It took an almighty effort by Mossley to haul themselves back into this intriguing FA Trophy tie in Northamptonshire on Saturday. Trailing to a 67th minute goal deep into stoppage time, the Lilywhites somehow saved the day with a last gasp equaliser.
Brackley, flying high in the Zamaretto League Premier Division were formidable opponents and undoubtedly the strongest team Mossley have faced so far this season so the final result was highly creditable.
On a lush carpet of a pitch Brackley made the bright start one would expect of such a confident attacking side and twice in the opening minutes skilful left winger Tom Winters whipped in great crosses that were headed over by Rawle and Mackey. When Brackley did hit the target they found Mossley keeper Peter Collinge in Man of the Match form as he handled everything thrown at him superbly.
Attacking chances were few and far between for Mossley as the skilful homesters dominated midfield. The best Mossley chances fell to Ben Richardson who elected to cross rather than shoot when a shooting opportunity presented and Steve Moore who was denied by a great last ditch tackle as he was about to pull the trigger.
The second half was a much more even affair which Mossley possibly shaded in terms of possession. Steve Settle was beginning to find space out wide and was a constant problem for the Brackley defence.
However, just when it was starting to look like Mossley had weathered the Brackley storm the home side took the lead. Yet another exquisite left wing cross by Winters was met by the head of Ben Mackey on the edge of the six yard box and he made no mistake.
It looked like curtains for Mossley, but this Mossley side is made of sterner stuff and refused to lie down. As the game entered it’s closing stages Mossley threw caution to the wind and brought on Nathan Neequaye and sent skipper Graham Kay up to join the forwards and for the first time in the match Brackley found themselves under severe pressure.
Mossley were denied a certain penalty when the officials failed to spot Jamie Gould’s blatant hand ball as the game entered stoppage time. Then when a Steve Settle cross just eluded the inrushing Moore it looked to be all over.
As the game entered the final minute of stoppage time, Settle and Walker set up a move on the left wing, the latter crossed, Graham Kay flicked on a header and Steve Moore arrived unmarked at the far post to blast the equaliser from a tight angle six yards out sending players, management and fans into ecstasy as the final whistle sounded moments later to earn what was in the end a deserved replay at Seel Park.
Report by John Cawthorne