This feature is called ‘Have We Met’ but when it comes to our hosts on Monday, Mossley, our history goes way, way back.
There have been 31 previous meetings in the semi-professional era, going all the way back to 1997 when we played each other in a floodlit tournament over two legs. We lost 4-1 – Steve Orrell scoring our only goal at Seel Park!
But we have been regular combatants since we joined the Northern Premier League in 2012 but also back in the North West Counties League days from 1997 through to 2004, when Mossley were promoted after finishing in second place behind Clitheroe.
The stats are that the Rams have won 10, Mossley 16 and there have been five draws – the last of those draws being the last time we met in a league game at Seel Park on 1 September 2018 when Adam Jones’ 47th minute strike was cancelled out by Lee Gaskell on 63.
Our record at the home of Mossley isn’t the best with three wins, three draws and 10 defeats – including the last time we went there in an FA Cup 1st Qualifying round game last year when Ryan Shenton and Keaton Mulvey sandwiched Mason Fawns’ goal on the hour in a 2-1 defeat – just before lockdown came again.
There has always been goals in these games – 22 in the last five games with both sides scoring as well and only twice in all of those 31 games have the Rams failed to score – a 0-2 loss at Seel Park in 2017 and the first round of the Floodlit competition in 1997 at the Riverside.
Mossley has only failed to score three times in these games – it is sure to be an end to end contest… put your money on a 0-0 draw then! Both sides have scored 64 goals – that’s 128 goals in 31 matches, an average of 4.13 per game! That’s entertainment (or rubbish defending, you choose!!).
Has anyone noticed that we have written seven paragraphs so far? Sorry Mossley, but here it comes! It was the last time we met in a league fixture, on Boxing Day 2019 at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium and what a festive treat it was for the 410 spectators who watched the Rams produce a stunning 7-1 victory over the Lilywhites.
Tom Kennedy, Karl Jones, Nic Evangelinos, Josh Hmami and Mason Fawns all scored while Reuben Jerome bagged a brace. Jamie Rainford scored the consolation for the visitors – of course, roles will reverse on Monday as Fawns will be in white and Rainford in blue. Chris Willcock, a former Mossley manager and then Rammy boss, was delighted to have secured an eighth unbeaten game in a row, especially after the disappointment of a draw at Widnes pre-Christmas.
The Rams come into this game on the back of a sensational 7-1 win over Market Drayton Town on Saturday which has boosted confidence after an indifferent start – two wins on the bounce and we are up to fourth in the fledgling table.
However, we have won just one of our last eight league games at Seel Park – a 4-0 victory in April 2013 thanks to a pair each for Gaskell and Grant Spencer. In that time, we have won 1, lost 4 and drawn 3 so Monday’s game will be a tough one for sure.
A game on the edge of the Peak District – 3pm kick off – a perfect Bank Holiday Monday! Let’s hope the Rams break their recent away day run just 21 miles down the road.