Boro slip to defeat at Mossley
Having fought their way back into the game, a goalkeeping error cost them a point that they possibly deserved.
Neither team was helped by the awful conditions at Seel Park, the rain hammering down throughout the full 90 minutes of football.
Both sides had to feel their way into the fixture with the ball skipping energetically off the moist surface.
Mossley were the first to take advantage of this when Tom Pratt outstripped the left of the Boro defence and drove just over Jason White’s bar.
The remainder of the half was filled to the brim with industry, but lacked a product to cheer the damp fans.
More and more niggle crept into the proceedings as well, with Boro’s Gary Bradshaw feeling a number of forceful challenges.
Boro were forced to make a substitution in the closing moments of the half, with Paul Foot replacing the injured Steve Burton at centre-back.
Rudy Funk’s men had their first effort on goal seconds later when Foot’s defensive partner Ben Middleton powered a header at goal, though it was comfortably saved.
Jimmy Beadle forced home a Chris Bolder centre moments later, but the linesman’s flag ruled it out, boss Funk charging 40 metres down the touch-line to press Boro’s point.
The new half started in woeful fashion for Boro, as with just three minutes played Mitch Bryant collected a header from midfield, outpaced the visiting back-line and poked past White.
Boro’s reply was swift and incisive. Bradshaw firstly cut into the box, but he dragged his effort into the sidenetting.
Then Blott freed up Bradshaw, who was crudely cut down by a challenge. Beadle crashed the penalty into the bottom corner.
Winger Ryan Williams then lifted a free-kick just over the Mossley bar as Boro continued to push.
This pressing left gaps between the Boro defence and midfield, which encouraged the dangerous counter of the hosts.
Boss Funk shook things up a little in attack with 20 minutes remaining, bring on Jordan Thewlis for Blott.
Boro soon found themselves on the back foot though, as after a sustained attack, Andy Keogh drove at goal and White spilled the shot into the bottom corner.
Athletic battled to restore parity for a second time, but with only Bradshaw looking at threat, their quest was a bridge too far.
It was Bradshaw who had Boro’s final chance with the last kick, but he failed to light up a dour evening on the Pennines when he lobbed inches wide.