Andrews Match Preview: Mossley (A)
Mossley v Colne
Saturday 14th January - 15:00
Colne travel 40 miles south to Tameside, Greater Manchester to take on Mossley AFC, in a league encounter in the Northern Premier West Division.
Mossley, nicknamed the Lilywhites, were founded in 1903 and play their home games at Seel Park, 9 miles East of Manchester. Their ground holds around 4,000 (200 seated), and their average attendance this season is 442. Last season the Lilywhites finished in 8th place in the league with 57 points and in the head to head with the Reds, a last minute goal from Anthony Brown gave them all 3 points in a 1-0 win at Holt House in August, with Colne gaining revenge at Seel Park, when two Matty Morgan strikes separated the sides in December. Earlier this season, Mossley again took three points from the Reds at Holt House in a 3-2 victory, with goals from Jordan Butterworth, Freddie Sass and Nicky Clee, cancelling out first half efforts from Lucas Weaver and Owen Watkinson.
This season Mossley have won 11, drawn 5 and lost 5, which gives them 38 points from 21 games and means that they occupy the last play off spot in 5th place in the league table. Their home form is impressive, winning 6 out of 9 with just the 1 defeat. They have beaten Runcorn Linnets 1-0, Widnes 4-1, Prescot Cables 2-1, 1874 Northwich 3-0, City of Liverpool 2-1 and Ramsbottom 1-0 with the solitary defeat coming against second placed Leek Town 0-2. They were defeated at home in the first stage in both FA competitions, losing 0-1 to Macclesfield in the Cup and 1-2 to Dunston in the Trophy. Last Saturday the Lilywhites travelled to Runcorn Linnets and prevailed 2-1 with goals from Mason Fawns and Oumar Camara, and in their last home fixture they beat Ramsbottom 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from Jack Banister.
Mossley players to watch - wearing the number 10 shirt will be 24 year old attacker Mason Fawns, whose 11 league goals this season put him third in the NPL West’s goalscoring table. Mason came through Blackburn’s academy before joining Oldham Athletic and representing them in the EFL. He then signed for Curzon Ashton, Altrincham and Ramsbottom United before joining the Lilywhites in the summer of ‘21.
Right winger, 27 year old Jack Banister signed for Mossley in September ‘21 from Widnes. Jack had previously played for FC United, Curzon Ashton and Warrington Town and he has weighed in with 5 goals in 21 appearances this term.
Club captain Andy Keogh is in his third spell with the club. The 35 year old midfielder made his debut for the Lilywhites back in 2013 and he has made 19 appearances for them this season scoring 3 times.
Jordan Butterworth is 24 and was at both Manchester United and Oldham Athletic’s academy as a youth. The midfielder then moved onto Curzon Ashton’s youth team before spending 3 years at Chadderton, finally joining Mossley in the summer of 2020. Jordan has scored 3 times this season in 21 appearances.
Oumar Camara is another who represented Curzon Ashton as a youth and Chadderton. The 24 year old striker spent time at Avro and Prestwich Heys before signing for Mossley in the summer, and he has netted 4 times in 16 games. Oumar came off the bench last week to head home the winner at Runcorn Linnets.
Left back Freddie Sass has been at Mossley for just over a year appearing 22 times this season. The 21 year old came from Tadcaster Albion, having previously been with Stalybridge Celtic and Egerton.
Midfielder Kane Hickman was signed from the now inactive Droylsden in 2020. The 25 year old had been at Hyde, Glossop and Buxton previously and he’s another who has appeared 21 times for the Lilywhites so far this season.
Another attacker/midfielder with 21 games this season is 19 year old Bailey Marsden who came through Man United’s academy before signing for Crewe Alexander at 16. Bailey is in his second season at Mossley.
William Shepherd is a 21 year old right back who can also play in midfield. Will joined the Reds under Jon Macken last season for a month in January ‘22, starting once and coming off the bench three times. He is in his second spell with the Lilywhites after coming through Rochdale’s academy and also representing Salford City and Warrington Town.
Former Chadderton boss David Fish took over as Mossley manager two and a half years ago. The former goalkeeper replaced new Runcorn Linnets boss Dave Wild.
Last time out for the Reds - Trafford were the visitors to Holt House last Saturday for Colne’s first home game of the new year. Enock Lusiama was back in the starting eleven replacing the injured Ellis Wallbank. Tom Hoyle moved to right back in a back four and Tom McCann took over in the defensive midfield role vacated by the out-going Brad Knox. Kicking uphill in the first half the home side struggled to get any momentum and quality into their play, and it became apparent early on that Trafford’s Rob Worrall was the boss in the middle of the park, which ensured that they were the side more likely to break the deadlock. Tom Donaghy in the Colne goal was kept busy producing saves from Belcher and Burke, including an incredible tip onto the bar from a thunderous strike once again from Alfie Belcher.
