By Chris Sweetman
EDEN Bailey’s brace saw Newcastle Town drop into the relegation places, as they lost 5-1 to Mossley at the Red Industries Stadium.
Newcastle desperately needed three points to stave off the increasing threat of relegation, but could not capitalise on a strong first half performance.
Newcastle recovered well from Bailey’s early opening goal to dominate the first half, with Patryk Mazurkiewicz to the fore.
However, while they could not find an equaliser before the break, captain James Askey headed them level early in the second half.
But parity was short lived, as Mason Fawns restored Mossley’s lead from the penalty spot minutes later.
From there the hosts collapsed, as Jack Bannister pounced on a loose ball to add the third, before Bailey raced clear for his second.
Nicky Clee completed the rout with a strong shot from a short free kick, and condemned to their third consecutive defeat.
Newcastle started quickly in the first half, with Mazurkiewicz almost playing Will Lloyd in, but Mossley goalkeeper Thomas Watson just got to the ball first.
Moments later, Mossley took the lead, as a poor Newcastle back pass played in Eden Bailey, who composedly finished past home keeper Joe Slinn.
The goal came too early to be called against the run of play, but Newcastle proceeded to dominate the rest of the half without reward.
Straight from the goal, Nathan Morley broke free down the left, and his cross found Mazurkiewicz whose header crept just wide.
Seconds later, James Askey almost put the hosts level with another header from a free kick, which crept wide of the other post.
By this point barley five minutes had been played on a scorching Staffordshire afternoon, and it was perhaps unsurprising that the pace and quality of the game dropped slightly over the next few minutes.
However, it was Newcastle with the next chance as Mazurkiewicz broke free, but found himself with no room for a clean shot and his follow up was deflected behind for a corner.
Newcastle were peppering the Mossley goal at this point, as Mazurkiewicz’s looping header required a save, before a corner delivery almost found an onrushing Luke Dennis.
However, Mossley were starting to earn chances of their own, as Jordan Butterworth smashed a loose ball wide from range.
As the game continued, the frantic intensity began to drop off, with neither side able to exert control over the game.
The chances were also drying up, with a Jack van der Laan volley and Kai Payne’s late shot the last efforts of note.
Mossley went into the break ahead, but it was a score that Newcastle would feel did not reflect the game.
Newcastle were unfortunate to be coming out behind to start the second half, and they soon notched the equaliser that was the least their efforts thus far merited.
Jack Derbyshire did brilliantly at the back post to keep a corner in play, and Askey got underneath the ball to head in his seventh of the season.
However, the scores would not stay level for long as minutes later Mossley were awarded a penalty for handball, which Fawns converted.
Newcastle were trying to get back into a game in which they had thus far been the better team, but could not create a scoring chance.
Instead, with just over 20 minutes to go Mossley added a third, as Bailey’s cross force a save from Slinn, but the ball fell to Bannister who could not miss.
Minutes later, Bailey killed any chance of Newcastle getting anything from the game, as Bailey raced onto a long ball and slotted past Slinn for his second and Mossley’s fourth.
Mossley then fell into a holding pattern as they controlled play with the game clearly won, denying Newcastle any possession to try and salvage something.
Clee then added the final gloss with just over ten minutes to go, as he hammered home from a simple free kick routine.
Mossley continued to hold the ball, and hold Newcastle off until the final whistle, with the referee refusing injury time sparing Newcastle any further punishment.
Defeat sees Newcastle fall to 17th place, and into the relegation playoff places, and just three points ahead of automatic relegation.
They are just a point from safety, but face a tricky Easter Monday match at second placed Leek Town, before welcoming Trafford next Saturday, and finishing the season with a visit to already relegated Ramsbottom United.