With manager Gareth McClelland back home in Ireland for Christmas, Assistant boss Eddy Haslam took charge for the day and the side showed two changes from the one beaten at Salford the previous week. Ben Richardson
returned to midfield following injury and was possibly the best performer on the field as he and Lee Rick
totally bossed the centre of the park. Peter Collinge
replaced Martin Pearson
in goal for his first senior team appearance since rejoining the Lilywhites in October.
Collinge was a mostly untroubled spectator on this occasion as the visitors only rarely foraged forward and caused just about no consternation for the underworked Mossley defence.
There was only ever going to be one winner but somehow the ball wouldn't find the net. Front two Tom Denton
and Osebi Abadaki
will probably never experience another such frustrating afternoon as they could have possibly scored a hat-trick apiece in a totally one sided game.
The massed ranks of Lairds defenders, often ten men behind the ball, were hard working stubborn and resilient and somehow repelled what was an almost constant barrage of Mossley attacks.
Chances started to arrive early in the game as shots whistled past the post or the final ball into the box was scrambled away. Denton headed narrowly wide for not the only time in the game and Danny Queeley
saw a terrific shot cannon off the underside of the bar onto the line and away. The ever elusive Abadaki was held up by some last ditch tackling as Mossley won a succession of corners.
Having played into the wind in the first half one might have expected Lairds to come out of their shell more after the break but the opposite happened as the Birkenhead club defended deeper still in the second half.
Mossley chances again came and went though. Denton headed crosses narrowly wide on three more occasions and the same fate befell Steve Halford
and Ben Richardson
as Lairds penalty area became a fortress under siege but still the all important goal remained elusive.
Mossley will look back on this result as two points most definitely lost and the one point gained being poor consolation for what was despite the result a hard working, determined and often entertaining performance.
Report by Wizard