Mossley went down by the only goal in a bad tempered visit to Ossett Albion’s Dimple Wells on Saturday.
The game was very disjointed and niggly throughout, making it particularly un-enjoyable as a spectacle with few goalscoring chances for either team and lots and lots of fouls.
Ossett would call it an ‘ugly win’ and it surely was as once the home side had taken the lead they sat back in numbers, invited Mossley on and defended for their lives to hang on to the narrow victory as Mossley huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow the Albion house down.
The early exchanges promised much for an exciting game with both sides enjoying spells of possession but it was the home side who broke the deadlock on 17 minutes. Oliver Martin did well to tip over James Hurtley’s header from a left wing corner but the resulting flag kick saw Scott Metcalfe’s cross headed home by midfielder Lebrun Mbeka.
Mossley began to get on top after this but it became a common site to see all eleven Ossett players back behind the ball as Mossley tried desperately to find a way back into the game against a massed home defence.
There were a number of half chances. The best of the first half falling to Liam Ellis who saw his looping header cleared off the line by a desperate defender.
The second half saw a similar pattern. Oliver Martin was a virtual spectator as Mossley pressed forward again and again, but were constantly denied by the overworked Ossett defence who were happy to concede set pieces to break up and slow down Mossley’s momentum.
As the minutes ticked away with Mossley only having created half chances, the home side’s time wasting tactics came into force. Particularly keeper Brett Souter who chose to take an age in taking goal-kicks or free kick’s for off-side.
Mossley had a strong shout for a penalty with ten minutes remaining as Ross Hardaker clearly handled at least three yards inside the box. However, after consulting his assistant the referee awarded Mossley a free kick on the edge of the box, the chance was wasted and Ossett hung on to take the points.