Brighouse Echo - Brighouse Town 1-0 Mossley AFC
By Emily Anderson
ANOTHER RAIN-soaked Brighouse Town home fixture to Mossley AFC on Monday night saw the home side bag a much needed three points and a big step towards league safety as the ‘Lilywhites’ slipped to a 1-0 defeat despite creating a host of chances.
The fact the visitors didn’t take home the spoils was down to some fine goalkeeping by home number one Chandler Hallwood, clearly back to form, poor attacking decisions in the first half and an error by recalled Mossley keeper Oliver Martin eight minutes from time. In fact it was a 10-man Town team that controlled affairs for the most part in the second half and they thoroughly deserved to `nick it'!
Town opened the game in a lively fashion but came up against a solid Mossley defence.
As the game settled into a high tempo rhythm, despite the persistent rain and a greasy surface, Mossley began to get on top.
Mason Duffy tested Hallwood with a 20 yard screamer that the home keeper did well to parry away several minutes into the first half. Duffy and Adam Latham were causing the home defence plenty of problems and when a through ball saw Latham race clear in the 27th minute, he had his shirt pulled from behind by Callum Hall inches outside the box.
Hall was shown an immediate red card as the last line of defence but Mossley failed to capitalise as former Town player Mike Fish’s free kick flew over the bar.
With Town down to ten men, they needed to keep their heads to stay in the game! Skipper Adam Field set a fine example covering plenty of ground and was well backed up by home debutant Alfie Hammond, who looks a real find, Oliver Crowley, James Hurtley and Oran Thompson on his home debut.
Mossley attempted to make their numerical advantage count and Duffy and Dieter Downey were again denied by fine Hallwood saves as Mossley ended the half in dominant fashion.
Town made a half time substitution with the returning from injury, experienced Connor Griffin replacing 18-year-old Terriers' talent Thompson.
The visitors continued to test Town in the opening 10 minutes but they failed to finish in the final third and the cat and mouse game proceeded. Town were breaking away and the workmanlike Gabriel Johnson, Crowley and Isaac Marriott, supported by the skilful Tom Haigh splaying balls out wide were testing a tiring Mossley who also lost their best player Latham with an ankle injury in the 59th minute.
Town brought on fresh legs in the 70th minute with Mohammed Ibrahim replacing Aaron Martin and seven minutes later Adam Jones coming on for Hammond . Both good moves by the manager as they harrassed the Mossley players in possession and won vital balls. Haigh had to receive treatment for a badly broken nose from physio Harry Gee but he would not come off the pitch.
Mossley’s best chance of the half came with ten minutes left on the clock as sub Danny McLaughlin’s close range drive was somehow brilliantly saved once more by Hallwood.
Two minutes later came the shock winner, a Town corner, taken by Huddersfield Town loanee Marriott and his in-swinging ball looked an easy catch for keeper Martin, level with the bar, but instead, a poor punch went straight to the feet of centre back James Hurtley 12 yards out who volleyed the ball into the net. Hurtley was mobbed by his teammates and the referee had to herd them back to the centre circle.
Town held on defensively for the remainder of the 90 minutes plus four minutes added time and the players were vociferously cheered and clapped off the pitch by the relieved Brighouse faithful.
Brighouse: Hallwood, Field, Hall, Hammond (Jones), Hurtley, Thompson ( Griffin ), Crowley , Haigh, A. Martin (Ibrahim), Johnson, Marriott. Subs not used: Naidole, Riley.
Mossley: O Martin, Jeffs, Downey (Blair), Quansah, Dean, Evans, Latham (Palmer), Keogh, Ellis (McLaughlin), Duffy, Fish. Subs not used: Harrison, Tuohy.
Referee: Jonathan Bickerdike