It was maybe just all too predictable that Mossley would lose their unbeaten league record to ‘noisy neighbours’ 18th Newtownabbey OB, who knocked them out of the Irish Cup earlier in the season.
Speaking after his side’s 2-1 defeat, Mossley manager Garry Campbell said: “It’s disappointing to lose, but I can’t complain. We’ve had a great start to the season, into January and just five points dropped from 11 games.
“Our boys hadn’t played in eight weeks and to play the way they did with 10 men for some 70 minutes, I couldn’t have asked for any more. I thought we played the better football but made two mistakes and they punished us. We had Gareth McKinney sent off for two yellows, though I thought 18th could have had two off. At the minute, they seem to have got something on us but they’ve still to come to us later in the season.”
New joint 18th manager Mark Miskimmin was delighted: “The boys have been brilliant since I’ve been here, but its only three points. If we don’t get another three points in the next game, then it’s a waste of time beating Mossley. A great win, a great performance, but obviously I’d still swop positions with Mossley right now if I could.”
Eighteenth were awarded a far from clear-cut penalty on four minutes, but perhaps justice was done when Robbie-Lee Crawford’s effort was superbly saved by Dwayne Jenkins.
Jenkins pulled off another fine stoppage but was caught out by a ball into the box, allowing Neil McGrath to score on his 18th debut.
Mossley made light of the numerical disadvantage, grabbing a deserved second-half leveller when Lee Graham raced through to give Matthew Whittley no chance.
Back though came 18th, with a fine finish from Don McAteer after defender Robbie Barton has lost his footing.