Five star United sink Mossley
Second half substitute Rory Patterson produced a five star display as his hat-trick helped United see off his former side Mossley in front of 2,017 at Gigg Lane.
United made a winning start to 2008 as they stunned their opponents with a 5-2 victory that now sees them only six points behind league leaders Curzon Ashton.
A flat first half saw few chances for either side, but United took the lead after 13 minutes when Aaron Burns broke free and coolly squared to Simon Carden who unselfishly fed Jerome Wright, leaving Wright the simple task of slotting into an empty net to put the Reds one up.
The Lillywhites almost replied instantaneously when Gareth Hamlets shot was saved by Sam Ashton, the ball fell to Danny Toronzcak who six yards out looked odds on to score. But put under pressure by Rob Nugent Toronzcak’s weak effort dribbled past the post and he was goaded by the Manchester Road End.
The scores were levelled up just before the half hour mark when an attack on the left by Lee Blackshaw saw a near post cross headed into the United net by Hamlet to make the score 1-1.
United had a great opportunity to take the lead before half time when Aaron Burns was fouled in the box by Mossley ‘keeper Ashley Connor Nicky Platt had the chance from the spot. But Platt’s tame penalty was easily saved by Connor and the teams went in level.
If United’s first half performance was a New Year hang over, then the double substitution seven minutes into the second half must have been the popping of the cork on the New Year champers.
Margy clearly recognised the side needed a lift and boldly brought on Rory Patterson and Nick Robinson for Simon Carden and Aaron Burns, in a move which proved to be the catalyst for a magnificent second half display.
Within minutes Patterson had latched on to a through ball, rounded the keeper and slotted home from a narrow angle to put United 2-1 up, and the goal seemed all the sweeter for the former Mossley striker who had been subjected to some stick in the reverse fixture back in November.
Almost straight from kick off Jerome Wright broke on the left and a sharp ball across the box found Patterson who made it 3-1 to United.
The place was bouncing as the party was really getting going and not even a nicely worked response from the away team as Lee Connor slotted the ball past Sam Ashton on 70 minutes could dampen spirits.
In what was a beautiful piece of football in the last ten minutes United put the game beyond doubt when Nicky Platt made it 4-2. A Wright cross missed everybody in the box but Jamie Baguley back-heeled it to the overlapping James Holden whose cross found Platt who more than made up for his earlier penalty miss.
Patterson completed his hat-trick and scored his 22nd goal of the season from a late spot kick after he was brought down in the box by Mossley defender Nicky Thompson.
It’s fair to say Mossley ‘keeper Ashley Connor didn’t appreciate the celebrations of his former team-mate but United were simply on fire as they continued the march up the table.
Fans leaving the cold stadium were happy to see punk football at its finest and hoped it was the sign of things to come in 2008.
Rob Nugent (Captain)
Chris Baguley (off for 15, 76)
Simon Carden (off for 14, 53)
Aaron Burns (off for 12, 53)
12. Rory Patterson (on for 10, 53)
14. Nick Robinson (on for 9, 53)
15. James Holden (on for 8, 76)
01-01-2008 at 20:49