did everything bar dig trenches to survive a late onslaught
by table topping promotion favourites AFC Fylde at Kellamergh
Park on Tuesday night. That they didn't achieve their fourth
successive victory was testament to Mossley's never say
die backs to the wall defensive display.
Peter Band, Steve Halford, Lee Rick and Danny Queeley all
out injured and with summer signing Scott Barlow placed
on the transfer list it was a particularly unfamiliar Mossley
line up that took to AFC Fylde's lush playing surface. Giant
centre back Keil O'Brien and left back Ben Fallows were
given debuts while in midfield Alex Byrne returned to the
starting line up and there was a first start for the experienced
opened brightly and almost scored in the opening minutes.
Kayde Coppin showed his marker a clean pair of heels before
his superb cross found the head of Tom Ingham, but the promising
youngster headed over the bar when well placed.
started to push Mossley onto the back foot and several shots
from distance flew wide or over as the homesters looked
to extend their 100% start to the season. However it was
Mossley who drew first blood with a contentious opener on
9 minutes. Coppin was fouled on the left wing and his floated
free kick appeared to have gone out of play at the far post
before being knocked back into the middle were Fylde keeper
Whiteside made a hash of his catch and Nick Swirad forced
the ball home from close range. Just how Whiteside stayed
on the field after the tirade of foul and abusive he then
aimed at the referee's assistant will forever remain a mystery.
piled forward again with Kay, Booth and Allen all going
close but despite their pressure Mossley keeper Martin Pearson
was rarely troubled.
really put the cat among the pigeons five minutes after
the interval when they doubled their lead with a stunning
goal by former youth team skipper Alex Byrne. Fylde centre
back Steel saw Byrne intercept a pass before the teenage
midfielder curled a stunning right foot shot from fully
30 yards that left Whiteside rooted to his line.
followed was then akin to the alamo as Fylde poured forward
in wave after wave of attacks before finally clawing their
way back into the game on 65 minutes. Fylde won a corner
on Mossley's left and Glenn Steel climbed highest to head
powerfully home from Jarvis' cross.
Fylde pressure increased but it was Mossley who created
the next clear opening. Tom Ingham was sent clear down the
right wing and his deep cross found substitute Scott Hogan
clear of the last Fylde defender. Unfortunately, Hogan then
fired powerfully over the bar when a placed shot would surely
have brought better reward.
pressure now became incessant and with just four minutes
left on the clock they finally found their equaliser but
it was a tragic goal from Mossley's perspective as Mike
Barnes' speculative shot from 25 yards was sailing wide
when the ball took a wicked deflection off a Mossley defender
and flew into the net.
sensed a winner in the dying minutes but Mossley's overworked
defence were in no mood to come away with nothing but they
still had keeper Pearson to thank for a superb save in the
closing moments to deny Heywood and the point that the resilient
Lilywhites deserved for their efforts was won. It could
have been even better had Hogan taken his chance, but having
said that it could have been a lot worse but for some absolutely
superb defensive work particularly by centre backs O'Brien