Sunday, January 28, 2007

Leek Town v Mossley

Now this was a REAL six-pointer, with bottom-but-two playing bottom-but-three - so it was a real "three-line" whip for the faithful to be there - naturally the Smiffy journey was not the easiest - had to drive Mrs Smiffy to Belper first and then drive over to Leek via Ashbourne. So for the second time this season (previous was Ashton United on Boxing Day), it entailed watching Mossley sober !!

Everything was naturally, 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 !!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

More Snow !

Tuesday night - the only football was on the telly - so I shot off to the "Railway" in Greenfield to watch a bit of the Chelsea v Wycombe game "avec Timmy Taylors Landlord" - however once Chelsea took the lead it was "game over" as far as this "underdog supporter" was concerned, so I slipped out at half-time, on the train back to Mossley to finish of in a more "local" setting viz. the "Britannia".

Game over it was home time - and yes it was snowing again - so I tickled around again with the old (cheap !) camera and came up with these - taken at Mossley station (just over the road from the pub - you can see it in the second pic just under the street light !!) ....

Not sure but it might be what they call "fill-in flash" in the trade - without flash the pictures just showed white streaks for the snow - it might be just snow flakes "bounce" better off flash.... By the way if you've read the previous post, my good friend Tim (the official Belper Town "Snapper") has "had a go" at the second picture - and certainly improved it a great deal (he's very good with "indecent exposure" I've been told !!) - so it's worth a re-visit. Vist the link below to see the expert at work (the least I can do !) ...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Snow !

It's not just football as you well know - being a "jujitsu" night for small boy, I was unable to make the only game around here last night (only game this bloody week - I did catch Plymouth's second goal in the pub mind !!) - i.e. Hyde's 5-0 stuffing of Lancaster City - so to give you something to look at, here are two pix took at home on Sunday at 1550 and 1835..


From Front Door

An "atmospheric" back patio.. (edited by "Snapper" - Belper Town - due to indecent exposure !).

.and you thought pictures of trains were sad ....or maybe you didn't ....

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ashton United v Matlock Town

Trainspotting duties over - time for football - arranged to meet Stuart on the 1257 to Stalybridge - but - saddo time - was still uploading steam train pix - and missed it ! Hey ho grabbed a bus to Stalybridge and had time for a couple (Millstone "Grain Storm" and Ossett Brewery "Silver King") before jumping on our own personal bus to Hurst Cross. Word was there would be a few Mossley fans up there to see the game against Matlock - a team that have stuffed Mossley twice this season (see below !!) and looked good doing it.

I was still queueing for my pie,peas and gravy when it looked like Ashton had got the ball in the net - couldn't see for all the peas ! If it did go in - it wasn't allowed though. In fact I was still eating my hefty portion when Ashton took the lead after about seven minutes when Matlock's Lukic diverted a cross into his own net for an unfortunate "oggy". Ashton were looking by far the better side, giving Matlock no space/time on the ball and compressing the play rather well. Phil Cooney was - as always - causing trouble down the right for Ashton, and I was really disappointed with visitors - they just didn't look "up for it" at all (traffic jam through Buxton maybe ?!?) - yes they were pushing forward, but it all looked a little half-hearted. My little book then tells me that on 37 minutes Ashton's Garry Kharas was very very very lucky to remain on the pitch after a particularly nasty "off the ball kick" - I firmly believe he would have walked had the ref been able to find his red card - he definitely went through three pockets before finding and brandishing a mere yellow.

Early Matlock pressure

So 1-0 at half-time - the ubiquitous pint - and then back out. Something had obviously been said in the Matlock dressing room - and it had the desired effect. It was a different side - playing downhill and with the wind behind them, and after 58 minutes a cross from Bowler was tucked in by Barraclough to level the scores. Five minutes later the ball was once again in the Ashton net, but this time the linesman was flagging for offside.

Barraclough equalises for Matlock.

2-1 to Matlock ?? No - check out the linesman's flag...

