Mousehole 2-2 Ashton & Backwell United

Western League Premier Division

Easter Monday, 18th April 2022

At Trungle Parc

Mousehole scorers:  Jack Calver (87’), Jack Symons (89’)


Mousehole salvaged a deserved draw with two very late goals in their final home game of a superb first Western League season after promotion, with the match containing some highly controversial decisions and the single point making it still possible to reach the play-offs

Pre-match points

Ashton & Backwell United were promoted to the WLP from Division One this season and have spent most of it near the foot of the table – however, they beat Mousehole 1-0 In January with a hard-working performance, and have recently hit some good form, an unbeaten three-match run lifting them up a place above Street.

Mousehole have picked up three draws in their last five matches as they try to keep the pressure on Tavistock and Exmouth Town in the top three of the Division.  The Seagulls have a great home League record: 14 wins, with just two draws (against Wellington on the opening day and Exmouth last month), and a single defeat – against current leaders Tavistock in their post-Covid period at the end of August.

The home side have Mark Richards, Steve Burt and Paolo Sousa unavailable through injury.

The weather is clear, dry, bright and sunny, and Mousehole are kicking towards the Cricket Club End.

The key moments

The visitors start by strongly challenging Mousehole in possession of the ball, just like they did in their home match in January

5 minutes:  A huge talking point!  Callam Mconie gains possession in a central position 30 yards out with a clear run towards goal and he’s tripped by the last defender.  That looks very much like a red-card offence, but Referee Alan Bassett waves play on, much to everyone’s amazement.  As the ball is cleared out of play, there’s a chance of a re-think as the Referee consults the nearby Assistant, but the decision stands.  A big let off for the visitors, who would otherwise have been playing with ten men for 85 minutes.

20 minutes:  Ashton & Backwell are continuing to play with high energy – they certainly don’t look like a lowly WLP side

22 minutes:  As the home side mount a penetrating attack, Tallan Mitchell is brought down and Referee Bassett deems it to be right on the 18 yard line.  Hayden Turner drives a fierce right-foot shot which keeper Lewis Coombes parries and then does well to push out a close-range shot from the rebound

23 minutes:  Jack Calver powers a low 25-yarder just wide of Coombes’ near post

24 minutes:  Callam Mconie’s angled shot is kept out by Coombes’ boot for a corner

25 minutes:  Mousehole continue on top but miss a great chance – Louis Price is clean through but chips wide from 10 yards

28 minutes:  The visitors have a sight of goal – Henry Sady puts the ball over the bar from a difficult angle close in on the left

29 minutes:  Callam Mconie pounces on a defender’s mis-control but shots high and wide from 25 yards

32 minutes:  Ashton & Backwell so close to the opening goal – the alert Miles Hardidge takes advantage of hesitancy at the back and hits the post with a low shot from the edge of the box.  That was a clear warning – just like what happened in the previous head-to-head match

39 minutes:  Callam Mconie is in space 20 yards out but hastily shoots past the far post

42 minutes:  GOAL FOR ASHTON & BACKWELL UNITED.  Mousehole concede a soft free kick 35 yards out, giving the visitors’ big defenders the chance to venture forward.  The ball is floated in from the right, it’s knocked down to the edge of the box where MILES HARDIDGE sends an instant shot inside Ollie Chenoweth’s near post.  1-0 to the visitors.

44 minutes:  Another big controversy!  Louis Price fires in a rising goalbound shot from 20 yards and it’s handled by a defender who looks to be standing well inside the area.  Again, Referee Bassett sparks big protests from the home side as he awards a free kick on the 18-yard line instead of a penalty.  After all the ‘discussions’ are over, Callam Mconie wastes the opportunity by mis-hitting the free kick into the defensive wall.

45+3 minutes:  Mousehole have another free kick, this time 30 yards out – Jack Calver’s direct strike goes over the bar

45+4 minutes:  At half time it’s 1-0 to the visitors, who have withstood a lot of attacking intent from the hosts, together with some very fortunate decisions in their favour.

