Mossley earned the bragging rights over
their high flying neighbours Curzon Ashton in this Easter
Monday 'derby' match that had all the excitement one would
expect from such a game.
Mossley were forced into a defensive reshuffle
with Andy Watson unavailable and skipper Graham Kay completing
his three match ban. In came Jonathan Jackson for his first
appearance in a Mossley shirt since September and the bench
was boosted by two sixteen year olds in recent signing Josh
Harrison from Macclesfield and Stalybridge reserves highly
rated Joel Bembo-Leta.
Mossley got off to a good start with a stiff
breeze at their backs and forced several early corners that
caused consternation in the home defence before taking a deserved
lead on 12 minutes when Chris McDonagh's powerful drive squirmed
from Curzon keeper Michael Hale's grasp and went in off the
Mossley were then hit by a serious looking injury
to midfielder Jordan Goodeve when Curzon striker Mike Norton
went in late and was shown a straight red card for his badly
Mossley now had real impetus and doubled their
lead on 38 minutes. The outstanding Mike Fish beat two defenders
before rolling Matty Russell through on the left. The former
Curzon player took a touch before curling his shot beyond
Hale's reach from a difficult angle.
Curzon were far from out of it though and O'Connor
fired a great drive against the post before Mossley were hit
with another injury blow as Jonathan Jackson had to be helped
from the field with a knee injury. teenager Joel Bembo-Leta
replacing him in a further reorganised defence.
Curzon halved the arrears on the stroke of half
time when Ajay Leitch-Smith turned the ball home from a left
With the wind at their backs ten man Curzon
had a real go at Mossley after the break and like Mossley
in the first half, forced several corners that the makeshift
Mossley defence dealt well with.
Mossley were still a threat on the break and
when Blackshaw's cross was handled by Phil Edghill, Matty
Kay blasted home the penalty kick to restore the two goal
cushion on 62 minutes. Edghill however, made reparations three
minutes later when he headed home from a right wing corner
to set the large travelling contingent of Mossley fans willing
the clock to run down as Curzon pressed hard for an equaliser.
A couple of Curzon shots went narrowly wide
and the now massed Mossley defence held the home side at bay.
At the other end Steve Settle was causing havoc on the right
and Chris McDonagh was denied by a great save by Hale as he
bore down on goal. Hale also saved well from Mike Fish moments
later as Mossley sought to seal the victory.
Back came Curzon to force a couple of late corners
but when Luke Mack's powerful shot flew an inch wide of Peter
Collinge's left hand post Curzon's last chance had gone and
the final whistle sounded moments later to deservedly secure
Mossley the points and a 100% Easter record.
report by John Cawthorne
pics by SJNR