Two costly errors by goalkeeper Liam Higginbotham cost Mossley at least a share of the spoils against big spending and ambitious Salford City at Seel Park on Saturday, after a gritty and determined display more than matched their recently illustrious opponents.
Mossley made a fantastic start and could have been three goals ahead in the opening ten minutes. Firstly, a second minute corner saw Tom Pratt’s lofted cross headed against the bar by Kevin McGrath with Tom Dean’s header from the rebound clutched on the line by ‘Ammies’ keeper Tom Stewart.
A free kick from over 25 yards out was then thundered against the bar by Dean Warburton and Mossley had the ball in the net two minutes later as Steve Foster turned Chris Lynch before clipping the ball into the far corner of the net only to been adjudged to have committed a dubious looking foul on the said Salford defender.
Mossley were sucker punched in the 21st minute. Salford’s first corner, softly conceded, brought the opening goal as Ashley Dunn shot through a crowded box as Mossley failed to clear their lines.
Salford then enjoyed a good spell with ‘big name’ strikers Danny Webber and Gareth Seddon both prominent with Seddon going close with an overhead kick that flew narrowly wide but Mossley’s defence was mostly untroubled.
Mossley were dealt another blow as influential skipper Steve Foster limped from the field with a groin problem with only 34 minutes on the clock. Recent addition Mitchell Bryant the replacement.
The second half opened well for Mossley and Andy Keogh had a shot deflected wide, Tom Pratt saw Stewart tip away his goal bound effort and Warburton again went close with a free kick but this time his shot flew inches wide. At the other end Higginbotham saved well from Webber’s drive.
Salford stretched the lead on 63 minutes as Higginbotham made his first costly error as he was caught in no-man’s land after having the ball nicked from him by Webber and despite McGrath and Andy Brown’s desperate goal line efforts, the ex Watford star’s chipped shot found the Mossley net. Harsh on hard working Mossley who had constantly threatened an equaliser.
Two might have been three when Dunn burst through. The advancing Higginbotham got something on it but it took a goal-line clearance by the impressive Ryan Barrow to prevent further damage.
Mossley gained a lifeline on 76 minutes when a long mazy run by Tom Pratt was halted by a shirt pull just inside the box and substitute Dougie Carroll slammed home the resultant penalty.
Mossley pushed on looking for the equaliser and were denied again when Charlie Anderson’s goal bound free kick was charged down by a defender who had advanced early from the edge of the wall but referee Mr Moore wasn’t interested.
Barrow and Keogh worked a move with Bryant on the right wing which saw the latter denied by a solid save by Stewart as the Lilywhites pressed.
However, the points were sealed for the visitors and the result given a hugely flattering look, as Higginbotham’s horribly sliced clearance from the edge of the box landed at the feet of ex Mossley hot shot Sam Madeley who had the simplest of tasks to roll the ball into an empty net from 30 yards out.
click here for pics by Stewart (Non League Review)
Mitchell Bryant challenges for the ball
Dougie Carroll penalty video