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Manager Band praises opening day win at Kendal Town as Mossley soar to top of table
Sunday 13th August 2017 @ 13:17 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Mossley joint-manager Peter Band has praised the quality of his side’s performance in the 5-2 victory at Kendal Town on Saturday and hopes it will set a benchmark for the rest of the season – continuing on Tuesday evening against Colne at Seel Park.

The dream start on Saturday has propelled the Lilywhites to the top of the table, in what will be Band and joint-manager Lloyd Morrison’s fifth season in charge of the club.

Despite falling 2-1 behind by the half-time whistle, Mossley claimed victory in the Lake District thanks to second-half efforts from Jack Tuohy, Adam Latham, Sam Gibson, and Mason Duffy.

Although pleased with the victory, Band insisted his side mustn’t get carried away with the opening day triumph. Speaking to Reporter Sport, he said: “Saturday was a good start for us but we can’t get carried away, as it’s only the first game of the season.

“We started well and scored after two minutes, but two quick fire goals just before half-time was a blow.

“However, we told the lads to keep playing like they were doing and we scored within five minutes of the second-half and then took control of the game.

“Kendal also lost their number eight in Connor Gaul who was their best player and we comfortably saw the game out”.

Prior to Saturday’s victory, Band outlined his optimism surrounding the new season and hopes the summer recruits will guide his side to a playoff feat.

Reflecting on the pre-season schedule, which included just one loss to Stalybridge Celtic, the former Hyde United and Altrincham defender said he was happy with the way things went, while adding: “At the time against Stalybridge, we were two up and then took players off, but as I’ve said to the lads over the last few training sessions, you don’t get points from winning friendlies, and that goes out of the window against Kendal.

“We’re in a far better place than the last time we spoke, as we’ve only lost Tom Pratt to Hyde since then, and we’ve managed to build on that”.

Despite losing the services of Pratt, who scored 45 goals in 171 appearances for the Lilywhites, Band has captured the signatures of Elliot Harrison and Liam Ellis, who joined the club towards the end of last season from Halifax and Chadderton respectively, as well as Tom Dean and Jack Tuohy.

Band believes he has signed a ‘gem’ in Harrison, adding: “Elliot came in last season and scored two goals in the last two games.

“Halifax didn’t renew his contract so for myself and Lloyd it was a no brainer really”.

Band believes Harrison performed well during pre-season, along with Tuohy, who had scored three and set up four before scoring a brace  at Kendal on Saturday. “He will bring creativity to the squad and reminds me of Lewis Nightingale” said Band of Tuohy.

“He gets in the little pockets of space and can pick a pass, and he’s also good on set pieces.

“He was previously at Oldham Athletic but wasn’t retained, and it’s much like all the teams at our level in the respect that they all get young professionals who are released.

“He will get 30 or 40 games with us and see what happens at the end of it”.

While the focus remains on reaching the playoffs this season, Band and Morrison are also hoping to embark on a successful FA Cup run, which begins next weekend against local rivals Glossop.

According to Band, the tie marks the beginning of a journey which can help boost the club’s kitty. “The cup runs are more for the club financially, but for myself and Lloyd it’s the 42 league games” said Band.

“We’ve had a good pre-season, so we need to take that into the start of the league campaign.

“We’re not going to take our foot off the peddle; you don’t get anything for beating teams in pre-season friendlies.

“We’ve got to keep the mentality we’ve had in every game, start well and hopefully the pre-season performances will put us in good stead for the remainder of the season.

“Every game myself and Lloyd go into, we want to win”.

While Band acknowledges the importance of a good cup run, he remains grounded and understands that it will be no easy task against the Hillmen, especially with Paul Phillips and Steve Halford in charge of the club. “If they’re anything like Ackers and Phillo were as players, then you’d expect nothing less” said Band.

“They had a great four years at Ashton, possibly didn’t get enough time at Stalybridge Celtic, but they’re back in at Glossop now.

“Quite a lot of the players have been at Ashton United with Phillo and Ackers, and you have experienced players like Ben Deegan, Lee Rick and Jason Hill, who was with us last year”.

As for the season itself, Band believes his side will be challenging at the right end of the tabe with a number of other clubs, including his former side at Ewen Fields. “Hyde finished strongly last year and they’ve started well in pre-season” said Band.

“Scarborough are moving back into their own ground, and Trafford will be up there again, along with Colne and South Shields, especially with the budget I’ve heard they’ve got.

“They have ex professionals who previously played for Sunderland, but it all depends on how they do with the travelling down here every other weekend for three of four hours.

“There will also be a surprise package in all that, but as for ourselves, we can’t have another season like the last one”.

Mossley play their first home game at Seel Park on Tuesday evening against Colne.

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