With 20 minutes to go, Ashton keeper Lee Bracey vacated his penalty area to clear another Matlock attack only to fall on the ball and handle it - 'twas the "lettter of the law" time and the ref had made sure he had his red card with him for the second half - and Ashton Player-Manager Scott Green took over between the sticks.

Lee gets "first shout" at the hot water.....

...leaving "The Boss" to cover for him ...

Rather surprisingly Matlock did not put too much pressure on the stand-in keeper - yes there were chances, but they should have been fizzing it in from all directions. The Ashton defence held firm however and the game finished 1-1. Overall disappointed with Matlock - a shadow of the team that tore Mossley apart - twice - but credit to Ashton United - the better team in the first half and they did well to keep it tight after Bracey's dismissal.

Unfortunately (for some !) a point for Ashton moves them further away from the bottom (i.e. further away from Mossley !). I was also getting the info (via txt) on the Ilkeston v Kendal game (thanks Nosmo), and a point for Kendal helps them to keep out of the mire. A point for Leek at Marine saw them leapfrog Mossley (now second bottom) and Grantham (bottom) also clawed a point out of their game at North Ferriby to creep even closer to the Lilywhites. All in all a bad day for Mossley - and they didn't even play !

Into the club afterwards - with time to natter to Rico and a few of the Matlock fans - there was also time to win £20 on the football card - I'm now a Doncaster fan !!

Thanks to Bob for the lift back to Mossley - watched most of the first half of the City game before repairing to "chez Smiffy" and falling asleep during the "Italian Job" DVD - hence the late late show tonight !

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Steam Train at Mossley - 45407

Anorak time again - 1210 today - Black 5 number 45407 "Lancashire Fusilier" went through Mossley Station..

Anorak off - Mossley v Gateshead also off (!!) So we're off to Ashton United to see Rico, Phil and the boys from Matlock Town.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mossley v Flixton (Manchester Premier Cup)

This is going to be hard - and I mean hard - it might be the "Six Tame Sides" site - and I've tried like hell to be as totally impartial as I can on ALL the teams I watch, but you have to remember I'm Mossley first and foremost. To sum up tonight - I've paid seven quid to watch a training session where the dustbins win. Actually that is very unkind to the Flixton team (but it sounded good when I thought of it !).

Let's start at the very beginning eh ? The weather had been rough all day, and after the way the pitch cut up during the Telford game on Saturday, there had to be a doubt - but no - game called ON around 1600 (sorry Woodley - it could have been the second Tuesday in a row !)

Game on - view of floodlights from my front door !

Got to the ground - by heck it looked a heavy pitch - in patches it looked like there had been a "Monster Truck Convention" on Sunday !!

One goalmouth - during the warm-up.

Some tyre tracks from the "Monster Truck Convention".

The game - Mossley had some of the better early chances - Steve Burke had an early header but a foul was ruled against the keeper is the first one that comes to mind. After 10 minutes Mossley 'keeper Trueman spilled a shot - but managed to recover - and five minutes later Burke had another great chance which was well saved by Flixton keeper Bennett. Sixty seconds later Joe Shaw hammered one in that hit the bottom of the far post. If you've read previous posts you'll know by now that Mossley tend to put enough money in the gas meter for 15/20 minutes at a time - and now it ran out. A "give away" in the Mossley half gave ex-Mossley man Leon Grandison a chance to create - but he ignored the shouts from better placed players and it petered out to nowt.

Just before the half hour Mossley did the classic "how to turn attack into defence" when a Mossley corner was cleared, and some smart interplay between the Flixton attack led to Andy Lundy putting the visitors one up. However Mossley did come back after this and two minutes before half-time Lee Shillito put in a good cross from the right and Joe Shaw buried it into the far corner of the net to send us in for our half-time tipple at 1-1.

Yes it's blurry (someone sponsor me a DSLR !) - but it's 1-1.

After that it all went horribly wrong - the half-time drinkie was almost finished - but the half-time talk had once again worked wonders as Flixton scored another whilst the bulk of the pathetic 82 crowd were still exiting the Social Club. I have to be honest now - me and probably about 90% of the crowd seemed to lose interest at this point - and I have to say it either rubbed off on the players, or some of the players lack of interest had rubbed off on the fans.

