On a cold and wet afternoon Mossley deservedly took maximum points in the Boxing Day ‘derby’ at New Mills.
On a surface that was heavy in patches, flowing football was never going to be in evidence, but, in a somewhat physical encounter a surely disappointing festive crowd witnessed the struggling Millers give their all in effort but were inevitably shown to be tactically lacking by a determined Mossley side who never looked in trouble on the day.
With first use of the Church Lane slope Kyle McGonigle fired narrowly wide in the opening moments and that set the tone for proceedings as Andy Keogh and the industrious Arron Hevingham dictated play from midfield.
Mossley deservedly took the lead on 16 minutes, albeit somewhat fortuitously, when Millers left back Danny Grimshaw turned the hard working Matty Purcell’s left wing cross into his own net.
Keogh came close to increasing the Lilywhites lead when his brilliant mazy run was halted by a save by the keeper’s trailing foot.
At the other end New Mills posed little threat though Farrimond did well to save from Antoine-Clarke’s effort.
Always the more threatening of the two sides, Mossley doubled the lead shortly before the break. Purcell this time popping up on the right wing to deliver a low cross which saw Sam Robinson turn the ball home at the near post.
As expected, New Mills, now with the slope in their favour, came out with all guns blazing after the interval and twice went close to reducing the arrears as Farrimond was called on to make decent saves to keep the homesters at bay.
Mossley were finding space to counter attack but moves too often broke down through the Lilywhites tendency to overplay a little in the final third.
The otherwise impressive Keogh ought to have sealed the points when his bursting run into the box saw him get to the ball before the keeper only to lob the ball against the bar from close range when it looked easier to score.
However, it was from one such breakaway that finally did see the Lilywhites confirm the victory. Sam Robinson broke down the right and played the ball inside to substitute Brian Matthews who in turn laid the ball into the path of Matty Purcell who made no mistake from fifteen yards.
New Mills pulled a goal back in stoppage time when Danny Grimshaw atoned somewhat for his own goal by scoring directly from a wind assisted right wing corner, but it was too little too late for the beleaguered home side and Mossley took the points while also avenging the FA Trophy defeat inflicted at the same venue a few weeks earlier.