MOSSLEY 1, NEWTON AYCLIFFE 0.
IT was a birthday to remember for Jordan Butterworth, Mossley’s matchwinner in their hard-earned Emirates FA Cup win against Newton Aycliffe.
The midfielder marked his 23rd birthday with the decisive goal, his first for the Lilywhites who he joined from Chadderton in the summer of 2020.
Butterworth struck midway through the opening half with a well-taken finish from just inside the penalty area following a great lay-off from striker Harry Pratt.
On a day when Hyde United, Stalybridge and Ashton United all crashed out of the FA Cup, Mossley recorded the lone success from the Tameside teams.
It earned them a £2,250 winners’ cheque, share of the gate receipts from a 419 crowd and, most importantly, a place in the second qualifying round.
It was a cup tie that wasn’t pleasing to the eye, but injury-hit Mossley, who could only field five of a permitted seven substitutes, got the job done.
“It was nice to win a game scrappily and ugly. It isn’t always possible to do it playing great football,” explained manager David Fish.
“The pitch was hard and bobbly due to the dry weather and conditions were not ideal, but we showed grit and managed the game well.”
The North East side’s Liam Jarvie forced an early save from Mossley keeper Dale Latham while Pratt also had a chance for Mossley but fired narrowly wide.
The breakthrough came in the 24th minute when Latham rolled out the ball to set up the sweeping move which led to Butterworth’s goal.
Newton would have equalised early in the second half but for a fabulous flying save from Latham to turn over Shaun Ryder’s drive which would have been a goal-of-the-round contender had it gone in.
Kain Dean sliced an effort wide from in front of goal as Mossley came close to a second goal.
The match finished on a feisty note when in the fifth minute of stoppage time there was an altercation near the technical areas between rival players.
There were fears that it might escalate like in the previous round of the cup when the tie against Lower Breck was abandoned in the 90th minute – the Football Association ruled the result stood.
This time backroom staff from both clubs quickly intervened to prevent in getting out of hand.
And when order was restored, referee Simon Kells sent off Newton substitute Sonni Coleman and booked his team-mate Aaron Brown who were deemed the perpetrators.