Mossley ready for Durham test


MOSSLEY head to Durham City tomorrow aiming to end the only remaining unbeaten record in UniBond League Division One North.

And after the Lilywhites’ recent win at leaders Bamber Bridge, manager Chris Willcock says his team will travel to the North East in fine spirits.

He said: “It is a great challenge to become the first team to beat Durham in the league. But after wins in our last two games, away to Bamber Bridge and Woodley Sports, the boys are buoyant and looking forward to this game.”

With Mossley’s home match against Woodley Sports being called off on Saturday, Willcock watched Durham’s win at Warrington.

“Durham won 2-1 and looked a decent side, though I saw a number of areas where I thought we could get at them,” he said.

Durham have won eight and drawn their three remaining league games, but are only sixth in the table. They face a league fixture backlog caused, in part, by reaching the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup where they lost to Histon - conqueror of Leeds on Sunday - after a replay.

Willcock, whose side are in seventh place, has no plans to bring in a striker to replace Matty Berkeley, who has joined Hyde United after only four matches. “Matty received an offer to step up two levels he could not refuse. He goes with our good wishes,” said Willcock.

Mossley still have four strikers - Mike Fish, Danny Dignan, Danny Egan and Dave Brooke – vying for two places.

Durham City’s in-form leading scorer Gavin Cogdon misses tomorrow’s game due to a knee injury.

The 16-goal hit man suffered the injury in last week’s win at Warrington Town and is likely to be replaced by fit-again striker Stephen Richardson. Irish full-back Stephen Capper is also unlikely to play due to injury, which could see centre-back Ian Dixon move to right-back with captain Stephen Harrison switching to the left.

Durham assistant manager Ritchie Pitt said: “We’ll miss Cogdon because he’s been on fire lately, but Richardson is a more than capable deputy and will maintain our pace up top.

“Richard Smith will probably partner Michael Laws at the centre of defence and, while all games in this league are tough, we’re full of confidence after losing only two games this season.

“Apart from a season at Dunston Fed, when we lost for the first time in the league on the last day, this is one of the best runs I’ve been involved with.

“We’ve played some awesome football and this, allied to a tremendous team spirit, has seen us do well in the league and cups but there’s still a long way to go.”

Durham, in sixth place, host a Mossley side that includes 17-goal striker Mike Fish, with the Lilywhites one point behind City but having played five games more.