Mossley came from behind to win in a second half revival at Seel Park on Saturday thanks to a wonder-strike by midfield star Kane Hickman against the mostly impressive NPL new boys Bootle.
For the first hour of the game Mossley fell somewhat short of the expected standard as they struggled break down a determined Bootle rearguard. The visitors looked generally the more threatening and could have been leading by more than the solitary goal well before the Lilywhites equaliser.
The last half hour was the polar opposite as Mossley poured forward at will with Bootle visibly wilting under the pressure and by the end Mossley could have won more comfortably than the 2-1 score-line suggests.
The lively former Widnes winger Ben Hodgkinson was a constant threat for the visitors and it was he who gave Bootle the lead on 29 minutes when his jinking run found him bearing down on goal from Mossley's left flank and his shot was deflected into the net past the stranded Hadlow.
It could have been worse soon after when Peterson saw his well struck effort come back off the inside of Mossley's left post.
Mossley's few opportunities in the opening half saw Antony Brown fire narrowly over the bar while Mason Fawns did similarly from distance but it clearly wasn't enough.
Devon Matthews replaced the injured Sam Kilner just before the break with Jack Grundy moving to an unlikely right wing back position to accommodate him.
Jordan Hadlow came to the rescue with a fine save before Mossley at last started to find some rhythm as some pin ball around the Bootle box saw Jordan Butterworth go close
Connor Morris entered the fray for his Mossley debut in the 70th minute and three minutes later the Park End stand erupted for the first time when the former Bradford City trainee bagged the equaliser. Mason Fawns began the move when playing a superb raking ball behind the Bootle defence and following some fantastic creative play and a precision low pass by skipper Andy Keogh cutting in from the right wing Morris was left with a simple close range tap-in.
The game was turned on it's head three minutes later when in the 76th minute Kane Hickman arrived from the left onto Kain Dean's pass and smashed a fantastic swerving half-volley off the underside of the bar and into the Bootle net from the left corner of the box as the Park End erupted for the second and most vociferous time. A rare, stunning and thoroughly deserved strike from Mossley's all action midfield dynamo.
Morris came close to adding another after a great first touch opened the space but he dragged his left foot shot wide.
Mossley had one further scare to survive in the closing minutes but Hadlow made a fine save and Grundy did brilliantly to prevent Bootle scoring from the rebound before Keogh almost added a third at the other end but was unable to direct his header goalwards.
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