A Flixton defender points out that same patch of mud that was there on Saturday - see the Telford post below !!

I've little to say about the second half - it was cold and lonely up the School End with only a camera for company - and having been through over 50 pics before coming on here, there's very little to show for the final 45 minutes - blurry or otherwise.

A late Peter Wright free-kick

There were a few chances - we even seemed to push forward at times - whilst leaving gaping holes at the back that were happily exploited by the Flixton "Man of the Match" Ian Howard (cries of "Sign him on" come to mind !). Mossley had a couple of free-kicks - Melford Knight had an overhead kick which went wide - Steve Burke had a shot that went wide - did Mossley look like scoring - not really - oh and Melford had a shot which may have gone in - but smacked into Mossley's Fraser Robinson on the way (and flattened him !).

Flixton were well worth their win tonight - and it's worth pointing out that not only are they one division below Mossley - but they also played a fair sprinkling of their reserve team tonight (they have an important FA Vase game against Retford United on Saturday - last 32 and all that).

Which makes it all the more galling after the spirited display by Mossley against Telford last Saturday. Those who went in the club after the game - the hardy faithful - were totally speechless for a good ten minutes - and when there are players and management walking into the club after the game with smiles on faces (and the ubiquitous mobile phones in hand) it does tend to aggravate feelings still further. There's an important meeting up at Mossley on Thursday night this week - I quote from tonight's programme: "..this meeting is vital to the future well being of Mossley AFC". Many Mossley fans have put two and two together - and got four I think. Frith willing, I should be there to find out if we're right.- but after tonight's performance - there may be some who just "don't care anymore".

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Mossley v AFC Telford United

Since the postponement on Tuesday night at Mossley, it’s been a week of “Will it ?” or “Won’t it ?”. However by Friday the rain was relenting and the high winds were helping to dry out the earlier deluges – and at 0900 on Saturday morning came the txt “Game On !”. After a mad “housey” morning including a trip to the tip to get rid of still more Christmas “afters”, I jumped on the 1330 bus to Stalybridge.

When I arrived at the Buffet Bar it was busy. Alan and his crew of “elder statesmen” (including one who’d just flown in from Chicago !) were just catching the early train to Mossley – the bar was full of Telford fans, Kettering fans, Stalybridge fans – and me. I met a few of the Telford fans – including the famed (on the message board anyway !) “Owd Jockey” who was in deep conversation with Trefor from Stalybridge on the subject of single malt whisky from Islay and Jura !

Aftermath @ the Buffet Bar following departure of fans !

The Telford "Michelin Man" makes himself known ...

Got the 1441 train back to Mossley arriving just in time for the kick-off. Telford were the quickest out of the blocks, and within three minutes a move of absolute quality which belied the heavy pitch saw Foster put Telford 1-0 up. Seven minutes later – they did it again, opening up the Mossley defence with ease leaving a simple chance for Marsden to make it two.

The net bulges - and it's 2-0 to Telford.

Steve Wilson prepares for more....

It wasn’t looking good for Mossley – visions of 5 or 6 were circulating my brain (and no doubt many others too !). However a chant of “Sh*t ground No Fans” might have been the turning point, because Telford all of a sudden seemed to switch off – and David Eyres started to “switch on”. One mazy run into the box came to nothing, but just on the half-hour, Eyres took a leaf out of the Telford book with some crisp one-twos, and Peter Wright set up James Turley to pull one back. Five minutes later Nicky Thompson put in a high cross from the right which got caught up in the swirling wind, totally deceiving Brock in the Telford goal for a rather flukey equaliser.

It's 2-1 - and Mossley celebrate "Turbo's" goal.

Telford had a couple of good chances to regain the lead – but a minute before half-time Mossley were in dreamland when Melford Knight got onto a loose ball after a corner to turn it in at the back post. Cue total silence from the massed hordes of Telford fans.

Tommo points a a particulary nasty patch of mud to Christian Cooke.

