Vics' prevailed in a five-goal thriller at Seel Park this evening to take another all-important three points in the quest for promotion. In a see-saw encounter, Mossley took the lead through Dougie Carroll early on before Matt Regan opened his Vics' account with the equaliser just before the half-hour. Stuart Cook blasted Vics' in front just before the break only for Lillywhites' skipper Andy Keogh to haul the home side level on the hour. Vics' leading scorer Richie Bennett had the last word in the 91st minute; blasting home a trade-mark left-foot half-volley to clinch the points and registering his 26th goal of the campaign in the process. The result lifts the Green and Whites' up to third in the League table - You can view the table in full HERE | 


Tuesday 5th April 2016. COMPETITION - Evo-Stik NPL Division One North. VENUE - Seel Park Stadium, Mossley


LINE-UP'S - Mossley AFC - Flynn, Henson, McDonnell, Thomas, Dean, McGonigle, Warburton (John Bennett 34'), Pratt (caution), Keogh (C), Abadaki, Carroll (Short 75').  Un-used subs' - Mannion, Robinson, Fish. 


Vics' - Springthorpe, Byrne, Duxbury, Clarke (C), Regan (caution), Cook, Summerskill, Ball (Roddy 79'), Howard, Amis (caution) (Richie Bennett 70'), Burnett.  Un-used subs - Watson, Gyimah, Toner.


GOALS - Mossley AFC - Dougie Carroll 2', Andy Keogh 60'.   Vics' - Matt Regan 26', Stuart Cook 45', Richie Bennett 90+1'.  Unavailable for Vics' - Abou Sanogo (groin.)


Mossley started this League game much the better team and took the lead in double-quick time - a long throw from the right by full-back Caldon Henson was allowed to bounce in the eighteen-yard area by a static Vics' defence and Lillywhites' hit-man Dougie Carroll - un-marked; needed no second invitation nodding the hosts' in front from seven yards. Vics' fought back though, with Gary Burnett's pace causing problems for the home side. The equalising goal came on 26'; Iain Howard floated over a corner via his left-foot and the ball eluded everyone crammed into the area in front of the goal - Gary Burnett didn't give up though and raced after the loose ball managing to keep it in play and sent a delicious cut-back from the touch-line that picked out centre-back Matt Regan's storming run to perfection and the defender lashed a left-foot cross-shot into the far corner of the net and across a helpess Liam Flynn in the Mossley goal. Vics' now ramped up the pressure; and on 30' Jimmy Ball was presented with a golden chance from seven yards out following an inch-perfect cross by the marauding Alex Byrne; but could only hit the base of the post with home glove-man Liam Flynn and the goal at his mercy. Mossley still looked dangerous though; on 39' game-star Matt Regan had to be alert to stop ex-Vics' flier Godwin Abadaki in his tracks with a brilliant last-ditch tackle; who had jinked his way into the six-yard box and pulled the trigger to shoot. Thirty seconds into the one minute of time added on at the end of the opening period, Vics' took the lead through Stuart Cook who seized on Tom Dean's poor headed clearance and he struck a fierce right-foot volley on the full; hitting it flush and the ball arrowed into the roof of the net from eighteen yards out. It was the England Futsal internationals thirteenth goal in all competitions so far this season.


HALF-TIME - Mossley AFC 1-2 Vics'.


