LATE GOALS END SEAGULLS’ TITLE HOPES, BUT STILL LOTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO!

ILLOGAN RBL 3-3 MOUSEHOLE

SOUTH WEST PENINSULA LEAGUE, DIVISION 1 WEST

TUESDAY 1ST MAY 2018

AT OXLAND PARC

 Mousehole dropped two points against bottom side Illogan in a dramatic final few minutes after looking good for the win that would have kept them in the hunt for the League title and promotion.

Unforced defensive mistakes gifted the hosts a useful point to take them off the foot of the table, and at the same time ensured that The Seagulls cannot pick up enough points from their remaining two games to finish top.  And as it now stands their only chance of promotion is to finish second behind Ludgvan (who are not promotion applicants), which in turn relies on The Hurlers winning the League, Millbrook losing their last three games, and Liskeard Athletic, Porthleven and Elburton Villa all dropping more points than they gain.

On a cold dark evening with driving rain and a strong wind blowing down the pitch, Mousehole named the same starting line-up as for Saturday’s stirring win over Millbrook, whereas Illogan have had difficulty raising a team recently and on this occasion added players from the reserve and third team to their squad.

Playing with the wind in their favour in the first half, The Seagulls enjoyed periods of sustained possession and created enough chances to have built up a comfortable scoreline.  But for all their dominance, it was only 2-0 at the interval, and it turned out to be a too-slender lead in the conditions.

In the 10th minute Kevin Lawrence’s inswinging left-sided corner was headed against the post by Jake Andrew, and a minute later his longer corner from the same spot was headed firmly home by the leaping Liam Andrew to make it 1-0.  Lawrence and Jake Andrew with shots and Paulo Sousa with a header all came close to increasing the lead, and in an end-to-end last five minutes of the half, the Illogan goal survived a series of close-range threats, while at the other end Steve Parker-Billinge had to come out sharply to smother a chance, and an unchallenged header from in front of goal went wide.  Eventually, and on the stroke of half-time, Jake Andrew doubled the score, just getting above his marker to head home from six yards in a goalmouth scramble.

Early in the second half, Mousehole came close to increasing their lead through Luke Johnson, driving high into the side netting from an angle on 55, and Paulo Sousa, denied by a smart ‘keeper save after the best move of the match on 58.  But at only 2-0 down, Illogan started to make the most of the wind and slippery surface, with Steve Parker-Billinge saving from Harry Sargeant following a great driving run from the halfway line, and after Will Vouama had just failed to get on the end of a dangerous low cross by Luke Johnson, a defensive blunder let Illogan back into the match.  Parker-Billinge was robbed of the ball as he attempted to shepherd the ball out of play on the edge of the box and only a foul in  front of an unattended net from the cross prevented a goal, with Sargeant putting away the penalty on 68 minutes.

Normal service for The Seagulls looked to be resumed three minutes later when substitute Josh Otto coolly sidefooted home when put in the clear after a good but increasingly rare passing movement for 3-1.  The youngster had a similar chance a few minutes later but chose to pass instead of shoot and the ball was cleared.

And, perhaps predictably, Illogan stepped up the energy levels in the last ten minutes.  The visitors conceded an unnecessary free kick on the right-hand side of their 18-yard area, from which left back Aaron Myers skimmed a low curling shot into the far corner for 3-2 on 83 minutes.  The momentum was now with the home side, constantly harrying their opponents in their own half, and as time was running out they profited from sloppiness at the back when Dave Mitchell stole the ball after a too-casual pass out of the box and duly slotted home for 3-3 and a draw which had earlier looked most unlikely.  And as with the matches earlier in the season at St Dennis (4-4) and Plymstock United (3-3) when opponents built up a head of steam to overturn winning leads, Mousehole will have been thankful to hear the final whistle.

Mousehole still have a lot to look forward to this season.

  • They have a chance of improving on last year’s sixth position in their last two League matches, both at home, with lowly but resolute Plymstock United the visitors on Saturday (5th May) at 3pm, followed by the Bank Holiday Monday finale against currently 7th placed St Blazey at the earlier kick off time of 2pm.
  • Then on Sunday 13th May, it’s the Cornwall Senior Cup Final – The Seagulls’ first-ever appearance in the County’s prestige cup competition – against Premier Division Saltash United at Blaise Park, the HQ of St Blazey, kick off 2pm.
  • Following that, Mousehole face Liskeard Athletic in the semi-final of the Cornwall Charity Cup on Wednesday 16th May at Newquay FC, kick off 7.30pm, with the winners facing either Wadebridge Town or St Blazey in the Final (date and venue to be confirmed).

Mousehole v Illogan:  Steve Parker-Billinge, Tyler Tonkin, Liam Andrew, Calum Elliot, Billy Curtis (captain), Kevin Lawrence, Jordan Adlard, William Vouama, Paulo Sousa, Luke Johnson, Jake Andrew.

Substitutes:  Josh Otto (for Jordan Adlard, 33), Ryan Holland (for Paulo Sousa, 70), Connor Davey (for Jake Andrew, 78), Jamie Thomson, Steven Ziboth.

Scorers:

Mousehole – Liam Andrew, 11 (0-1);  Jake Andrew 45 (0-2);  Josh Otto, 71 (1-3).

Illogan – Harry Sargeant, 68 pen (1-2); Aaron Myers, 83 (2-3);  Dave Mitchell, 88 (3-3)

Referee:  Marc Rose.

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