After three successive draws in the league since
the turn of the year, the Lilywhites registered their first
victory of 2010 in style as they out fought, out thought and
comprehensively outplayed a Warrington side who before the
game sat two places outside a play-off spot.
Straight from the kick-off Mossley took the game to their
opponents and such was their dominance it was something of
a shock that it took until the ninth minute for the first
goal to arrive; Michael Fish teeing up strike partner Chris
McDonagh to roll the ball over the line from very close range.
Over the remainder of the half the Lilywhites continued to
create more and more chances but as they did so the more the
Town goal began to lead a charmed life. And when Steve Settle,
who'd had a shot cleared off the line as early as the 2nd
minute, saw an effort ruled out for offside it looked increasingly
like it was going to be one of those nights where it was to
be hoped that one goal would be enough to claim the win.
The precarious nature of Mossley's lead was highlighted six
minutes before the break when Tony Evans wasted a golden opportunity
for the visitors by blazing a shot high over the top of Peter
Collinge's crossbar when it looked far easier to score. Amazingly
he wasted an even more gilt edged chance moments later when
a collision between Collinge and Settle left him with the
ball at his feet in front of an open goal. To the relief of
the home side though he delayed his shot long enough to give
Graham Kay the chance to stop the ball on the goal line.
Andy Watson completed the clearance as Evans steeled himself
for another strike of the ball and it was from this long kick
down field that Mossley got the second goal their performance
merited. Fish won the race for the loose ball and after carrying
it to the edge of the Town box he stroked it low past keeper
Ritchie Mottram and into the net.
The second goal appeared to knock whatever resistance Warrington
had left out of them and the only question that remained to
be answered as the teams retook to the pitch after half-time
was not if Mossley would win, but by how many.
Ten minutes into the second period the Lilywhites began the
process of giving the score line a more emphatic look when
Nick Allen and Settle combined to set up Matty Kay for his
18th goal of the season. His 19th arrived on the hour mark
with a shot from inside the six yard box following a goalmouth
scramble which had seen the ball ricochet pinball-like around
the penalty area. The fifth and final goal of the night came
once again via the boot of Fish as last season's leading scorer
applied a one-touch finish to substitute Lee Blackshaw's inch
perfect cross from the right.
The result puts Mossley in good stead for the series of upcoming
games against teams making a serious challenge for a promotion
spot. And on the form they showed in this match the results
of those fixtures may not quite be the foregone conclusions
they initially appeared.
Report by SJNR
pics by Smiffy