NPL West: Mossley 0-3 Warrington Rylands
After the euphoria of Tuesday night’s table topping victory it was back to earth with a bump at rainy Seel Park on Saturday as a flat first half performance left Mossley too much to do against newly promoted FA Vase holders Warrington Rylands.
For the first time this campaign David Fish was able to name an unchanged starting line up and the Lilywhites were also boosted by the return of Anthony Brown and David Kuba-Kuba who were both named on the bench.
However, the high tempo, high press of the Leek game was largely absent in the opening half as the Lilywhites struggled to impose themselves on the game against a strong and well organized Rylands side.
Rylands found themselves fortuitously ahead on 20 minutes, although their dominance of the game to that point probably merited it. They had already had a goal chalked off for off-side when Dec Evans appeared to win the ball cleanly inside the box but the referee awarded a penalty nonetheless and Joseph Coveney fired high into the roof of the net from the spot despite Latham's best effort.
Mossley finally mounted something approaching a meaningful attack when Harry Pratt raced clear from the right but his shot was well saved by Rylands stopper McCall.
The visitors struck again on 32 minutes when Owen Robinson cut inside from the left and curled a clever shot from the edge of the box that gave Latham no chance.
Mossley had Latham to thank for a couple of good saves to prevent further damage before the break. Though Pratt fired just wide in the final minute from Keogh's lay off.
Something had clearly been tweaked in the interval as Mossley returned very much on the front foot, believing they had pulled a goal back only a couple of minutes into the half. Jack Banister's right wing corner kick was brilliantly glanced home at the near post by Keogh but the assistant adjudged that Banister's flag kick had curled out of play before the Lilywhites leader met it. Bizarre!
Phillips dragged a shot across the goal and Grundy almost scored with a cross that looked like it might catch the keeper out.
Mossley introduced Antony Brown into the action replacing Phillips as the Lilywhites went in search of a goal and he almost created a chance for himself before laying off for Dean to cross but the keeper got there just ahead of Keogh when the ball came in.
With the Lilywhites pushing forward in search of a way back but without success they were inevitably sucker punched. Latham made a superb save to deny Morris but Charlie Doyle was disappointingly unmarked to knock home the rebound and the game was out of reach for Mossley.
Mossley didn't give up the ghost though as Brown saw his effort scrambled off the line, Pratt fired over from a good position and Keogh's clever flick went inches wide but it wasn't Mossley's day and it will take a good side to stop this powerful if unspectacular Rylands outfit on this showing.
For Mossley the pressure of top spot was relieved as Workington's win over Glossop put the Cumbrians back in pole position and the Lilywhites have a free week to prepare for the much anticipated Buildbase FA Trophy tie against Ossett United.