MOSSLEY 1, RUNCORN LINNETS 0
Mossley maintained their perfect start to the season with a home victory against Runcorn Linnets.
And the Lilywhites dedicated their back-to-back wins at Workington Town and home to Linnets to club official John Cawthorne whose sudden death two days before the start of the new season shocked everyone connected with the club.
“Wiz (John’s nickname) was a huge part of the club. Saturday and tonight was about him,” explained manager David Fish.
“His family and friends were at the game, and it was fitting for them that they saw us win.”
There was one minute’s silence before kick-off as both teams lined up around the centre circle. The players wore black armbands and the flag at Seel Park was lowered to half-mast.
And visiting Linnets also paid their respects with captain James Short laying flowers on the centre spot before kick-off.
Mossley won through a late penalty from striker Louie Potts in a hard-fought contest as the Lilywhites came up against former manager Dave Wild.
But the start to the season has exceeded Fish’s expectations as his side has beaten teams which finished second and fourth last season in its first two matches.
Two clean sheets were an added bonus, especially after Fish was forced to rejig his side’s defence after Shane Killock and Josh Dickin were hurt at Workington.
Joe Rothwell and Will Hartshorne were drafted into the back four with Jack Grundy switching from right back to centre back and producing an immaculate display.
Both teams cancelled out one another in the opening period in which neither goalkeeper had a shot to save.
Linnets came closest in the final minute of the half when Jacques Welsh bent a shot narrowly wide.
Mossley, playing down the slope and with the wind behind them in the second period, gradually took control.
Captain Andy Keogh had two glorious openings. Both were saved by Danny Taberner, but he ought to have done better.
Jack Bannister forced a decent stop from Taberner, and Potts glanced a header wide.
The breakthrough came in the 81st minute when Keogh drove in a cross from the left with referee Ben Elliott deeming it struck the arm of a Linnets’ player.
Potts stepped up to drill home the spot kick for the decisive moment of the match as Mossley made it six points out of six, one of only three clubs still with a 100 per cent record after two matches.