Ten man Mossley were unlucky not to take something from this game against FA Cup giant killers Warrington Town at Seel Park on Saturday.
The big spending but rugged visitors play a direct long ball game with speedy strikers, an often effective style which is far from easy on the eye. However, the Lilywhites defended solidly in an opening half which saw few chances for either side with Mossley being the only team with any desire to get the ball down and play football.
Warrington keeper Karl Wills was the busier in the opening half and he made a fine save to deny Sam Robinson while at the other end the Mossley back four of Henson, Granite, McGonigle and Bennett easily stifled the threat of the Warrington attack.
Mossley derived the lead when they edged in front on 42 minutes. Mike Fish picked the ball up on the right wing and cut across two defenders before firing home a powerful 25 yard left foot shot which beat Wills at his left hand post.
It looked like the Lilywhites would go in a goal to the good at the break but the game was turned on it’s head in three dramatic minutes at the end of the half.
Firstly, no sooner had Mossley’s goal joy died down when the visitors drew level. A speculative 20 yard shot by Warrington skipper David Mannix flew beyond the despairing reach of the mostly previously untroubled Andy Farrimond.
The turning point came two minutes into first half stoppage time. Steven Tames broke into the box on the left and as he cut along the dead ball line he was clipped by Josh Granite. It was a clear penalty but referee Mr Parry then shocked everyone in the ground by showing Granite a red card despite the fact that Tames was hardly in a position to shoot and Mossley had covering defenders. Scott Metcalfe scored the penalty to give Warrington a somewhat fortunate half time lead.
Matty Purcell was sacrificed at the break with Matty Cross replacing Granite in the Lilywhites defence but Warrington nearly went further ahead early in the half when Corrigan’s powerful drive flew inches wide of Farrimond’s left hand post.
However, despite their numerical disadvantage the Lilywhites were the team looking most likely to score the next goal but constantly came up against a big solid Warrington defence who were more than happy to boom the ball up-field or out of play at every opportunity and break up Mossley’s approach play with numerous niggling fouls. This meant that Mossley were unable to forge any real goal-scoring opportunities.
Mossley came closest when another Mike Fish drive was brilliantly tipped onto the post by Wills before the closing stages saw the visitors numerical advantage take it’s toll on the hard working Lilywhites as Warrington were able to see the game out and take three points that their overall performance barely merited.
The Lilywhites ten men gave everything they had in the second half and deserved to take at least a point from what was an extremely physical contest, but it was not to be.