HOLSWORTHY 2-3 MOUSEHOLE
SOUTH WEST PENINSULA LEAGUE, DIVISION 1 WEST
SATURDAY 13th APRIL 2019
AT UPCOTT FIELD
The Seagulls had to show extreme levels of hard work and perseverance to maintain their 100% winning run since the start of the year, coming twice from behind to finally claim the all-important three points with a goal well into added-on time.
Mid-table hosts Holsworthy had suffered a major 6-0 defeat at Trungle Parc a few weeks ago, but were clearly in the mood to avoid that result with a spirited performance, with the hard bumpy pitch and strong cross-wind working to their advantage.
Mousehole’s last venture of the season into Devon started brightly enough, with two corners in the first minute and a Kieron Toland header cleared away from close in. But they fell behind in the 12th minute when an unnecessarily conceded free kick was driven into a crowded six yard box to find its way over the line after a deflected shot by Lee Gardiner.
The Seagulls equalised straight from the re-start, top marksman Gerens James turning in Tyler Tonkin’s well-judged pull back after a surging run down the right.
Jason Robertson in the Mousehole goal had to pull off a diving save from a long-range shot on 20 minutes, but all the remaining goalmouth action of the half was at the other end. Toland had a shot superbly saved by young keeper Ryan Chadwick on 22 minutes, another attempt blocked shortly afterwards, and a header hacked off the line from the resulting corner, while Gerens James was twice denied in quick succession by the alert and brave keeper.
In the second half, The Magpies regained the lead in unexpected fashion in the 54th minute when Joe Barker met a wind-assisted corner with an unchallenged header from eight yards out. A scrappy period of play by both sides followed, but Robertson had to make a vital save to prevent the hosts going further ahead on the hour as he smothered a low cross in front of Barker.
Gradually, Mousehole began to assert themselves and their control of the play in midfield produced a series of chances, as Chadwick kept out Toland’s close range effort from Amara Bakayoko’s dangerous low near post cross, Ben Williams had a header from a corner cleared off the line, Toland was again frustrated as his shot hit Chadwick and the post, and Tyler Tonkin’s fierce drive from 25 yards was tipped over by the impressive keeper.
But the inevitable-looking equaliser arrived in the 70th minute, centre-back Ben Williams at point-blank range tapping in a whipped-in Lez Cela corner, Mousehole’s 100th goal in all competitions this season.
The Seagulls upped the tempo in search of a late winner, with Holsworthy pegged back but defending with determination, captain Carlo Chandler proving a stubborn obstacle and keeper Chadwick pulling off yet more outstanding saves from another Tonkin 25-yard drive and shots by Bakayoko, Kaid and Cela.
Mousehole wasted a couple of good chances with hurried finishing as the clock ticked towards the 90-minute mark, but then player-manager Kevin Nicholson, whose swirling free kick had just been kept out by Chadwick with his feet at the far post, sent over a beautifully flighted corner from the left for Gerens James to chest down and shoot home via the underside of the crossbar two minutes into added-on time.
The hard-earned three point haul guarantees Mousehole at least the runners-up place in this season’s West Division, but they still have their sights set on the top spot, with leaders Liskeard Athletic six points ahead and three games remaining for each side.
Liskeard have a home and away ‘derby double’ against Dobwalls on Good Friday and next Wednesday, and a last match on Saturday 27th at much-improved Wendron United. Four points from these games however will see them clinch the title race.
Mousehole will know they cannot afford to drop points and will have to be at their best against Penzance at home on Good Friday (12noon kick off), away at St Dennis on Saturday 27th, and – with Liskeard having already completed their programme – a final game at home against Porthleven on Wednesday 1st May (6.45pm).
Regardless of the outcome, this has been a progressive season for Mousehole, and with floodlights and other ground improvements imminent they are well placed to move upwards to the new Step 6 West League next season, looking to continue their development both on and off the field.
Mousehole v Holsworthy: Jason Robertson, Tyler Tonkin, Billy Curtis (captain), Ben Williams, Paulo Sousa, Steve Burt, Lez Cela, Kieron Toland, Amara Bakayoko, Gerens James, Hamza Kaid
Substitutes: Amin Ahmed (for Kieron Toland, 71), Kevin Nicholson (for Steve Burt, 71), Tom Hands, Callum George, Sam Shulberg
Scorers: Gerens James (13, 90+2), Ben Williams (70)
Referee: Krzysztof Wegrzynowski