Mossley manager Garry Campbell is hoping Saturday’s battling display against 1a side Downpatrick in the Border Regiment Cup will stand his side in good stead when they return to league action this weekend.
Downpatrick, second in 1A, were 3-2 winners at the Glade – but Mossley would gladly have settled for that, after going two goals down and having Kyle Harper sent off inside the opening 15 minutes.
“We knew Downpatrick were a good footballing side and it was going to be a test,” said Campbell. “We had no match the Saturday before, so some of the players went and watched Downpatrick at Larne Tech where they won 6-1 – and then we get off to a start like that! Kyle was shown a red card for using an elbow but he’s a big, honest lad, he said he was pushed and was just using his elbow to regain his balance!”
Down opened the scoring, fastening onto Gareth McKinney’s short pass after only five minutes, but Terry Lyness could have cancelled that out when the ball bounced up and careered off his knee just a few yards out.
Four minutes later, a diagonal ball wasn’t cut out by the back four, allowing Down to double their lead. Then there was that further blow on 15 minutes when Harper was red-carded.
Mossley, nonetheless, kept their shape, with just three at the back and Lyness and Lee Graham both had chances to put them back on terms by the interval.
It was, however, all done and dusted once Downpatrick notched a third just after the hour mark.
Yet Mossley kept battling away and they gained some consolation on 73 minutes when Graham netted from the spot after he had been nudged in the box.
Lyness ate further into that lead five minutes from time and Mossley could even have forced extra-time, appealing for a last-gasp penalty when a Gareth McKinney effort appeared to hit a stray hand but the referee was unmoved.
“I’m delighted with the way the boys dug in and didn’t make it easy for Downpatrick after that bad start. Its nice, too, getting goals from the strikers,” added Campbell.