There is no end in sight to Kilroot Rec’s misery as they stumbled to yet another defeat, losing 5-3 to an understrength Mossley FC on Saturday.
“We weren’t expecting the game to be on, with all the rain. Our Seconds were off but by the time we knew our match was on, players had made other arrangements,” said Mossley boss, Campbell Graham. “It was right that the match was on, the surface was fantastic considering the rain; I couldn’t believe it – but having to play the whole match myself, with no disrespect, let’s just say that it was just as well it was Kilroot we were playing! We gave them two goals when we were four up, but we were never in any danger.”
Kilroot, meanwhile, have only 10 games left to try and avoid the ignominious feat of going through two entire seasons without a single win.
Rec, with zero points out of a possible 48, are nine behind second-bottom Groomsport, who have three games in hand.
Manager Alan Craig lamented the unavailability of players such as Craig Leworthy, Gordon Priestly, Bradley Spence, Glen McAuley, Jamie Wright, Colin McElnea, Paul Aston, Chris Patton, Gareth Logan and Chris Johnston.
“I’ve tried to get players in, but they just want to play in local teams in junior football with their mates. We’re still trying our best, but it’s hard. The home game with Mossley was one of the games we were hoping to get something out of, but it looks as though it’s going to be uphill all the way. With us, it’s a case of, if things can go wrong, they do go wrong!”
This must have been something that was in Craig’s mindset as Mossley galloped into the lead inside the opening minute; Colin Andrews crossing the ball from the right for strike partner Nicky Agnew to tap in from close range.
Kilroot could have scrubbed that one out but Chris Rea at the back post, failed to properly connect with David Brennan’s long throw.
Instead, it was Mossley who doubled their lead on 25 minutes, with Andrews this time the executioner after James McKinney provided the supply.
Rec could have reduced the leeway when Robbie Kennedy slipped the ball through to Rea but keeper Dwayne Jenkins sprang to the visitors’ rescue.
At the other end, Agnew somehow spooned a James McKinney cross over the bar from just a couple of yards out.
In the second session, Mossley had the wind at their backs and breezed further ahead on 50 minutes, when Kyle Harper nodded James McKinney’s corner back across keeper Gary Thompson.
Shortly afterwards, it was four and there was nothing wrong with the ‘Agnew accuracy’ this time as the one-time Glebe Ranger raced onto Andrews’ diagonal pass, rifling the ball past the helpless Thompson.
Four up, and up against a side of Kilroot’s track record, you could hardly fault Mossley for believing that they had this one was done and dusted, although the introduction of substitute Stephen Bell plus a couple of positional changes did seem to give Kilroot some fresh impetus.
It wasn’t therefore beyond belief when the basement battlers pulled one back; Ciaran McKee and Joe McDonnell combined to hatch out an opening for Kennedy to deposit the ball past Jenkins.
Shortly afterwards, Kilroot were celebrating again when Joe McDonnell ushered the ball through for Sands to smash into the corner of the net.
Kilroot haven’t managed to score as many as three goals in any one league match this term though they could have been back within touching distance had McDonnell, straight through on goal, not shot hurriedly high and wide when faced with the formidable might of the onrushing Jenkins.
Instead, it was Mossley who provided the closing chapter with James McKinney’s free-kick looping in at the far post.
In the end, too, the margin could have been wider had Barton made better use after getting his head to a couple of corners.
Kilroot Rec: G Thompson – Brennan, McKee, Moore, Scallion – Nelson, McDonnell, Rea, Potts (Bell) – Sands, Kennedy.
Mossley FC: Jenkins – C Graham, Harper, Barton, McCune – J McKinney, G McKinney (Crawford), Proctor, Bell – Andrews, Agnew.
Referee: Mr Robert Penney (Carrickfergus).