One moment of quality football in a match that was otherwise devoid of it was enough to return Mossley to winning ways after three consecutive defeats.
A good indicator that a game isn't quite as exciting as it could be is when the spectators spend more time looking at their watches than the match being played in front of them. And for the vast majority of the opening period that's precisely what most of the people filling the terraces at Seel Park were doing they were doing as Mossley and Bamber Bridge produced a first half that was as forgettable a forty five minutes of football as you're ever likely to see this season.
The sum total of both sides efforts during this time was a single shot apiece. Bridge's Danny Mahoney brought a routine stop out of Peter Collinge with a long range strike while Steve Moore scuffed only Mossley's opportunity wide of the goal in the fifth minute.
Thankfully what followed the after the interval was an improvement on what had gone before it, even if it was only marginal. The reason for this slight upturn was mostly down to Mossley retaking the pitch looking a more determined and focussed side than the one that had left it fifteen minutes earlier. Within the first ten minutes of the restart they'd tripled their shot count for the afternoon as Steve Moore forced Mike Hale into making two saves before the same player had a goal correctly ruled out for offside.
Bamber Bridge on the other hand seemed to be more pre-occupied with giving away needless free-kicks than troubling their opponents defence. As the half wore on the number of illegal, and often unnecessary, challenges grew steadily before the self-destruct button was finally pushed in the 74th minute – centre half Martin Moran receiving a straight red card for cutting Michael Fish down just outside the box when he only had Hale to beat.
After a lengthy delay caused by Moran pleading his innocence, the free kick resulting from the incident was taken and ultimately wasted but it didn't take the Lilywhites long to make the extra man count. With nine minutes left the first lengthy spell of consecutive passes by either side saw Mossley send Steve Settle clear down the right wing. As defenders began to converge on him he rolled a low cross directly into the path of the inrushing Matty Kay, who slid the ball past Hale from twelve yards for his fifteenth goal of the season.
The visitors chances of getting something from the match were then dealt a further blow when Chris Marlow became the second Bridge defender to be ordered from the field of play by the match official. The full-back's two yellow cards both coming for fouls on Settle.
A looping cross come shot by Karl Brown would have doubled Mossley's lead had it not been acrobatically tipped to safety by Hale in injury time, but it was also in these closing stages that the nine men went close to grabbing an unlikely point. A free-kick awarded just outside the angle of the box was whipped towards goal by Richie Allen but Collinge was alert enough to scramble across his line to pluck the ball out of the air before it altered the score line.
It's a game that won't remembered for long but this was one of those times were the result was far, far more important than the performance as it not only arrested a poor run of results but allowed Mossley to register only their second home league win of the season.
Report by SJNR