WITH the disruption caused by the late and unexpected change of management late last week, it was always going to be a tricky opening friendly match for Mossley's new boss Peter Band left with little time to assemble a competitive side for this opening game at North West Counties Leaguers Chadderton on Monday night, hence a large number of trialists.
There were however a few familiar faces to Mossley fans with seven members of the squad that finished last season taking part along with five returning former Lilywhites and 10 trialists in a 22 man squad.
The biggest problem for Mossley on the night was a a lack of experience in central defence which was a major worry throughout the game as the home side's long ball route one approach on a poor playing surface caught the Mossley back four square and poorly positioned on far too many occasions.
The game opened brightly enough for Mossley, as the Lilywhites took the lead in the 4th minute. Some super slick play by Kayde Coppin on the right saw the Mossley striker slip a super ball through ball to trialist centre forward Craig Billington from Brighouse Town and he calmly slotted home past the stranded Chadderton keeper.
Chadderton equalised 38 minutes when former Mossley midfielder Matty Russell broke through on the right channel to score with a ricocheted effort from the edge of the box as Russ Saunders came to close him down.
The second half saw Mossley gradually make substitutions to the point that all eleven who started the game had been replaced but unfortunately the defensive frailties continued and the home side raced into a 3-1 lead with a second Matty Russell goal and a third tapped home by burly striker Best.
Coppin was again the instigator as Mossley reduced the arrears in the 66th minute as former Mossley reserve striker Nathan Tosum bundled home from close range. However, Mossley soon found themselves 4-2 down as another defensive mix up allowed a Chadderton forward an easy goal as the Lilywhites trialist keeper fumbled.
Mossley pulled it back to 4-3 with a terrific goal by ex Lilywhites reserve wing back Davison Banda, who was with Prescot Cables last season. The speedy wide man raced down the right easily beating the last defender for pace before crashing a fine shot into the far corner of the Chadderton net from the edge of the box.
Any hopes Mossley had of salvaging a draw were ended in stoppage time when Matty Russell completed his hat-trick after the heart of the Mossley defence had again opened up far too easily.
The game has certainly given Peter Band plenty to think about with the first home game against Glossop less than 48 hours away and the need for two experienced centre backs has to be the biggest priority.
Report by Wizard