The appalling weather was the only real winner in Saturday’s home game against Burscough as the teams slogged out a 1-1 draw in a match dictated by strong winds, sleet and a heavy sticky pitch that cut up as the game progressed making slick passing play all but impossible.
Mossley were dealt a blow in the warm ups as Brian Matthews pulled up injured meaning a late change to the line up which presented new signing Rio Ahmadi with a full debut and a call up to the subs bench for Mike Fish on his return from injury.
Burscough enjoyed the lions share of possession in the opening half with talismanic midfielder Eddie Toner dictating the pace of the game.
Mossley sat too deep in that first half allowing Burscough time on the ball while hoping to use the pace of forwards Ahmadi, Sam Robinson and Tom Pratt on the break.
There were few chances at either end. Brookfield powered a header narrowly over the Mossley bar while Ahmadi was millimetres away from getting on the end of Robinson’s left wing cross.
Burscough broke the deadlock on 35 minutes. John Bennett brought down Wade Joyce just outside the Mossley box and visitors skipper Paul Williams fired low to the near post, the ball meeting post and Andy Farrimond’s gloves simultaneously before finding the back of the Mossley net.
Mossley changed their shape for the second half with Caldon Henson pushing forward on the right as the Lilywhites switched to a back three and the move looked like paying dividends as Ahmadi and Robinson started to look a real threat. Tom Pratt went close from just outside the box while Ahmadi and Robinson were both denied by blocks and saves as Mossley stepped up the pressure.
The equaliser finally came on 72 minutes. Sam Robinson was upended some twenty yards from goal and up stepped Kyle McGonigle to blast the ball through the Burscough wall and despite keeper Calvin Hare getting full hands to the ball the shot proved too strong for the visitors custodian and the game was thrown wide open again.
Mossley had a great chance when Robinson raced through and collided with the advancing Burscough keeper Hare outside the box. With Hare on the floor the ball broke to Arron Hevingham some thirty yards from goal but, with the net unguarded, the Mossley midfielder elected to pass to Ahamdi who was quickly closed down and the visitors scrambled the ball to safety.
With ten minutes remaining Mossley replaced Ahamadi and Robinson with Mike Fish and Dougie Carroll and Fish in particular became an instant thorn in Burscough’s side as he fought feverishly for possession and came close to scoring.
The best chance of the closing stages fell to Mossley as Fish twice won back possession before teeing up Carroll who saw his shot fly narrowly over the bar and the game ended in stalemate.
Rio Ahmadi in action on his Mossley debut