MOSSLEY 1, CLITHEROE 3
AS Mossley slipped to a third home defeat in a week, play against Clitheroe was halted for a highly unusual occurrence.
On a wet and filthy night at Seel Park, it was not only precipitation that fell from the sky but glass from an exploding bulb from high on the floodlight pylons.
Glass was showered on to the pitch in front of the dugouts forcing a stoppage lasting several minutes as club official Steve Tague used a brush to remove the debris from the pitch.
The young Lilywhites were outmuscled by opponents who were far more experienced and much bigger physically as Clitheroe’s win took them top of the table.
Manager David Fish admitted he had learned a lot about his side in the aftermath of the defeats inflicted by Runcorn Linnets, Tadcaster Albion in the Emirates FA Cup and Clitheroe.
“In each of the three games we have started slowly, something we cannot continue to do. I thought we were slightly intimidated by Clitheroe in the first half and were not brave enough,” he said.
Fish was disappointed by his players’ inability to keep hold of the ball and by the individual errors for the goals.
“It is alright beating Ossett United on a nice, sunny Saturday afternoon, but 90 per cent of games are played on heavy pitches against physical sides.
“We have to perform in those games and need to learn very quickly.”
After being 2-0 down inside 25 minutes, Fish was pleased by the resilience of his players.
“That was pleasing because it could easily have been a hiding. At least we kept going.”
Clitheroe, with former Stalybridge Celtic players Chris Smalley, Ross Dent and Craig Hobson among their high-profile summer signings, were ahead in the third minute.
Right-back Markell Foulds was allowed the freedom to burst forward and set up former Oldham Athletic striker Kielan Adams, another new arrival, who fired home his first league goal for the club.
It was 2-0 mid-half after a miss-kick by full back Sam Kilner presented a chance for Danny Wilkins to bury a powerful shot past goalkeeper Liam Lovell.
Mossley were unable to get anywhere near the Clitheroe goal and it was not until midway through the second period that visiting keeper Chris Thompson had his first save to make and Ryan Shenton’s effort was straight down his throat.
Clitheroe made it 3-0 with 11 minutes left after a slick, first touch passing move ended with substitute Kieran Feeney threading a low shot from the left of the box into the far corner.
Mossley at least had a consolation goal to celebrate in the 84th minute from substitute Danny McLaughlin.
He had a burst from midfield and there was a parting of the waves as the home defence allowed to him to press forward unchecked before he thundered an unstoppable shot past Thompson.