ELBURTON VILLA 1-0 MOUSEHOLE, after extra time
SOUTH WEST PENINSULA LEAGUE CUP,
SPONSORED BY WALTER C PARSON FUNERAL DIRECTORS
QUARTER FINAL TIE
SATURDAY 2nd MARCH 2019, AT HAYE ROAD
Mousehole, the only Division One side left in the League Cup competition after wins against three higher-league teams, were a shade unlucky to be knocked out by a fourth, Premier Division Elburton Villa, who scored the only goal of a tough and tense encounter halfway through the first period of extra time.
The game was played on a very bumpy pitch, which suited the more direct style of the home side rather than The Seagulls’ passing pattern, but Kevin Nicholson’s men still created the best of the few chances over the 120 minutes and on another day they might have been the ones to progress to the semis.
Mousehole were without seven of the squad who ended Liskeard’s 17-match unbeaten record the previous week, with five players cup-tied, but their replacements did exceptionally well in the circumstances, and overall the performance was a good indication of the squad’s strength in depth.
In front of a sparse attendance, with the long-distance away supporters matching the home numbers, Mousehole made the more progressive start. Dan Osomebi put in a dangerous cross resulting in Paulo Sousa’s shot being blocked and Hamza Kaid driving the loose ball too high on 16 minutes. A minute later Kaid surged forward on the right and his shot was blocked for a corner. In the 20th minute Gerens James got free on the corner of the penalty area but his left-foot effort went wide of the far post.
Villa eventually created a chance on 27 with a near post header from a corner missing the target. But the visitors came close twice more before the interval, Dan Osomebi breaking through to the edge of the box but driving straight at well-positioned keeper Jack Dixon. And shortly before half-time Osomebi created a chance with another good cross but Gerens James’s header went wide after he and Lez Cela both went for the same ball in front of goal.
The early stages of the second period continued in the same vein, Hamza Kaid making a great run into the area and having his shot blocked for a corner in the 54th minute. Dixon fumbled Paulo Sousa’s flag kick but recovered just in time, and a minute later two newcomers combined to good effect with Danny Mullarkey’s searching right wing cross headed over by Kieron Toland.
Just before the hour Elburton finally got their act together and threatened on three occasions in their best five minute spell of the match, but keeper Dom Angove continued to have little to do as all three efforts went wide.
The game entered a scrappy and tetchy phase, which broke up Mousehole’s play, and even though the home side played with four men up in the last ten minutes, the visitors’ defence remained untroubled up the full-time whistle.
Elburton were on the front foot at the start of extra time, Dom Angove being called into his first serious action on 97, diving to push round a shot at his near post. And from the corner Villa grabbed the lead, centre back Matt Thackeray being the first to latch on to a knock down to steer in from eight yards. The home side came close to number two on 101 minutes with a cross shot into the danger zone, but Mousehole’s best moment came in the 105th minute as the first half of extra time ended with substitute Amara Bakayoko cutting inside from the right and hammering in a rising left-footed drive that crashed against the near post with keeper Dixon nowhere near it.
Mousehole’s luck deserted them again four minutes into the second 15-minute period when Kevin Nicholson’s free kick – the first of several conceded by Villa as they fought to hold on to their lead – was headed against the bar by substitute Sam Shulberg. Gerens James was then crowded out in front of goal on 113 and shortly afterwards his header from Kevin Nicholson’s corner was headed off the line. Hamza Kaid had a goalbound shot blocked as referee Nigel D’Arcy added on five minutes for injuries, lectures and time-wasting, and in the last action of the tie, with all the Seagulls’ players up for another Nicholson free kick, a header in a packed six-yard box was nudged inches past the post.
Villa now have a 100% record against The Seagulls, with four previous League wins, but on this occasion they looked decidedly relieved to hear the final whistle. The result earns them a semi-final appearance against high-flying Saltash United on Tuesday 26th March – the date Mousehole Reserves play Frogpool & Cuscarne in the semi-final of the Cornwall Junior Cup.
With Mousehole now concentrating solely on League action for the rest of the season, they have a great opportunity to make inroads on the top places in Division One West. Seven of their last nine fixtures are at home, including an incredible five consecutive Saturday games coming up at Trungle Parc. The sequence starts this Saturday (9th March) against Holsworthy, followed by Ludgvan (16th), Wadebridge Town (23rd), Wendron United (30th) and Plymouth Marjon (6th April), all with a 3pm kick off.
Mousehole currently lie in 5th place, eight points behind leaders Liskeard Athletic. Relative to the three teams immediately above them – Wadebridge, St Dennis and Porthleven – The Seagulls have several games in hand, the best defensive record and goal difference, and play each of them over the coming weeks.
Mousehole: Dom Angove, Danny Mullarkey, Billy Curtis (captain), Tom Hands, Kevin Nicholson, Lez Cela, Kieron Toland, Paulo Sousa, Hamza Kaid, Gerens James, Dan Osomebi
Substitutes: Amara Bakayoko (for Dan Osomebi, 63), Sam Shulberg (for Tom Hands, 106), Axel Makouikila (for Danny Mullarkey, 106), Lorenzo Qerimi
Referee: Nigel D’Arcy Attendance: 45 Scorer: Elburton Villa – Matt Thackeray 108.