MOSSLEY 3, ST HELENS TOWN 0
Ryan Shenton bagged a brace as Mossley cruised into the first qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup at a sold-out Seel Park.
Ben Richardson was also on target as the Covid-19 enforced capacity of 400 was reached 10 minutes before kick-off with a number of disappointed fans turned away from this preliminary round tie.
It was manager David Fish’s first competitive match in charge and the win was a breeze as the Northern Premier League Lilywhites were far too strong for their North West Counties League visitors.
“Three goals, a clean sheet, I couldn’t have asked for me. There was a lot of drama in the FA Cup tie, even a missed penalty,” he said.
Fish’s only complaint was that his side did not win by a wider margin.
“When you look at the chances we had, it could have been five or six,” he continued.
He was also pleased how his young players did in the first meaningful match of the season with some of the new signings having never appeared in the FA Cup before.
Mossley, without the injured Steve Mason and suspended Jordan Butterworth, took a ninth minute lead when Shenton bundled in a Keaton Mulvey corner.
They doubled their lead midway through the opening period when Richardson headed home Mulvey’s corner.
Harry Pratt had a penalty saved shortly after the restart before the third goal arrived in the 53rd minute, the pick of the three.
Centre-back Declan Evans made a weaving run almost half the length of the field before spraying a pass to the left where Mulvey crossed for Shenton to convert from a couple of yards.
Saints never gave up as Asley Stott was denied by a decent save by Liam Lovell and he also struck the bar with a free kick.
Mossley ought to have scored more as Andrew Webster headed against his own bar clearing a Sam Kilner corner and at the death Matty Waller shot agonisingly wide after a great run by substitute Jes Uchegbulam.