Ossett Albion 1-0 Mossley AFC
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)A first minute goal from Dale Kelly brought bottom-placed Ossett Albion back to life in the Evo Stik Division North – much to the delight of player-manager Richard Tracey.
Ossett survived a barrage of second half pressure to earn a crucial victory that puts them one point behind Radcliffe Borough, who beat Ossett 3-0 on Saturday.
Albion goalkeeper Adam Rhodes was called upon to make a few excellent saves on a windy night at Dimple Wells to ensure Ossett picked only their second league win of the season.
Manager Tracey said: “We have worked hard on our shape in training and worked hard on pressing the ball and defending.
“Don’t get me wrong they had a couple of chances. They have tried to go round the keeper and rolled one into the side-netting and Rhodesy has made a couple of saves.
“But, in the end I think we deserved to win tonight.
“We have looked more solid, we worked harder for each other and we looked like a team for really the first time this year.
“It was a phenomenal start. We got them on the back-foot early doors and had a couple of half-chances before getting the early goal. I suppose what has been pleasing is that we have defended a lead for a long, long time.
“We had spells in front like Bamber where there were seven minutes to go and got turned over. We defended for 88 minutes today. It’s a shame we didn’t get the second goal because it would have taken a little bit of pressure off.
“I think one to eleven today, adding the five who were on the bench, everyone put in 110% and they got their rewards.”
With the windy conditions playing a part, Mossley struggled to attack during the first half and within 30 seconds of the start, Albion almost scored.
Ossett had further chances. Niall O’Brien saw his powerful free kick blocked by a firm wall and Muller also caused a few problems and was being continually fouled by Mossley defenders.
Tracey’s side, which contained Darol Lucas who played the whole game having played 90 minutes for Glasshoughton Welfare on Tuesday night against Retford United, failed to take full advantage of the wind and Mossley almost made them pay.
Wayne Welbeck should have scored in the opening act of the second half after rounding Rhodes. Welbeck made a mess of the simple tap-in and could only find the side-netting.
Lucas had Ossett’s only real chance of the half when his low shot was easily saved.
Ossett did defence well, but they had to rely on Rhodes on a few occasions. On the hour mark, Rhodes palmed John Bennett’s strike for a corner.
Rhodes came to the rescue again in the 72nd minute when Dougie Carroll found space and looked set to score until Rhodes made a fantastic save.
Carroll was then made to rue another missed chance in the final moments of the game. Carroll broke through down the left-wing and went one-on-one with Rhodes, but the goalkeeper was able to make an important stop with his right leg to turn the ball away from danger.
That was the last real opportunity and Ossett were able to celebrate a victory that Tracey admitted was a huge relief, ahead of Saturday’s home game with New Mills.
He said: “I’ve being in football long enough to know it’s a results business and I feel the pressure and certainly I was feeling it, but we tried to take that off the lads to allow them to play with freedom.
“Today we got that result which we needed.
“(On whether everyone was downbeat after the Radcliffe game) It was and it wasn’t. It was because we got beat by Radcliffe, it wasn’t because I knew we had gone there with five players missing. We ended up playing Tyrone who is a defender, playing upfront. We had no centre-forwards.
“We didn’t turn up and it was a catalogue of rubbish in terms of a performance.”
Ossett Albion: Rhodes, Holt (captain), Jackson, Owen, Gay, McGuire, Lucas, O’Brien, Muller, Kelly (Robinson 80), Metcalfe (Truman 82). Subs unused: Durham, Jones, Nicholson.
Mossley AFC: Saunders (captain), Haslem (Broadbent 71), Horne (McCarthy 61), McGrath, Anderson, Hopper, Keogh, Bennett, Welbeck, Carroll, Gardner. Subs unused: McDonnell, Thewliss.
Referee: A Pashley (Chesterfield)
Man of the match: Adam Rhodes (Ossett Albion)