Mossley 2 - 1 Clitheroe
Play off push stalls
What started out as a nice run in the country quickly turned into a misfiring banger as the usual Mossley hoodoo came back to haunt the Blues.
It has all looked so easy in the first 20 minutes. With barely two minutes on the clock, Luke Wall had crossed from the right with Louis Myers powering his header narrowly over. Clitheroe were passing the ball round at will and on 16 minutes, Charlie Russell played a one two with Wall and then drove his shot from the corner of the box inside the far post. It was no more than the visitors deserved.
Danny Brady even had a chance to extend the lead on 29 minutes when his clean header from a deep Russell free kick skimmed wide.
Chris Churchman was harshly booked but this signalled a change in tempo from the home side and Mossley almost stabbed home the resultant free kick.
Two minutes later, a fluke cross from the right quickly turned into a pinpoint shot as Chris Thompson back pedalled to deal with the dipping ball but to no avail. On 37 minutes, a low corner saw the ball come to a halt inside the box, before a home player gratefully smashed it into the roof of the net. A free kick on the edge of the D deep into injury time would have put the game almost out of reach, but Thompson was on hand to deal with the danger.
The second half was Clitheroe's worst of the season. One minute in, Mossley hared down the pitch and Thompson again came to the rescue. Clitheroe could not find any rhythm and all the home team had to do was to receive misplaced passes and wait for the mistakes, in between throwing themselves to the ground for innumerable free kicks.
On 58 minutes, Brady miscued his defensive header from a corner and Thompson scrambled to turn the ball round the post. A poor backpass from Ryan Ellison on 70 minutes left Thompson for dead, but he managed to put off the striker and then take one in the midriff as he shot.
Dimitri Tuanzebe got in on the gift act as he he presented the ball to the home side and a sweeping move down the right saw the ball in the net, only for it to be narrowly flagged as offside.
On 80 minutes Thompson had to run to the edge of the box to head the ball clear and then to smother the ball when it returned. Only at this point did Clitheroe wake from their slumber. On 82 minutes Joe Mitchell worked his way into the box, had his shirt pulled but stayed on his feet and forced an excellent save. Most of the home team turned their heads as they waited for the penalty to be given. Then with four minutes remaining, Ellison fed Myers and Tuanzebe behind the defence, only for the keeper to make another excellent save from Myers.
The manager had a long chat with the team after the game and will be looking for normal service to be resumed in the LFA Trophy on Wednesday.
Team : Chris Thompson, Ryan Ellison, Gareth Roberts, Ian Rowlands, Danny Brady (c), Charlie Russell (Joe Mitchell), Chris Churchman, Brad Carroll, Kurt Willoughby, Lou Myers, Luke Wall (Dimitri Tuanzebe). Subs - Joe Mitchell, Dimitri Tuanzebe.
Not used - Robbie Bromley, Ryan Cattermole, Jacob Davies.