Mossley Nail The Rail
When Steve Halford took over as Mossley team manager in January he set the team two targets, to finish 14th (the highest conceivable placing at that stage) and to reach the Manchester FA Premier Cup Final.
He has been successful on both fronts as the Lilywhites finished off the season in style with their biggest away win of the season, hitting Harrogate Railway for six at Station View on Saturday.
It could have gone horribly wrong for the Lilywhites though. Having missed a couple of early chances through Danny Queeley and Tom Denton, the Lilywhites conceded a 9th minute penalty. Martin Pearson penalised for fouling Luke Derham and receiving a yellow card for his trouble. The Mossley keeper instantly redeemed himself though, diving to his right to keep out home skipper Jon Maloney's placed spot kick.
Mossley looked menacing with every attack and deservedly took the lead in the 17th minute. Ben Richardson slotting home after excellent approach play and cross by Queeley had opened up the home defence.
Richardson then doubled his and Mossley's tally eight minutes later when he got on the end of another flowing left wing move involving Coo and Coppin, choosing to round the keeper before slotting home.
The home side were given a lifeline on 35 minutes when Peter Band was the alleged culprit of a harshly awarded second penalty kick of the afternoon. This time left winger Colin Hunter stepped up to successfully convert from the spot.
Harrogate attempted to force the pace after the break but were leaving huge exploitable gaps in their vulnerable looking defence that the visitors were only too happy to take of advantage of, whilst Harrogate themselves offering little more than a damp squib in attack.
Having missed several further chances Mossley finally restored their two goal lead in the in the 67th minute when Tom Denton was left with a simple tap in from Queeley's right wing cross.
The very much in form Queeley then added a fourth on 78 minutes when he burst down the right and cut inside before confidently firing past Brookes from fifteen yards.
With ten minutes remaining Mossley were reduced to ten men when substitute Kyle McGonigle was shown a straight red card for a an obviously accidental high boot that caught a Harrogate player in the midriff instead of the ball.
Undeterred, Mossley went in search of more goals and two more were duly added before the final whistle. Both goals notable, but, for different reasons.
The best goal of the game and quite possibly 'goal of the season' came two minutes after McGonigle's dismissal. Mossley were awarded a free kick just inside their own half. The quick thinking Dave Young, seeing Brookes off his line, floated a perfect shot from over 50 yards that sailed into the net. Terrific stuff!
The season and the scoreline were rounded off in perfect fashion a minute from the end when Ben Richardson completed his hat-trick as he raced onto the end of substitute Joe Heap's low cross.
Report by Wizard