All good things must come to an end and that's precisely what they did for Mossley on a drizzly night in West Yorkshire as an injury time goal at The Shay brought their fourteen match unbeaten run to a halt.
This Unibond League President's Cup fixture started well for Mossley with them doing most, if not all, of the early pressing. The two Steve's - Moore and Settle - as well as Nathan Neequaye all having a chance each to make the Lilywhites opening to the game a great one rather than a good one.
The visitors persistence was rewarded though in the 21st minute when Graham Kay headed Karl Brown's corner towards a crowded goal and thanks to a bizarre series of deflections off a multitude of different body parts, the ball eventually crossed the line to give Mossley a deserved lead.
It was a lead too that didn't appear to be in any danger, such was the lack of threat from Halifax but as half-time approached the home side rather fortuitously found themselves back in the game. A rare piece of untidy defending on the night allowed Mark Peers to find space and take a shot at goal. His effort was a poor one and appeared to be heading into touch until it took an enormous deflection off the back of Graham Kay, sending the ball flying past a wrong footed Peter Collinge and into the net.
The equaliser seemed to rock Mossley a little and the half ended with Town enjoying their first sustained spell of pressure in the game. It was one that would have seen them enter the interval in front too if it hadn't been for a point blank save from Collinge and an immaculately timed goal line tackle from Tom Spearitt.
What followed after the break was a much more even contest with both sides taking it in turns to put their opponents goal under pressure. James Dean and Peers had a couple of opportunities each to edge Halifax ahead, while at the other end of the pitch some inaccurate shooting was hampering Mossley's hopes of doing something similar.
The best chance though did fall Mossley's way. It came when the ball spilled out to the feet of Matty Kay after the Town keeper and a defender had clattered into one another in an attempt to break up an attack. His shot however was blocked by the head of Mark Hotte (and unintentionally so too judging by his surprised reaction afterwards) as he wearily picked himself off the ground following the collision with his team mate.
Over the course of their unbeaten streak Mossley have rescued and won numerous games with a late or last gasp goal, but it was to come to an end with them conceding one themselves. With the game in injury time and and an extra thirty minutes looking a distinct and unwelcome possibility, Halifax won a corner. The initial effort resulting from the inswinging cross was cleared off the line by Sam Walker. The ball though fell kindly for Dean who sent it back towards goal and for the third time on the night a deflection helped a shot reach the back of its intended target.
Despite the loss there are plenty of positives Mossley can take out of the game as they head into a far more important cup fixture at Ilkeston Town this coming weekend.
Report by SJNR
pics by Smiffy