues in the way it has started for Mossley, it's a month they'll be hoping to see the end of sooner rather than later as they fell to their third successive defeat in little over a week - the latest coming at Shawe View, home of Trafford FC.
The Lilywhites were the games early pacesetters and took a deserved lead from the spot after only eight minutes. Matty Berkeley's clever spin and drag back bamboozled Lee Southwood into unceremoniously upending the St Kitts & Nevis international in the corner of the box, leaving the referee with no option other than to award a penalty kick which Michael Fish duly converted.
The visitors continued to pile forward in search of more goals but not for the first time this season, the copious amounts possession they enjoyed in and around their opponents penalty area wasn't turned into anything more than the occasional half-chance.
This inability to press home their advantage was again to prove costly. Trafford slowly began to build up a head of steam and their sightings of Ashley Connor's goal grew with increasing regularity before the game was to swing in their favour with an incident seven minutes before the interval.
In his attempts to stop Andy Lundy from having a clean run on goal as he broke through the visitors back line, Graham Kay's legs became entangled with those of Trafford forward and after Lundy had crashed to the floor, the referee produced the red card from his pocket and dismissed the Mossley captain for a professional foul.
Lee Blackshaw was the attacking player sacrificed so that a defender could be brought on to fill the gap in the back four, but it was through the position vacated by the Mossley winger that Trafford brought themselves back into the game.
Two minutes into time added on at the end of the first half, Kayde Coppin took full advantage of the space now available down the Lilywhites left hand side and charged to the touchline before cutting the ball back to the near post where Scott Barlow was on hand to tap the ball home.
Despite a positive opening to the second period in which Rhys Kelly and Berkeley went close to edging them ahead, the game started to slip away from Mossley when the half was ten minutes old. Barlow, the league's leading scorer, was given the time and space to carry the ball along the edge of the Mossley penalty area before picking his spot and firing a shot across Connor and into the net.
With the onus now on Mossley to throw men forward in an attempt to secure an equaliser, their numerical disadvantage left them even more susceptible to a breakaway goal and after a couple of very close calls that's precisely what happened in the the 66th minute. Once again it was Barlow who applied the finishing touch to a pacey Trafford move and, in doing so, completed both his hat-trick and virtually ensured that the Lilywhites would be heading home pointless.
To Mossley's credit they didn't resign themselves to the defeat and with fifteen minutes of the game left Christian Hirst went incredibly close to halving the deficit, but with Trafford looking dangerous on the break every time a move for the visitors broke down, what would have been a memorable comeback never really looked in any danger of happening.
report by SJNR
pics by Aaron Flanagan