The second half's opening fifteen minutes presented little at either end of the pitch by way of goal-scoring opportunities but the Lillywhites' got back on terms on the hour through skipper' Andy Keogh who blasted into the far corner of the net from nine yards out via a fortunate deflection following a run and cross by impressive full-back Caldon Henson. Ten minutes later on 70' Brian Summerskill's clever through-ball split the home defence and picked out the jet-heeled Gary Burnett who was clean through on goal but Liam Flynn managed to save his low right-foot shot with his legs and Alex Byrne's follow-up piledriving effort was miraculously diverted out for a corner by left full-back Danny McDonnell. The Lillywhites' responded and on 78'; Tom Pratt's skidding shot from just inside the box went just wide with Springthorpe in Vics' goal appearing to be un-sighted. Vics' poured forward in the final ten minutes in a desperate search for a winner and it looked like it had arrived on 87' when sub' Richie Bennett's searing left-foot drive from twelve yards beat Liam Flynn all ends-up but not the cross-bar; the ball coming back off the underside of the woodwork and ex-Vics' man Mike Thomas hacked the loose ball to safety. Bennett was not to be denied though; and as the game ticked into the final minute of injury time, Vics' left-back Scott Duxbury launched a long, raking pass up-field and such was the quality of the assist; the bounce of the ball took the Mossley rear-guard by surprise and Bennett sniffed out the chance - allowing the ball to bounce for a second time and un-erringly hammered a left-foot half-volley into the net past the exposed Liam Flynn from ten yards to spark wild celebrations amongst Vics' players', staff and supporters' and the three points went back with the Green and Whites' to Cheshire.


PICTURED - An ecstatic Richie Bennett (centre) takes the acclaim from equally joyous team-mates Iain Howard (left) and Gary Burnett after ensuring the Vics' took all three points in injury time.

Richie Bennett Mossley 16

Vics' M.O.M - Matty Regan. Scored a great goal to get the Vics' back on terms and was utterly dominant defensively. Effective use of the ball all game to boot.


Manager Adam Lakeland's verdict on the dramatic late win-

A huge three points in the context of the shake-up for the play-off positions, Adam. I felt it was a deserved win, even coming so late as the amount of chances we created should always ensure a win.

This is a fantastic victory for us at what is an extremely difficult place to come. Mossley are a physical and competitive side who can cause you a lot of problems through their physical power, long throws and set-plays so we were prepared for a tough game and are delighted to come away with all three points. The players were made well aware beforehand that we would have to withstand some pressure at certain periods throughout the game and when they came along we would have to stand up and be counted which I felt we did and the players fully deserved their rewards albeit a late strike that decided it for us.
Conceding a goal so early was disappointing as it came from a long throw which I had highlighted beforehand. It was a failure by us to clear our lines as opposed to anything well-worked by them so it was a soft goal which we have to eradicate. I felt that the opening 15-20 minutes were played at 100mph when the game was live and that made it difficult for us to get any momentum going. After the 20 minute mark the game settled down a bit and we gradually gained control which enabled us to be the dominant team in terms of possession, final third entries, set-plays and shots for the remainder of the half. In this time we scored two excellent goals through Matty Regan, who I thought was outstanding on the night, and Stuart Cook with a superb volley from the edge of the box. We also hit the post through Jimmy Ball, their keeper made a good save from Josh Amis and Matty Regan headed a corner over right at the end of the half. I was satisfied with how we managed to regain control of the game and once we did we looked a constant threat and I was never in any doubt that we would create chances and cause them problems which was pleasing. 
Second half they started brighter than us and got onto the second ball much quicker which allowed them to play more in our half which suits the way they play. In this moment we needed to show better quality when we recovered the ball and in failing to do so struggled to get back on top of them. In this period we conceded another poor goal which seems to be a common and concerning theme in recent weeks. We made a change bringing Richie Bennett on for Josh Amis and switching shape slightly to a diamond which helped and we started to look more of a threat again in an attacking sense. I told the players beforehand that they (Mossley) tire the longer games go on and that they have conceded a number of late goals over the season so I was always confident that we would come strong again. We had a couple of chances with Brian Summmerskill hitting a left-footed shot straight at the keeper and Richie Bennett firing a shot against the cross-bar but credit to the players for fighting till the very end and what another wonderful strike by Benno (Richie) to win it for us in stoppage time. I’m pleased for Richie as I think he’s been under a lot of pressure of late hence why we’ve left him out of the side in the last couple of games and hopefully he can now kick on again and finish what has been a fine season for him on a personal level, in good form.
This was always going to be a stern test for us and its another valuable and thoroughly deserved three points. The only negatives to come out of the game were the soft goals we conceded and the fact it took us a last-minute strike to win a game that I felt on chances created, we were more than worthy winners but overall a very good nights work from the players and lots of positives to take into the away game at Brighouse Town this Saturday.


Match report & interviews by Jamie Dewsbury.