MOSSLEY 3, LEEK TOWN 2
Mossley made it eight wins from their opening nine matches to move top of the Northern Premier League’s west division.
“You have got to enjoy such moments as you don’t get many nights like this,” declared manager David Fish after the home victory against Leek Town.
It was Mossley’s first serious test of the season as Leek were the first top-half team they had played so far.
“We went into this week playing Leek and Warrington Rylands (on Saturday) who are expected to be around the play-off places so knew the games would be a reality check as to where we are,” he explained.
“In the first half we blew Leek out of the water to go 3-0 ahead.
“We were punished for becoming disjointed for five minutes as Leek scored twice. After that we showed grit and character, something winners have.”
It was especially pleasing as Mossley were desperately short of firepower with Harry Pratt their only fit front player.
Forward Antony Brown, Mason Fawns, David Kuba Kuba, Connor Morris and Kyle Hawley were all injured leaving Fish with few options.
“We stressed the importance of scoring goals from elsewhere and we got two from midfield which we had been working on and which was pleasing.”
Mossley made a dream start taking a sixth minute lead after visiting goalkeeper Daniel Roberts failed to control a back pass and Pratt dispossessed him to be gifted a goal.
Leek had two great chances to draw level when Will Saxon was denied by a super save from Dale Latham and Tim Grice fired wide when clean through.
Mossley doubled their lead in the 28th minute when Andy Keogh picked a hole in Leek’s backline with a defence-splitting pass for Jordan Butterworth to race clear and fire through the legs of Roberts.
The Lilywhites finished the half strongly as Keogh had a headed well saved and Devon Matthews a header clear off the line before Keogh made it 3-0 in stoppage time.
Levi Phillips’ pass split open the Leek defence and Keogh burst through and squeezed a shot past Roberts at the near post.
Mossley had chance to add a fourth goal after the restart, notably when Pratt’s close-range header was kept out by an unbelievable save from Roberts.
From being in a commanding position, Mossley suddenly found themselves only 3-2 ahead after Leek scored in the 70th and 72nd minute.
Grice was put clean through and rounded Latham to score while Dan Tricket-Smith stole in unmarked to head home a cross from the left.
Suddenly Mossley were wobbling as Leek had seized the initiative. But credit to the Lilywhites as they dug in and defended superbly in the latter stages as the visitors never seriously threatened to complete what would have been a remarkable fightback.