The second half:

49 minutes: Mousehole have started on the front foot, Hayden Turner turning to fire into the side-netting from an acute angle on the left

50 minutes:  Keeper Lewis Coombes makes an important save, tipping over Callam Mconie’s right-footed volley from the edge of the box

54 minutes:  The visitors’ captain Joe Bishop comes up from his defensive duties to strike a 25-yard free kick just too high

60 minutes:  GOAL FOR ASHTON & BACKWELL UNITED.  With Mousehole dispossessed on the attack upfield,  the ball is passed forward to Miles Hardridge who times his pass perfectly for ZAK FORD to run into a wide open space on Mousehole’s left and calmly roll the ball past the exposed Ollie Chenoweth inside the far post.  2-0 to the visitors.

62 minutes:  Mousehole close.  Lewis Coombes makes a brilliant diving save to keep out a powerful Callam Mconie drive and Louis Price’s first-time shot from the rebound comes back off the upright. 

66 minutes:  Hayden Turner’s speed is too much for the Ashton back line but Lewis Coombes wins the one-on-one battle

67 minutes:  Mousehole substitute:  Midfielder Andy Elcock is replaced by striker Mark Goldsworthy

72 minutes:  Mousehole substitute:  Striker Louis Price is replaced by Jared Sims, who’s going to play in an advanced midfield role

73 minutes:  Tallan Mitchell floats a free kick from the left into a crowded penalty area where Mark Goldsworthy’s header goes wide

77 minutes:  Ashton & Backwell are relentless in their work rate and show they can also be dangerous with the ball – Henry Sady’s attempt on goal from 18 yards clears the crossbar

84 minutes:  Injured centre-back Max Hill is replaced by 16-year old Jack Symons in an attacking role

85 minutes:  As The Seagulls commit to attack, there’s lots of space for the visitors to exploit once they regain the ball – it’s three against two but they don’t make the most of the opportunity

85 minutes:  Mark Goldsworthy gets into a good position on the left and shoots low inches past the far post with keeper Coombes beaten.  This looks like it’s not Mousehole’s day.

87 minutes:  GOAL FOR MOUSEHOLE.  A free kick is awarded inside the ‘D’ and JACK CALVER hammers a low left-footed drive into the far corner.  Mousehole 1-2 Ashton & Backwell United. (Image above courtesy of Jonathan Woozley)

89 minutes:  GOAL FOR MOUSEHOLE.  JACK SYMONS shows great control to collect the ball 30 yards out, drive forward to the edge of the box and slot a left-foot shot inside the post – the youngster’s goal made all by himself!  Two Jacks, two goals!

90+1 minutes:  Mousehole going for a winner – a corner kick is well defended

90+5 minutes:  Commendably, Ashton & Backwell are turning defence into attack but they fritter away a glorious 3 on 2 chance with a poor cross

90+6 minutes:  At full time it ends 2-2.  That’s twice this season that Mousehole have found fellow-promoted Ashton & Backwell a tough side to play against.  The visitors look pleased with their draw despite surrendering a winning two-goal lead with only a few minutes to go.  For Mousehole, it’s a case of what might have been, if only some key decisions gone their way – and, just as  importantly if they’d converted the chances they created.  Ironically, after probably A&B’s best performance of the season, they’ve slipped back into bottom-but-one place after Street sprang a surprise by winning at Saltash.

What this result means for Mousehole

With four draws in the last six games, Mousehole are now in third place with just one fixture to play, at Keynsham next Saturday.  After both Tavistock and Exmouth recorded 9-0 home wins, The Seagulls have little chance of matching them on goal difference even if all the remaining results go their way.

Tavistock lead the table with 76 points, Exmouth are second on 73, with Mousehole third also on 73.  Exmouth host Tavistock on Wednesday – with the result going some way to sorting out the final placings.  If Tavistock beat Exmouth they will be champions, while Mousehole will be runners up and in the play-offs if their result at Keynsham is better than Exmouth’s final game at Shepton Mallet.  If, on the other hand, Exmouth win against Tavistock, Mousehole can only finish third.  Lots of ifs.

Mousehole line-up (with used substitutes)

Ollie Chenoweth (GK), Billy Curtis (C), Max Hill (Jack Symons), Josh Otto, Kyle Fraser, Tallan Mitchell, Andy Elcock (Mark Goldsworthy), Jack Calver, Louis Price (Jared Sims), Callam Mconie, Hayden Turner

Other substitutes:  Jamie Devine, Aaron Dilley

Match officials

Alan Bassett (Referee), with Stuart McVey and Thomas McCormick

Attendance:  189

Next Saturday, 23rd April:

Keynsham Town v Mousehole, 3pm

Coach travel for supporters – see details on our social media pages

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