MOSSLEY 2, MACCLESFIELD FC 4
Mossley gave it their best shot but came up a little short as full-time side Macclesfield FC won at Seel Park in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.
In a tie which was a fabulous advertisement for the world’s oldest cup competition, the Silkmen’s extra experience proved decisive.
But the visitors knew they had been in a battle as Mossley were 1-0 ahead and late in the match reduced the deficit to 3-2 as they went down fighting.
At the end of the day, though, Mossley were the architects of their own downfall as they were punished for individual errors for three of their Macc goals.
Mossley, warned that Macc may bring up to 800 fans, had hired extra stewards and brought in extra toilets to cope with what they hoped would be a bumper crowd.
In the end, Macc only brought a couple of hundred spectators but the crowd of 834 was still Mossley’s largest for several years.
You only had to look at the Macc team to see the scale of the task confronting the Lilywhites.
Macc had Liverpool loanee Marcelo Pitaluga, 19, a winner of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup for Brazil, in goal and a defence which also included Ezekiel Fryers, the former Manchester United, Tottenham and Crystal Palace stopper.
And the visitors front line was led by Nicky Maynard who played in the Premier League for West Ham and appeared for Bristol City, Cardiff City and MK Dons among a host of clubs.
Yet it was Mossley who went ahead in the ninth minute through bricklayer and club captain Andy Keogh.
He controlled a cross from Freddie Sass superbly and cut back inside an opponent before firing low past Patalugua, bought by Liverpool from Fluminense for an initial £1million.
Macc were level nine minutes later through a fabulous drive from former Hull City player James Berry, 21, which even had home manager David Fish applauding as it was a stunning strike.
Mossley more than matched Macc in the opening half which ended 1-1.
Macc took charge in the second half as Mossley’s errors were ruthlessly punished.
Centre-back Will Hartshorne handled a cross with former Curzon Ashton player Alex Curran scoring from the spot.
Ex-Stalybridge Celtic player Neil Kenghi then turned centre back Shane Killock before setting up Maynard who rifled home Macc’s third goal.
It looked all over until Mossley scored a second with 14 minutes left when substitute Tyler Savage raced on to a through ball and thundered in an unstoppable low shot.
Suddenly Mossley were back in the hunt but, sadly, only for two minutes when Macc scored their fourth.
Right back Jack Grundy was robbed as left wing back Brandon Lee raced down the flank and cross to the far post for substitute Andrew Owens to head home.
Mossley kept battling to the end and in the sixth and final minute of stoppage time ought to have added a third goal, but substitute Mason Fawns blazed over when it looked as though he could not miss.
Fish praised his players, saying: “There were a lot of positives to take from the game.
“We played our normal game and did not get drawn into how they played.
“There was not a lot between the sides other than their execution and our individual errors.
“They were slightly better with their set-pieces but, as a full-time side, they have more time to work on them than we do.”