Mossley gave a superb battling performance to knock NPL rivals Ramsbottom United out of the Emirates FA Cup at an atmospheric Seel Park on Tuesday night.
The victory was no less than the Lilywhites deserved against a side who would likely have won promotion had last season completed normally.
The tension in the air was palpable as the teams entered the fray and that tension increased as the evening wore on.
Mossley with Jes Uchegbulam back in the line up were first to show their attacking intent as Mulvey’s dangerous cross was cleared for a corner and Dec Evans fired over the bar from the resulting flag kick.
Ramsbottom responded but Kennedy’s free kick in a dangerous position flew over the bar.
Another Mulvey cross then saw Uchegbulam unlucky not to turn the ball home before loud appeals by Mossley as Uchegbulam raced through and despite clearly being fouled by ex Mossley keeper Ollie Martin the referee gave nothing.
A spell of pressure from the visitors saw several corners well dealt with by the outstanding Evans, Grundy and keeper Lovell.
It was to be Mossley who took the lead on 29 minutes. Skipper Keogh was the provider as his cross from the right was only partially cleared and Ryan Shenton was on hand to score his fourth goal in just three games as Seel Park erupted.
Rouse and Rother both had half chances for the Rams but failed to find the target as the Lilywhites took the lead into the break.
Martin saved from Shenton early in the second half but Ramsbottom began to show more purpose to their play and enjoyed a lengthy spell of possession. Lots of ball knocked into the Mossley box aimed at the towering Sefton Gonzales but he got little change from the outstanding Mossley defence. The pressure finally paid dividends for the visitors though on 59 minutes when Mason Fawns’ powerful angled shot from the edge of the box saw Lovell beaten for the first time this season.
Ramsbottom looked at this stage that they might take control of the game and ex Droylsden man Rouse hit the Mossley bar with a rasping drive but that simply proved to be the catalyst for a Mossley resurgence as the Rams were only level for four minutes.
Uchegbulam’s low cross from the right saw substitute Harry Pratt not quite able to reach it but the exciting Keaton Mulvey was in the right place to turn the ball home for his first Mossley goal.
The question was now, could Mossley hold on the that lead against a very dangerous attacking opposition who were prepared to throw the proverbial kitchen sink in search of an equaliser. The answer was a resounding yes.
The illustrious visitors huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow the Mossley house down. Once again superb defending was in evidence as Mossley players put their bodies on the line to preserve the lead and by the time the game entered four minutes of stoppage time Chris Willcock’s side had completely run out of ideas and Mossley were able to run the clock down in convincing style to deservedly earn a place in the next round and pocket the £2,250 prize money.
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