Owen Watkinson had a penalty appeal turned down as the Reds headed to the break lucky to be on equal terms. No improvement from Colne in the second half and within five minutes, an uncharacteristic loose pass from Glenn Steel was intercepted, and Trafford forced a corner from their counter. Worrall’s set piece cross found “Butcher”Bentham in space and he volleyed home to open the scoring. The Reds responded with an edge of the box free kick from Oli Roberts which came back off the woodwork. Donaghy was busy once more as he denied another Burke effort, but he was powerless on 64 minutes, when another counter attack released Eliot Goldthorp down the right, and his low cross found Belcher who brilliantly directed the ball into the left hand corner of the net.
Phil Brown immediately made two changes and moved to a 343 formation, as Danny Kyobe replaced Lucas Weaver up front and Tom Fagan took over from Oli Roberts. This allowed Paul Dugdale to push forward down the left hand side. Five minutes later, a searching chip into Trafford’s penalty box from Craig Carney found Enock Lusiama, who held off a defender and coolly finished to make it 1-2. Colne still had over 15 minutes to get something from the game, but despite plenty of possession down the left hand channel, they couldn’t produce anything of note. Then in the final minute, Lusiama collected the ball deep in Trafford’s area and his cross the box pass, found the reliable Craig Carney who netted his 4th league goal of the campaign, to give the Reds an unlikely point.
That point meant that they dropped a place to 15th, but Glossop’s win at City of Liverpool in mid-week took them above the Reds, who now sit in 16th place with 23 points from 20 games. Young keeper Tom Donaghy claimed the man of the match with some excellent saves to keep Colne in the game.
Who’s on Ashh’s couch? - Luke Stowe is back in full training and is available for selection.
Ben Anderson has had a scan on a niggling back issue, which has revealed a pinched nerve, but he is in training and should make the bench.
Ellis Wallbank suffered a slight groin strain against Hanley Town which meant he missed out last Saturday. He’s trained and is available for selection.
Matty Kardacz is recovering from a grade 1 MCL knee tear, but could be back training in 1-2 weeks.
Aaron Turner is now awaiting surgery for his knee/MCL issue .
Jack Doherty is hoping to have surgery for his ACL injury on the 17th of this month. This injury has ruled him out for the season.
Hakan Burton continues his rehabilitation, which could see him return in 4-5 weeks. The Colne keeper is now back in full training.
Team news - Tom Fagan and Luke Stowe are available should the manager decide on a personnel change from last week. Obviously depending on whether the formation sets up once again as 433 or changes to 343. Ellis Wallbank and Ben Anderson could also rejoin the squad. Sheikh Islam and Danny Kyobe are alternate options at the top end of the pitch. Young under 21 striker Cuen Bradley has been training with the first team and he’s one for the future.
Mossley are in a rich vein of form, winning 5 of their last 8, losing just once (3-4 at Macclesfield) and coming off the back of their best performance of the season, deservingly winning 2-1 at Runcorn Linnets last Saturday. They are sat in 5th spot, 7 points clear of 6th placed Clitheroe and they have lost just once at home all season (0-2 to Leek Town, at the beginning of September). Colne’s defeat at Leek Town (0-1) in November, is their only loss in their last 10 league games. The Reds are 5 points clear of the automatic relegation places, sitting in 16th spot, and coming off two draws (2-2 at home to Trafford and 2-2 away at Hanley Town). The Lilywhites usually enjoy plenty of possession, with the experienced Keogh and young Butterworth dominating the midfield and taking turns at supporting Marsden and Banister up front. Their star man Mason Fawns operates from the right, but runs the show creatively and scores 1 in 2 games.
Colne’s midfield struggled last Saturday for the first hour, as Trafford’s Rob Worrall was allowed to dictate, and young Tom McCann playing in the defensive midfield role, received little support trying to protect the back four. It’s an area Phil Brown will be conscious of and he could decide to pack the midfield if he wishes to challenge Mossley’s strength there. The Lilywhites will be favourites, especially as they recorded a 3-2 win at Holt House back in August, so the Reds, who have lost both away games when facing a top 5 side, will have to summon up a repeat of their FA Trophy performances earlier in the season, if they wish to take anything from the match.
Admission Prices are:
Adults : £10
Concessions : £6
Under 16’s : £1
Sat 21st January - Colne v Glossop North End - 15:00 NPL West
Sat 28th January - Macclesfield v Colne - 15:00 NPL West
Tues 31st January - Kidsgrove Athletic v Colne - 19:45 NPL West
Today’s NPL West games - 15:00
City of Liverpool v 1874 Northwich
Clitheroe v Skelmersdale United
Hanley Town v Runcorn Linnets
Kidsgrove Athletic v Macclesfield
Leek Town v Glossop North End
Prescot Cables v Ramsbottom United
Trafford v Workington
Widnes v Newcastle Town
Witton Albion v Bootle