Mossley were deservedly convincing winners at Station View this afternoon with a performance full of patience, commitment and composure.
The signs were there from the off as Mossley constantly pressed the hosts into errors as the Lilywhites nullified the Railway attack and dominated midfield all but totally.
The first half followed a similar pattern to Tuesday's game against Radcliffe, in that for all Mossley's possession the ball refused to find the back of the Railway net. Two strong penalty appeals were waved away in the process while former Mossley custodian James Mann flapped and punched at a number of crosses as the Harrogate goal lived a charmed life.
If the home side had been fortunate to remain level at the interval they were less fortunate after the break as Mossley finally turned pressure into goals. Mossley's football was already what could best be described as "flowing" when Danny Egan was upended five yards outside the box just to the right of Mann's goal. Karl Brown's quick thinking and somewhat cheeky free kick left the home keeper at the wrong post as his deadball shot landed in the bottom left corner of the net with Mann helplessly scrambling across his line.
Although the one goal lead was precarious, the home side were given no favours by a rock solid Lilywhites defence and there was no real surprise when Mossley doubled the lead in the 76th minute albeit in somewhat bizarre fashion.
Mossley won a corner on the right. Karl Brown drove the ball across and Harrogate defender Danny Verity screwed a clearance towards his own goal. Rail substitute Phil Mitchell handled the ball on the line. Following consultation with his assistant the referee awarded Mossley a goal even though it appeared to onlookers that the ball hadn't crossed the line and a penalty should have been awarded with Mitchell red carded. Mitchell was oddly then shown yellow and Mossley had their second goal.
There was no controversy about the third though. The outstanding Andy Watson was brought crashing to the ground some 35 yards out. Brown floated the resultant free kick into the box were Matty Kay met it with a fine header, for his sixth goal of the season.
It could have been more for Mossley had a few more of the many chances created gone in, but no-one was complaining about what was a fine way to secure victory.
Hard to single players out for what was a fine all round performance but special praise for Ben Richardson who made a surprise appearance following his injury on Tuesday. Jo Forshaw worked her magic on his knee every day since and Ben had a fantastic game.
Report by John Cawthorne