The Moose stampede through Cottage to claim top spot

After four comfortable wins following the Christmas break the Mad Moose arrived at The Cottage feeling confident of another three points, scoring 17 goals and conceding just three in those three games Mad Moose were in good form.

With league leaders Riverside out of action this weekend it was a prime opportunity to take the top spot and put pressure on the league favourites.

The Moose lined up strong with both of their leading goal scorers on the pitch and a first choice defence standing strong.

It took just three minutes before Mad Moose got their first goal when Darren Hill found himself on the edge of the box, with just the top corner to aim for Darren managed to curl the ball with ease past the scampering goalkeeper into the top corner.

The Moose had got just the start that they needed and then continued to demonstrate their dominance with some excellent forward play. The back four looked comfortable and with the few tests they got both full backs Daniel Littleboy and Ben Spraggon dealt with them with ease.

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The Moose’s second came after 20 minutes when a Moose corner fell again to Darren Hills just two yards out who confidently hit home to double their lead.

In the moments that followed, between 30 and 33 minutes the Moose turned their lead from two goals to five. The first of this trio came when the ref awarded a controversial back pass giving the Moose an indirect free kick in the box. Bram Goodwin-Wright received the ball and curled the ball to the far post in identical fashion to one of his goals last week, however this time captain Ben Burgess was there to head the ball home.

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Number two of the trio saw Bram Goodwin-Wright through on goal following some excellent passing from the Moose attackers. Bram confidently placed the ball beyond the keeper to make it 4-0 from 20 yards out.

The final goal of the half came from an attack from the right wing when Tom Swabey picked up the ball on the edge of the Cottage box to be fouled. The strong tackle from the Cottage defender however helped Tom’s shot fire straight into the bottom corner to make it 5–0 to the away team surely securing victory.

In the second half the Cottage felt that they needed to restore some pride and came out fighting. The first five minutes of the half saw some constant pressure from the Cottage creating some chances and threatening the Mad Moose’s clean sheet.

After 50 minutes The Cottage were awarded a controversial penalty, when the ball was adjudged to hit captain Ben Burgess in the hand whilst he was already on the floor. The Cottage had failed at the previous eight attempts from the spot this season, yet the Moose had conceded from all of their prior spot kicks. The Cottage forward stepped up and hit the ball to the keeper’s right, Matt Bevan, in goal for the Moose pulled off a fantastic save to keep the clean sheet as the Moose defence rushed in to clear the ball.

For the next 20 minutes the game was even and became quite stagnant, with play going from end to end with no real conviction from any attempt on goal. It took until the 75th minute when Moose substitute James Raven bundled the ball over the line in unfamiliar fashion to finish the game off at 6-0 and confirm a fourth successive solid victory, this time over a team that had taken points off them in the first half of the season.

Next week places first v second in the league as Mad Moose meet Norman Wanderers Reserves who are currently only separated by goal difference.

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