Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Mossley v Ashton United

Yo Ho Ho and all that – ‘twas derby day at Seel Park with fellow strugglers Ashton United making the short trip up the hill. It was going to be a tricky one today – for me that was. No alcohol before, during or after a Mossley game (had some driving to do until 1900). It would be interesting to see the game from a completely different perspective !!

Ashton were not playing in their normal red strip (pictured)

It was a chilly afternoon but it was Mossley’s best home gate of the season (372). Things got off to a good start with some early Mossley pressure leading to a free kick on four minutes. The magical left boot of David Eyres lined it up – hit it no too hard but low – and somehow it managed to elude the best part of 16 legs, heads and various torso parts to trickle into the bottom left-hand corner – I was still warming the camera up ! A lucky goal maybe – but when you’re down at the bottom, you take it with both hands !

Ashton Player-Manager Scott Green climbs the highest.

Now those who watch Mossley on a regular basis are well aware of the phrase “false dawn” – and not long after the goal, Ashton finally got to grips with their light blue shirts and started to claw their way back into the game. Mossley keeper Danny Trueman (ex-Ashton) was much busier than his Ashton counterpart Lee Bracey (ex-Mossley). Trueman’s performance was truly an “eclectic mix” – a stunning save from Kharas was followed by some “dropsy” in the box, followed by more saves followed by more “dropsy” (leaving Steve Shiel to hack it off the line).

Danny gets his fist to it.

Meanwhile it was mostly “All Quiet at the Mossley Front” with little to shout about at the other end. Phil Cooney – resplendent in his new Christmas mittens – was giving Mossley new-boy Will Ryder a hard time down the right, but fortunately (for Mossley) the final ball was not up to his usual high standards. So, more by luck than judgement, Mossley went into half-time one goal to the good (cue 15 minutes in the club watching the scores and avoiding the draw of the bar !!).

The second half began in very subdued fashion from both sides – although the “hoof ball” tactics from Mossley were starting to become more apparent, as was the complete inability to string more than two passes together (remember the phrase – “false dawn”).

Bax "drums up" the Ashton support.

Twenty minutes into the second half it all exploded, when the Ashton attack seemed to find acres of space in the Mossley penalty box. Whilst they were passing it around, trying to decide whose turn it was to score, in came the inevitable tackle – and yes it was a penalty. I was stood behind that goal at the time and had no complaints – unlike my “sponsored player” Steve Burke who managed to talk his way into the ref’s book. Tom Baker climbed out of the Tardis, lined it up – and gave Trueman no chance – 1-1.

Tom Baker prepares....

After this it was only a matter of time, and ten minutes later Danny Forde (who spent some time on loan at Mossley a couple of years ago) made himself some space with a deft one-two (or maybe even a one-two-three-four – the lack of tackles was evident !) before unleashing a left foot screamer past the despairing Trueman.

Lee Bracey keeps it organised towards the end.

And that was how it finished – a few late efforts at both ends, but after the second goal had gone in, most Mossley fans had probably accepted the inevitable, and so Ashton United get the “Christmas Shouting Rights” – for 6 days at least. The return match is on New Years Day up at Surrey Street. The trapdoor of relegation creaks further open.

No comments: