GNE 0 Mossley 2
The Hillmen’s Emirates FA Cup adventure for 2017-18 began and ended at Surrey Street on Saturday as visitors Mossley took full advantage of a first half favourable wind and second half Glossop ill-discipline to progress.
Kicking to towards the clubhouse, the gusts were behind Mossley in the opening period and it was clear that GNE would need to be on their game to keep them out. The signs that perhaps they were not came early when a short corner wasn’t defender properly allowing a spare man to cross dangerously across the 6 yard box. The shot was deflected wide for a corner, from which Matthew Russell cleared a header off the line.
For 20 minutes it was all Mossley pressure, their ability to dispense long throws from either flank adding to the mix of direct balls to strong, tall players. That said GNE did have a decent chance on 22 minutes when Courtney Meppen-Walter cross from the left and Dale Johnson tried a cushioned volley from an angle that just went the wrong side of the post.
Mossley’s breakthrough came through came on 31 minutes, and it was exactly of the type they had been threatening all game. A corner from their left wing was curled to the far post, and an unmarked Elliott Harrison headed home from short range.
Shortly afterwards Liam Ellis netted for Mossley but was (correctly) flagged offside. It would not have been an unfair reflection of the first half play though, and had Jay Gorton’s header on the whistle gone in instead of wide GNE would have been delighted to be level.
Nevertheless, there was plenty of optimism that the second half, with the wind at their backs, GNE could stage a revival, and 4 minutes into the half Ben Deegan had the ball in ne for the Hillmen, only to see it ruled out for a foul on the keeper. The ball had looped up in the air from a clearance and whilst the challenge looked fair it was no surprise when the whistle blew – goalkeepers are protected 99 times out of 100 in such positions.
On 59 minutes Danny McLaughlin burst into the box under pressure. It looked from the start as though he was looking to go down and sure enough he fell and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. It looked soft, and the GNE defence were furious, Paul Phillips talking himself into a booking. Tom Dean saw Phillips save his penalty, but netted the follow up to make it 2-0. Things now looked hard for GNE, but there was still plenty of time, but what followed cost them any chance of taking something from the game.
As the Mossley players celebrated Phillips twice threw the ball at the crowd of players. There was only one possible result of this and sure enough the referee showed him a red card. Phillips has simply lost his head, and whether annoyed at perceived poor decisions, goaded by opposition players, or both, he let his side down.
Ben Deegan was forced to don the gloves and whilst a man down the Hillmen knuckled down to try and gain a foothold. They came closest when Johnson headed against the angle with 15 minutes to go and later they forced Oliver Martin into one good save 5 minutes from time, pushing a dipping shot over the bar. However Mossley also looked dangerous on break, Deegan having to make a save at the near post and Ellis heading wide.