“Enjoy it while you can chaps” – surely it can’t continue - can it ? – and curse that half-time break. Telford obviously won the battle of the team talks, and in 52 minutes Vaughan had a go from what looked a vaey acute angle (to me anyway) and it squirmed pat Wilson for an equaliser. The heavy pitch seemed to be affecting Mossley more than Telford by now – and it looked like a case of “hanging on” – a move which has proved disastrous to Mossley so many times this season !

With less than five minutes to goal Fraser Robinson had a golden chance to give Mossley an unlikely win – but he couldn’t get enough on the header which went straight into the arms of Brock. Telford went straight up the other end and gained a free-kick, and a the melee that ensued, Birch forced the ball over the line to make it 4-3 to the visitors. The goal was not without controversy mind – there were complaints for a handball before that final touch. With just under three minutes to go Telford then did what no other club has done against Mossley this season. They didn’t “run it into the corners” or try to waste time, or “hang on” – they went for a fifth goal – and that did impress me – maybe Mossley could learn something from that !

So, a narrow win for the league leaders whose day only got better when they found out that Whitby Town had beaten their nearest rivals Hednesford Town 2-0. A narrow win maybe but the class and quality was there for all to see – so we have to give a lot of credit to Mossley for running them so close. Joe Shaw was again outstanding for the home side – but if the team could play like that every bloody week – they wouldn’t be where they are now.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Woodley Sports v Warrington Town - updated !

It's took a bit of time this one - apologies !!

It was a silly old day anyway - got the txt at 1400 to say Mossley v Flixton was OFF, so started planning times/route to Woodley. Then on the way home from work I get the txt "Game back on again !" However by the time I got back to Mossley it was chucking it down again, and sure enough a phone call at 1830 confirmed it was off again -so back to the Woodley option. I know they play on "plastic" (well 3G FieldTurf actually !) but you need to check - just in case. Nowt on their website - the two phone numbers on the Unibond site equated to a fax machine and a "no answer" - is it any wonder they struggle to get three-figure gates - especially on a night when both Hyde and Mossley fans were looking for alternatives.

Got the 1857 train into Ashton and then over the road to the Bus Station to get the 1915 bus, arriving in Woodley with time to spare.

Gosh - a bus ticket !!

A couple of early chances went the way of Warrington, but it didn't take Woodley long to start stamping their authority on the game. Despite the obvious superiority however, Woodley were unable to convert any of their numerous chances - admittedly, nothing clear-cut though. Adam Morning cut in from the wing a couple of times to fire it in, but the Warrington 'keeper was more than equal to the task. Towards the end of the first half, Warrington pushed on a bit and created a few half-chances of their own, but it remained 0-0 at half-time.

An early Woodley chance goes begging ...

Met a couple of Chorley fans in the bar at half-time who obviously had their "Woodley hats" on for the evening. The crowd was a dismal 109 - and it could have been a lot worse. In addition to a good few from Warrington, there were fans from Mossley, Ashton United, Hyde and Altrincham (plus a Radcliffe Boro coat I found out later !), so the "floaters" probably made up about 25% of the crowd ! (when I got to work this morning, I was informed that the "magic advert board" near the Lowes Arms was still advertising the Stockport Ladies v Arsenal Ladies FA Cup game from Sunday - so, coupled with the lack of phone/website info - how the hell do they expect to attract people if they don't make the effort ?)

Another Woodley chance in the second half.

In the second half, Warrington again started the brighter, but it pretty much mirrored the first half after that. Woodley tried the double sub routine bringing on Daniel and Flanagan (?), but were still unable to breach a resilient Warrington defence. Then with about 15 minutes to go, Warrington were awarded a free kick which was driven in hard and low. The Wododley keeper managed to spill the ball and it fell to John Bluck to put the visitors ahead. This acted as the "wake up" call for Woodley who began to attack in numbers, with an effort from Flanagan just clearing the bar. A couple of minutes later it was Woodley who had the free-kick which was cleared only as far as Douglas-Pringle who steadied himself before rifling home a deserved equaliser. The last few minutes saw more chances for Woodley - none of which were converted though - and the game finished 1-1, with Warrington obviously the happier with that result.

