A Mossley XI were beaten 2-0 by unbeaten North West Counties League Division One leaders Atherton Collieries at a damp Seel Park on Tuesday night.
Only Tom Pratt, Dean Warburton and new boy Sam Robinson of the side that drew at Salford City on Saturday started the game and the first ten minutes showed a lack of familiarity amongst the team as the visitors started like a house on fire as the Lilywhites defence made a particularly shaky start.
Colls scored twice in that openening spell with Mark Adams and Westley Bancroft on target for the lively, hard working and occasionally overly physical visitors who were in no mood to treat the game as a friendly.
As the half wore on Mossley took control of the game and went on to create a host of chances. Unfortunately the Lilywhites luck was out on a number of occasions as despite totally controlling the game and forcing Colls to defend deeeper and deeper, they were unable to find a way through.
Robinson was twice denied by the Atherton keeper, Pratt, Eder Ruiz and Dougie Carroll all went close as Mossley ended the first half well on top. Mossley were also denied a clear penalty when Carroll was upended as he attempted to round the keeper but the referee surprisingly awarded a goal-kick.
Mossley were dealt a blow on the stroke of half time when Tom Pratt went down in a tackle and was still limping badly after treatment, taking no further part in the game.
Chance after chance came and went for the Lilywhites after the break with the livewire Eder Ruiz causing the visitors no end of problems. Ruiz was particularly unlucky when his great run and shot saw his effort come back off the bar.
Atherton's only real chance of the second half saw a free kick strike a post but Ash Frith was mostly untroubled.
On another night this extremely experimental Mossley team could have won comfortably but the gods smiled upon Atherton on this occasion.