A cold, wintery night in Salford. The Mossley team, featuring a zillion beanstalks in defence, midfield and attack begin the panto playing the straight guys to perfection. Serious passing and movement? Solid back line? A shot at goal forcing a diving save by Andy Robertson? This wasn't supposed to be in the script!
Half an hour into the show and the comedy finally begins as Craig Mahon, conjuring with the ball on the corner of the area but going nowhere, gets flattened to earn a penalty…`Oh no it wasn't!' plead the Mossley defenders…
`Oh yes it f**kin' was…'
Rhodri Giggs - panto villain to opposing teams - strokes the spot kick home and Salford have the lead.
Booooo! Hisssss! Mossley's Sam Walker gets sent off for a scything foul on Salford's Alex Mortimer…What's the old joke? He's Cinderella – late for the ball…Exit stage left.
There's still time for a bit of Salford magic as a top ball into the box sees Craig Mahon control and flick it into the net in one deft movement – 2-0
It's almost half time, so bring on the blind back end of the panto horse, also known as Mossley goalie Peter Collinge. He clops up to clear a simple slow back pass down the field but misses completely, the ball inches under his hooves and rolls into the net. `Where is it?'….`It's behind you!'
…and how does he feel? `As daft as a brush!' – 3-0
And there's a half time show too! Watching the dour, bemused Mossley supporters scratching their woolly hats, wondering what the hell is going on…
It's time for a bit of audience participation as Salford turn on the style, with shimmies, flicks and Fabregas skills… `Are we Arsenal in disguise?...Are we Aaaaaarsenal in disguiiiiiiiiiiise?' A Salford header is scrambled off the line, a shot grazes the post… And then….
And then… with some Wishee Washee defending Mossley manage to score -3-1
More audience participation as the Boos ring out every time Mossley touch the ball…And Hurrays! whenever Salford win it…`Boo…Boo…Booooooo!' …`Hurray…Hurray…Hurraaaaaay!!!' The junior tangerines (or `clementines', as they're now known) are loving it…
Ten minutes to the final curtain – and it's curtains for Mossley as Dave Neville, making his No 9 debut, caps a great first game with a poacher's goal to make it 4-1
Before the final whistle has even gone Mossley supporters leave to get their horse and carts back to the hills. Meanwhile Salford City supporters celebrate a first home league win of the season, and a home and away double win over Mossley.
Can we play them every week? Er no – it's league leaders, Colwyn Bay at home on Saturday…`Oh no it isn't'… `Oh yes it f***ing is!'…