Warrington defend a late corner.

I managed to get a lift back to Stalybridge with Dave and young Bax (he of the Ashton United drum) and repaired to the Buffet Bar to await the 2241 back to Mossley - however there was a signal failure at Ashton, and it was looking like waiting for a Rail Replacement Bus, when at about 2310 a totally empty four-car set appeared and we (me plus Phil and Alison from the Britannia who'd been out in 'Bridge for the night) had it to ourselves. Taking advantage of this meeting, I sneaked into the Brit for a very late one (hence no blog last night !!)

This weekend should - and I do say should - see the mighty AFC Telford in Mossley for a league game (now that will more than double the gate !) - however the weather forecast is not promising - there's always Stalybridge v Kettering in the FA Trophy - and they always seem to cope with the daft weather (he says having done the Droylsden and Moor Green games in recent weeks).

We shall see ....

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Stalybridge Celtic v Moor Green

Five Tame Sides were away today – and the Mossley “Booze Cruisers” were staying overnight @ Lincoln (so soon after Christmas – are they all lottery winners ??) – so it was to Bower Fold – via the usual route, only this timing the trip up from the Buffet Bar in order to answer a question on the Celtic Message Board. Anyway I left the Buffet bar at 1446 and arrived at the ground at 1504 (although this did include at least a minute wasted checking whether the group of fans behind me included the one who asked the question in the first place – it did !). Once again it was a wet day out at Bower Fold !

Groundhog Day at Bower Fold - see the Droylsden game below !

Celtic started the better, but the Moor Green number 11 Trainer was showing up well, and running at the Bridge defence – he soon realised that he’d got the measure of them, and on 20 minutes earned a free-kick which was cleared. A minute later he once again ran into the box – although his effort was saved, Anderson was on hand to pick up the pieces and put Moor Green in front.

Not the "Birmingham 6" - the "Moor Green 19"... including little Niamh.

The big talking point came when the Moor Green number 5 (Penny) clattered Ellington on the edge of the box – should he have walked or not ? I didn’t think he was the last man (there seemed to be a couple in the box), so probably the yellow card was about right. With five minutes to half-time the Moor Green keeper Lewis went from hero to zero. An excellent save from Krief was almost immediately followed by a slip in the box in front of Sykes – the ball continued to Ellington who smacked in the equaliser. The “Penny incident” had certainly galvanised the Celtic front line as they tore into Moor Green. There was still time for a couple more chances before the half-time whistle, but 1-1 it stayed.

So far so good (Celtic & Mossley) - half-time telly @ the "Hare and Hounds"

Five minutes into the second half – and another moment of slack defending allowed the Moor Green “bad Penny” to further upset the Celtic faithful by putting the Moors 2-1 ahead. The defensive frailties were there for all to see – however the attack was giving its all and there were plenty of chances for Celtic to equalise – and equalise they did with about 20 minutes to go when, following good work by Prince, substitute Ben Smith found himself enough space on the edge of the box to put one past the despairing Lewis – cue mass celebrations on the Stalybridge bench (relief ? “I’m still in a job ?”)

The game was heading towards a 2-2 – although Celtic spurned a couple of good chances through Prince and Ellington. Then, with 2 minutes to go, the proverbial “kick in the teeth” arrived – another defensive mix-up, another scrappy goal (and another for Anderson) – now that WAS undeserved, but that’s how it finished, despite some last-ditch efforts from Winn and Flynn.

Add your own caption - Celtic Manager John Reed.

..and who's that "duo" in the stand ???

A quick post-mortem in the “Hare and Hounds” – the defence…it’s all very well having an attack that scores goals – but you just can’t be giving teams the option to score two or three every time, hoping your attack will bail you out. Wandered down to the Buffet Bar with Jason, and dosed up on some Millstone “Tiger Rut” before the 1841 train back to Mossley – who themselves had contrived to lose 2-0 at Lincoln United – bugger….

