Two softly conceded penalties gifted the points to strugglers Prescot Cables on Tuesday night as the Lilywhites appeared to suffer something of a hangover from Saturday’s FA Trophy exit at Whitby.
After the fantastic run of results and performances the team has enjoyed this season this was a hugely disappointing game as Mossley struggled to break down a defence that conceded seven goals on Saturday and in all honesty looked to be there for the taking.
Prescot were a very average team at best, but, what they did have was desire and they had that in spades, and once they had got their noses in front it was always going to become a tough night for the out of sorts Lilywhites.
The free flowing attacking football witnessed in the recent wins against Kidsgrove, Runcorn and Hyde was missing and was replaced by a laboured and predictable approach that Prescot had little trouble in repelling.
Mossley dominated possession in the first half but barely managed to test home keeper Mitchell Allen.
Banister, Keogh and Marsden all shot wide in the early stages and for a while it looked only a matter of time before Mossley would take the lead. Unfortunately that lead never materialised. Instead the game became attritional and as time wore on Prescot, having weathered only a minor Mossley storm, grew in confidence with right winger Johnson and bulky centre forward Buckley asking difficult questions of the Lilywhites defence.
Mossley’s best chance of a first half that could best be described as ‘hard going’ saw Allen tip over Dec Evans’ goalbound header while a clear handball in the box was missed by the referee.
Mossley fans would have been forgiven for thinking that the second half should see Mossley go on to win the game comfortably. However, within four minutes of the restart Prescot were awarded their first penalty kick when Harry Pratt clipped Josh Dobie as he entered the box following a half cleared corner. Lewis Buckley sent Hadlow the wrong way from the spot to give the home side a shock lead.
Mossley went in search of an equaliser and Fawns and Banister both came close but on the hour Prescot doubled the lead. Mossley didn’t deal well with a free kick floated into the box and Liam Hollett scored with a free header at the back post to leave Mossley with a mountain to climb.
That mountain was partially scaled on 70 minutes when Dec Evans fired home from close range following a Mossley corner and the Lilywhites were back in the game.
Surely Mossley would now go on to take at least a point. Unfortunately when another Cables player took a tumble in the box with twelve minutes left on the clock, the referee again pointed to the spot and again Lewis Buckley sent Hadlow the wrong way from the 12 yard mark.
Another strong penalty shout for Mossley was ignored as the Lilywhites finally laid siege on the Prescot goal but it was too little too late and when Allen stuck out a foot to deny Fawns’ rasping effort the Lilywhites’ hopes of a late comeback were gone and the points were lost against a team that Mossley would expect to beat on a good day. Sadly, it wasn’t a good day!
Martyn Nolan pics to follow > >