Mossley eased to a relatively comfortable 2-0 win at a cold and wet Prescot Cables on Saturday.
In an end to end opening 30 minutes both sides created chances with Cables top scorer Rob Doran twice going close for the home side while Mossley's speedy raids saw Tom Pratt and Sam Robinson denied by Cables keeper Marcus Burgess.
Burgess was to thank for keeping the score down later in the game but was powerless to prevent the Lilywhites from taking the lead on 31 minutes as Dave Short became the first player into double figures this season.
Sam Robinson broke down the right and his low cross was controlled with his back to goal by the hard working Short just inside the home box. The burly striker worked the ball into position before lifting his shot into the roof of the net from ten yards out.
Andy Keogh had a great chance to make it two before the break but he was denied by Burgess who bravely dived at the Mossley skipper's feet to deny a certain goal.
Mossley didn't have to wait long after the interval to double their lead as heavy sleet began to whiten the already sodden pitch.
In the 51st minute Short broke down the left and crossed to the far post. Robinson stretched to return the ball into the goalmouth finding Tom Pratt whose first effort was saved by a mixture of keeper and crossbar but Pratt reacted quickest to the loose ball to net the rebound.
Prescot then enjoyed a decent spell but Mossley defended well throughout, denying an increasingly desperate Cables. On the one occasion that Liam Flynn was seriously tested he pulled off a superb save to deny Sam Turner.
There was an incident in front of the Prescot bench which saw Short and Cables' Phil Bannister wrestling on the floor on the touchline. A mass melee ensued which saw Cables Rob Doran become needlessly involved. The feckless Doran threw punches at first Andy Keogh and then at Scott Cheetham before being shown a straight red card by referee Darren Rogers. Short and Bannister were both yellow carded for instigating the incident.
Mossley were now constantly carving gaps in the Cables back line. Short burst through and went around Burgess but lost his footing as he was forced wide while substitute Dougie Carroll might have scored a hat-trick as he twice fired narrowly over the bar and saw a further effort come back off the foot of a post.
Cables finished the game with nine men when, having already used all their substitutions, Bannister was carried off on a stretcher after going down with no one around him, but the result was beyond doubt well before then.
Dave Short opens the scoring
pic by Paul Moran (via Twitter)