Mossley salvaged a late, late draw against high flying Halifax at Hurst Cross on Tuesday night as Andy Watson forced the ball home in a frantic goalmouth scramble 3 minutes into 5 minutes of stoppage time. This after the lead had changed three times during the game.
New Mossley manager John Flanagan gave League debuts to recent
signings Chris McDonagh and Matty Russell and recalled Mike
Fish to the starting line up and all three played their parts
in a dogged Mossley performance.
Early play switched from end to end but it was Halifax who drew first blood in the 10th minute. A peach of a pass by Danny Lowe split the Mossley defence and Nick Gray raced forward to square the ball back to Lowe for simple finish.
The lead lasted only three minutes as Mossley bounced straight
back onto the attack. Some neat passing play on the left saw
space open for Mike Fish. The Mossley number 9 blasted a low
angled shot that Hedge was unable to gather and Chris McDonagh
was on hand to tap home his first Lilywhites goal.
The game continued to ebb and flow and both defences were put under pressure on an increasingly difficult surface, though neither keeper was particularly troubled.
Mossley took the lead in the 40th minute with a highly controversial goal. Matty Russell’s pass was deflected into Steve Settle’s path and the Mossley winger raced clear to slot home with the assistant referee’s flag raised for off-side. However referee Mr Roberts had waved Mossley on and allowed the goal to stand despite Halifax’s vociferous protests.
The second half saw Halifax attempt to bomb the Mossley defence with a series of high balls played into the box with big top scorer James Dean the obvious target, This ploy paid little dividend as the Shaymen were regularly caught off-side. They did get through a couple of times though with Graham Kay making a great goal-line clearance and a rasping Dean drive coming back off a post at a sharp angle.
Halifax forged their equaliser in the 75th minute and it was James Dean who was in the right place at the right time to hook home from ten yards as he found a rare bit of space in the Mossley box.
Halifax continued to attack and were generally dominating possession as Mossley were pegged back time and again by the visitors incessant pressure.
The pressure finally paid dividends in the 88th minute when Winters went down in what seemed a fair challenge in the box only for the referee to award a somewhat soft penalty. Richard Marshall sent Collinge the wrong way from the spot kick and the game looked like going Halifax’s way.
However, with the game well into stoppage time, Mossley won a free kick on the edge of the Halifax box. The ball being cleared for a corner on Mossley’s left wing. With keeper Peter Collinge up for the place kick Ben Richardson fired a great corner which caused total panic in the Halifax six yard box. As the ball got stuck between a swathe of legs, Andy Watson poked out a long leg to stab the ball home for an equaliser that Mossley deserved if for no other reason their absolute determination not to be beaten by probably the best team they have faced in the UniBond League this season.
report by John Cawthorne
pics by Smiffy