Everything was naturally lastminute.com, and I arrived at Leek just after kick-off, parking up a side street and picking up a stray ball off the main road from one of Leek's early attacks before getting into the ground. First spot of course was the lady Assistant Referee - wearing gloves - what a girl !!
SAS about to win me twenty quid - NOT !!
Leek certainly had more of the pressure in the first 15 minutes - but fortunately were unable to make the most of it on what was a pretty heavy pitch. The "Golden Goal" vendor wandered round lifting a pound off me for the magic number of "23" - and on 23 minutes a Mossley free-kick was met by Steve Shiel who headed the ball across the face of the goal - bang went my £20 !! Not to worry though - two minutes later, James Turley put over a peach of a corner which was met at the near post by Peter Wright to make it 1-0 to Mossley - not being cocky but I reckon this is probably one of my better pix this season !!
GET IN THERE !! Wrighty makes it 1-0
Both Turley on the left and Joe Shaw the right were making it difficult for the Leek defence - and Mossley were getting a few free-kicks out of this - the ginger-haired Brannan being one of the main culprits ! One free kick hit the wall and looped up into the box, but the Mossley attack were unable to get on the end of it. Not to worry though - three minutes before half-time David Eyres took another - looked at the options in the box and decided to "go his own way", spearing it in at pace. Leek keeper Collinge managed to get across to it, and get hands to it, but the pace took it over the line for Mossley's second. Perfect time to score - just before half-time !
Leek keeper Collinge prepares to help the Eyres free-kick into the net ...
Nothing is simple on the Mossley "roller coaster" however - deep into time added on, a shot from Rendell was pushed onto the post by Mossley keeper Steve Wilson, and rebounded out for Brannan to put the ball across him and into the far corner - sucker punch returned with interest !!
The Mossley "half-time" talk has been a feature of this season (!), and Leek began the second half pressing hard for an equaliser - fortunately the Mossley defence held firm, and although Mossley were almost reduced to breakaways for a while Turley and Shaw were still making it difficult for Leek - Joe was running himself into the ground for the cause.
The book says 1611 - so call it "on the hour"... Leek defender Andy Thomas got in the way of a shot (to be honest he couldn't get out of the bloody way !) - the ref blows for a (very unfair in my eyes) penalty. Hell you've gotta take 'em though. Second only to the Mossley "half time talk" is the "Mossley penalty" - true to form Peter Wright stepped up - and blasted it wide. Cue groans and "hair tearing" from the Mossley contingent.
Another one for this season's "Mossley Missed Pens Collection"
This gave Leek more impetus, and they peppered the Mossley box with ball, and there were a number of rather unsightly goalmouth scrambles, with much relief as the ball was cleared again and again.
Time was almost up - one last chance for Leek, and a close range effort looked like ruining Mossley's day until Mossley keeper Steve Wilson became the "hero of the hour" by scrambling right across his goalmouth to claw the ball away. Soon after - the final whistle. A very valuable three points for the away team, many of whose fans had visibly aged 10 years during that final 20 minutes !!
Good to see the players giving the Mossley faithful a clap and a wave as they trudged off - if they deserved it so did we. No time to celebrate afterwardws though - back into Ashbourne to see brother-in-law, who'd had a cyst removed from his knee 24 hours earlier - only to find he'd buggered off to his girlfriends in Stafford to be waited on hand and foot ! Carried on back to Belper and nipped in their Social Club to get the verdict on their 2-0 win over Harrogate RA - 4 wins out of 4 this month (are you listening Mossley ?). Went out later in the evening to the "George & Dragon", meeting up with the Belper crew again - lie-in - take daughter back to Derby Uni - back to Mossley this afternoon - to this...
I'll bung a few other pix on
a.s.a.p. - but it's time to get the tea on !!