NPL West: Mossley 2-1 Kendal Town
Goals by Kain Dean and Harry Pratt were enough to earn Mossley their second successive 2-1 victory. The latest victims of the odd goal in three were Kendal Town at Seel Park on Saturday.
David Fish, still struggling for a fully fit and available squad was on this occasion bereft of Declan Evans, David Kuba-Kuba, Connor Morris, Ben Lowe and Ben Richardson.
New signing from Warrington Town, midfielder Will Shepherd was named amongst the substitutes and he was later to make a promising cameo appearance from the bench.
The game was only 12 minutes old when striker Antony Brown was forced from the field with a recurrence of a hamstring problem which prompted the return to the team after injury of Kane Hickman. Captain Andy Keogh moved from midfield to take Brown's place "up top".
Hickman's arrival signaled Mossley's first glimpses of the visitors goal after Kendal, buoyed by their midweek first win of the season, had started confidently and attacked dangerously in the opening stages.
Hickman, Fawns and Butterworth began to take control of the midfield and the chances started to arrive. Matthews headed Fawns' corner narrowly over and Levi Phillips great cross was met by Kain Dean's head but Kendal keeper Lombard was able to save.
Lombard was again called into action to deny Keogh's rasping half-volley and yet again to deny Mason Fawns who, on a run from midfield, beat several defenders before unleashing a great shot that Lombard did well to turn away.
Mossley, unperturbed by the goalless first half, came out all guns blazing after the break and took just three minutes of the new half to finally take the lead. The Lilywhites won a right wing throw-in, Grundy's throw found Keogh near the dead-ball line, his pass found Phillips who fired across the keeper for the in-rushing Kain Dean to tap into an empty net at the far post for his first Mossley goal.
Mossley continued to dominate but in a rare Kendal raid a forward went down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Eric Yahaya confidently fired home from the 12 yard mark to give the visitors a previously unlikely lifeline. Mossley's defending had been otherwise immaculate with Riley and Matthews in immaculate form despite the absence of key defender Evans.
Kendal's joy was short lived as Mossley went straight back on the attack and were in front again inside two minutes. Harry Pratt controlled a loose ball and rifled a left foot volley into the roof of the Kendal net from fifteen yards. Pratt had waited what seemed an age for his first Mossley goal, but took the proverbial 'monkey off his back' with an instinctive finish to scenes of great joy on both pitch and terraces.
Pratt went close again a minute later when another left foot volley flew inches wide as the Lilywhites went in search of a match sealing third. Plenty of attacking intent followed but the 'killer' goal remained elusive, though Butterworth had the ball in the Kendal net but was adjudged narrowly off-side.
The two goals inevitably proved enough for the buoyant Lilywhites who moved up to fifth place in the League thanks to another impressive performance.