MANAGER Dickie Ord was back at the helm to see Durham City make it two wins on the bounce against Mossley on Saturday at New Ferens Park, writes Malcolm Pratt.
It was just the tonic the former Sunderland defender needed after missing two games through illness, failing to hide his delight as the Citizens romped into a four-goal lead inside only 38 minutes.
On a bitterly cold afternoon a crowd of 116 watched the only non-league senior fixture to take place in the North East.
Although there was a sprinkling of snow on the all-weather pitch, both teams adapted extremely well to the conditions, which did not hinder a fast-moving game.
City made a dream start, taking the lead after only 10 minutes.
A free kick from Gary Shaw was met at the back post by Andrew Stephenson and he simply touched the ball into the net past goalkeeper Martin Pearson.
Two minutes later, Stephen Thompson rattled the crossbar with a beautifully taken free kick which rounded the wall and left Pearson stranded along his line.
A second goal was only delayed until the 18th minute, though.
Thompson was the architect, threading through a defence-splitting pass to David Dowson, who scored with an assured finish from just inside the penalty box.
Durham’s fans were elated and they had more to cheer after 22 minutes.
Dowson’s shot was only partially cleared and Gary Brown applied the final touch.
After Dowson again had the Mossley defence at sixes and sevens, Thompson’s shot flew just wide of the woodwork.
Moments later, only a magnificent save by Pearson denied Brown before the visitors, in a rare attack were given half a chance, but Mark Haslam was well wide of the target.
Ord’s men quickly regained total control and Stephenson set up Dowson to score with a low drive for his second and City’s fourth.
Tom Denton went close to reducing the deficit, but following a great move involving Dowson and Thompson, Dowson looked odds-on to complete a hat-trick until Pearson saved his side from going even further behind.
Mossley came more into the game during the second half.
Lee Rick’s quickly-taken free kick was comfortably gathered by goalkeeper James Winter, but the visitors did manage a goal after an hour.
Haslam gave Winter no chance with a clinical left-foot finish and five minutes later, Winter was forced to parry another good effort from Haslam.
Play was now more even, but it was Durham who looked the more likely to score and Pearson needed two attempts to keep out a Thompson free kick.
Haslam was proving dangerous on the break and on 75 minutes Winter denied the striker a second goa.
However, in stoppage time, Haslam did find the net to make the final scoreline 4-2.
Durham City: J Winter, Ayre (Cutts), Shaw, Davis, Wilkinson, Arjun Purewal, Stephenson, Brown, Dowson, Thompson (C Winter), Amar Purewal (Pounder).
Ref: M Dicicco: Att: 116.
H ALL games in the STL Northern and Wearside Leagues were postponed on Saturday, the first time this season all fixtures have been wiped out.