Colne v Mossley
Holt House - 19:45
Tuesday 23rd August
Colne entertain Greater Manchester side, Mossley AFC, at Holt House, as they go in search of their first win of the 22/23 campaign.
Mossley had a terrific start to the 21/22 season and by the end of October, they were challenging at the top of the NPL West, until a disastrous spell in November and December saw them lose 8 league and cup games on the spin. Their inconsistency over the season meant that any hopes of a play off place were forlorn, and they finished in 8th place with 57 points. A last minute strike from Anthony Brown gave the Lilywhites all 3 points at Holt House in a 1-0 win last August, but the Reds gained their revenge in the return at Seel Park in December, with a resolute 2-0 victory, which was sealed by a brace of Matty Morgan goals, scored in the last minute of each half.
Mossley began pre season this term against lower league opposition with a 1-0 win at Golcar, a 2-2 draw at Avro and another 1-0 win at Irlam. A 2-1 home win over NPL Premier league side Liversedge, was followed by a 4-2 reverse at nearby Chadderton and a 4-0 victory over Market Drayton. Respectable performances against higher league opposition brought Mossley’s summer friendlies to a close, with a 4-2 victory over Hyde United and a 2-2 draw with local rivals Stalybridge Celtic.
Once again Mossley have started the season well in the league. A very eye-catching 1-0 victory away at 2nd title favourites Workington, on the opening day of the 22/23 campaign, was achieved through a 95th minute goal from substitute Oumar Camara. A late Louis Potts penalty gave the Lilywhites another 1-0 victory last Tuesday evening at Seel Park, against last season’s beaten play-off finalists Runcorn Linnets.
Like Colne, Mossley were dispatched from the FA Cup on Saturday, suffering a home defeat to league climbing Macclesfield FC in front of 834 fans. Although an Andy Keogh strike gave the home side the lead early on, the Silkmen struck back with 3 goals from James Berry, former Holt House favourite Alex Curran from the spot, and prolific football league striker Nicky Maynard. A Tyler Savage goal made it interesting at 2-3, but an Andy Owens 4th goal saw Macclesfield progress to the next round 2-4.
Mossley players to watch - Captain Fantastic and player of the year Andy Keogh (pictured), and
former Droylsden midfield engine Kane Hickman, will give the Colne central midfielders plenty to think about. Keogh, an influential attacking midfielder, was also the Lilywhites’ leading marksman last term with 11 goals. Former Oldham Athletic attacker Mason Fawns, will be hoping to exploit any chinks in the Red’s defence. The 23 year old will be expecting to improve on the 7 goals he scored for Mossley in his 1st season. David Fish is in his 3rd season as manager at Seel Park.
After losing their opening league game at home to Kidsgrove 0-2, the Reds will be hoping to build on their hard fought point gained at Trafford last Tuesday night in an excellent 1-1 draw. Colne enjoyed long spells of possession during that game forcing the play, and Red’s manager Phil Brown will be looking for more of the same on Tuesday evening at Holt House.
The obvious improvement from the new look Colne squad was much in evidence in the FA Cup, Lancashire derby, away at Clitheroe on Saturday. The Reds took the game to Clitheroe in the 1st half and were unlucky not to be leading at the interval, after a couple of early Owen Watkinson goals were chalked off, in tight offside decisions. Clitheroe, who were the league’s form side in the last quarter of last season and only narrowly missed out on making the play-offs, managed to keep their squad together for the new campaign and even added a few influential, experienced players to their first eleven. So it was no surprise when the home side improved in the 2nd half. Both teams pressed for an opener, but after 52 minutes, a clash between the dangerous Sefton Gonzales and the Colne keeper Hakan Burton left the Red stopper with a damaged shoulder and he had to leave the field. The Blues then had a period of pressure, which resulted in their skipper Ross Dent beating the Colne defence and finishing past sub keeper Daniel Thorpe. As the Reds tried to respond, a 2nd forced substitution upset their momentum when Harry Winstanley had to be helped from the field with what looked like a nasty ankle injury. With Colne pressing forward looking for an equaliser, Clitheroe broke away and doubled their lead with a last minute goal from substitute Max Cane. The 2-0 scoreline certainly flattered the home side.
Who’s on Ashh’s couch? - Charlie Russell did plenty of running in the warm up at Clitheroe on Saturday and he’s not far away. An x-ray has revealed a tear in Hakan Burton’s shoulder, rather than a dislocation and he may well be out for a good while. Harry Winstanley will also be out for a period after x-rays revealed a fractured ankle. The remainder of the squad are fit and well.
Team selection - With Hakan likely to be missing for the immediate future, the more than capable, effervescent Daniel Thorpe is available to deputise, although a loan keeper as back up could be considered. Phil Brown has like for like options to cover Harry Winstanley’s absence with the experienced Paul Dugdale and the up and coming Ellis Wallbank. Harry Jones is still suspended and will miss out again.
Another chance for Phil Brown’s improving Reds to test themselves, against a solid, hard to beat Mossley, who are a good yardstick for this level.
Sat 27th August - Widnes v Colne 15:00
Mon 29th August - Colne v Hanley Town 15:00
Tue 6th September - Colne v City of Liverpool 19:45
Tonight’s other NPL West fixtures
Glossop v Leek Town 19:45
Runcorn Linnets v Hanley Town 19:45
Skelmesdale United v Clitheroe 19:45
Workington v Trafford 19:45
Admission Prices are:
Students with Valid ID £6
Under 16's £2