Mossley survived a resurgent Salford City effort to lay their hands on the Robinson’s Brewery Premier Cup following a nervy penalty shoot-out.
Despite going two ahead thanks to goals from Garry Gee and Sam Madeley, Mossley were pegged back by substitute Brad Robinson and Danny White.
With twelve places separating the two sides in the league, holders Mossley entered the fray as favourites and lived up to that tag in the opening stages.
Having peppered the Salford box with a number of dangerous crosses from the left, Kayde Coppin was gifted the most golden of first chances when Ammies keeper Ritchie Branagan miscontrolled. His stray pass fell to Coppin’s feet but by the time the Lilywhite striker knew anything about it, Branagan had smothered at his feet.
Madeley too was guilty of passing up an opportunity of putting his side in front. The Mossley striker was found by a searching ball from the midfield and rounded his defender expertly, only to then shoot wide.
Chances were few and far between for City and when Harry Bockarie brought an end to a promising Mossley attack by impeding his opponent, the referee pointed to the spot.
Gee had no trouble converting what would prove a precursor to the main event once the 90 minutes had finished and open the scoring for his side.
Falling a goal behind sparked Salford’s Nathan McDonald into life as he fast became a thorn in the opposition defence and he was denied an immediate equaliser when his headed effort was tipped over by Russell Saunders.
City manager Andy Heald cut a frustrated figure in the Ammies dug out as his side ended the half strongly but looked unlikely to find an equaliser.
The second period started much in the same vain. Bockarie headed over from a corner and Taylor met a through ball with a clever flick that overran as Salford continued to press but rarely threatened the Mossley keeper.
The Ammies were soon made to pay as just minutes after the assistant referee’s flag had ruled out Chris Brown’s header, Madeley found the net to double Salford’s woes.
Coppin’s bobbling strike beat the defence and found Madeley at the back post who was on hand to double Mossley’s lead.
It was a matter of “game on” or “game over” for City as they either threw everything at Mossley in search of a much needed lifeline, or capitulated and surrendered their claim to the trophy.
They opted for the fomer.
Taylor and Adie Bellamy both saw opportunities pass before Walters looked certain to score when one-on-one with the keeper only for Saunders to make the save of the night and tip round the post.
Salford would not be denied, however, and when Robinson was played through the middle, his neat lob lifted over the onrushing Saunders and into the net to revive City hopes.
The tables had turned and the Ammies began to run riot. After Kinsella and Walters had both seen attempts scrambled away, the former was on hand to chest down for White who smashed home to equalise.
2-2! Game on indeed!
Skipper Jamie Rother continued to lead his side in the charge for what had looked at one point to be the most unlikely of comebacks but neither side could steal a last gasp victory and the lottery of penalties followed.
With Mossley 3-2 ahead from the spot, Saunders secured his status as the Lilywhite’s hero by saving Bellamy’s effort.
That save ensured that Ashley Young’s smash through the middle would secure a 4-2 penalty victory for his side and Robinson’s Brewery Premier Cup glory!
Congratulations to both sides on what was a truly fantastic advert for Manchester football.
Written by Alex Rowen