Monday, January 01, 2007

Ashton United v Mossley

Happy New Year – and all that stuff – today it was time to get revenge for the Boxing Day defeat with a short trip down to Ashton United. And yes it is a short trip – so we decided to walk it (about two and a bit miles ??). The intrepid explorers met in the “Fleece” at 1200, having had the nod that it was “game on” – subject to typhoon, hurricane or general wet stuff. If you’ve seen “Sean of the Dead” or similar – you’ll understand – as people walked/staggered/ lurched in –ordering their “hair of the dogs” – or just sitting down “sans beer” – such was the New Years Eve party at Andy and Lynn’s !!

Off to the "Junction"

Hey ho, and off over the hill and down towards the “Junction”, arriving about 1320 – and then the rain began to fall. Slight problem here – the pub is in a mobile phone “dead zone”, so we had no idea if it was to be called off or not. Colin “the Butcher” Broadbent arrived here (see “Sean of the Dead” references earlier !). The pint that he ordered lost about one inch off the top in about one hour, such was his general “state of mind” !! In the end someone went outside and we got the nod – game on.

Go on Col - take the top off it !!

A quick fifteen minute walk to the ground in the pouring rain – but heads were high hearts were ….and general stuff. Time for a quick slurp in the Ashton United Social Club before – game on ….and what a start for Mossley – mucho pressure from the off – and an early chance that Lee Bracey did well to keep out.

If only...."that chance" after three minutes....

Then – disaster – “battery low” on the camera, and where are the spares – still in the bloody charger at home – luckily the Hurst Cross Co-Op was open and nice Mr Turnstile was – nice. There was a helluva queue in said Co-Op (curse this cashless society), but I got some AA’s and got back into the ground just in time to see Ashton score – aaargh – and then see it disallowed – phew. I left with Mossley being on top – the rest of the half saw Ashton with most of the possession, and most of the chances – was this to be another attempt at the “rearguard 0-0 action” as per Telford away and Hednesford away ?? At 45 minutes it was somehow working, despite the disallowed goal and another chance which had come back off the bar via the head of Kevin Gibbins. Fifteen minutes earlier my mobile had beeped “Hyde 4 up !!” Gorblimey was the general consensus on that one….

A quick pass-out – a quick beer in the Social Club (more staff please at the critical moments !!) before returning to the fray. Up to now the pitch had held up fairly well (considering it was already sodden !), but now the rain returned – and it returned in deadly earnest. To me the game had 0-0 written all over it – it was time to play the “hoof ball”, let it stick in the mud and hope for the best. Not so for Ashton – they continued to put pressure on the Mossley defence, stretching them all over the pitch – but not scoring…until with just under 10 minutes to go, a move of quality down the right (I could talk about the Mossley left back being AWOL but …) – Cooney to the by-line, time to cross – and Garry Kharas applies the “sucker punch”. Yes Mossley had chances afterwards, but nothing as clear cut as the only goal of the game.

A bit of water never puts Topsy off ...

I came away disappointed – however some Mossley fans appeared suicidal – one said to me as he left the ground, “That’s it – we’re relegated” – maybe a knee-jerk to a sucker punch (?!?) – disappointed – almost cheated in a way – it should have been 0-0 but for one moment a)of madness in the Mossley defence b) of quality in the Ashton attack. And when I say cheated, I mean cheated in the correct sense of the word, and not the way the the word is used these days.

Ashton keeper Lee Bracey get his bum dirty late on ...
Club for a pint – no a mini-bus has been ordered – out to the mini-bus to find I’m number 13 in a 12 seater – back to club for that beer before the “back-up” arrived – whisking us back to the “Blazing Rag” for more ale. Stayed as long as I dared – Mother-in-Law still at our house – and work in the morning – hey remember work ?? Hence doing this at the late hour before reminding the alarm clock to wake me up at 0645

That was the holiday that was ….3 points out of 9 for Mossley – and 0 out of 9 for Bridge – that 0-4 I’d heard about had turned into a 3-7 defeat – for more fall-out see the Stalybridge message board – it ain’t pretty…