MOUSEHOLE 2-1 LISKEARD ATHLETIC
SOUTH WEST PENINSULA LEAGUE, DIVISION 1 WEST
SATURDAY 23rd FEBRUARY 2019
AT TRUNGLE PARC
MOUSEHOLE’S ‘MATCH OF THE DAY’ VICTORY ENDS LEADERS’ LONG UNBEATEN RUN
At a damp and increasingly foggy Trungle Parc, Mousehole hosted their first home match for six weeks against a table-topping Liskeard Athletic side boasting the only unbeaten record among all 52 clubs in the three Divisions of the South West Peninsula League, with 14 wins in their 17 matches so far this season.
But The Seagulls themselves had already built an impressive 100% record in 2019, and with goals just before and after half-time deservedly sent the visitors back empty-handed to end their chance of emulating Mousehole’s own record-breaking unbeaten campaign in 2015/16.
Two surviving members of that championship-winning team – captain Billy Curtis and Liam Andrew – played a major role in the win as part of a superbly marshalled defensive partnership of local players that effectively blunted Liskeard’s high-scoring attack.
A minute’s applause was held before kick-off in honour of Edwin Jeffries, the former player and lifelong Seagulls supporter, as well as a much-decorated D-Day Landings veteran, who died on Friday aged 95.
The game was fiercely contested from the start, keeping referee Simon Long busy dealing with several uncompromising challenges as well as the visitors’ continual attempts to influence his decisions. But as the game progressed it was Mousehole’s footballing style that made them the stronger side and apart from one scare midway through the second half they came through confidently to claim all three points.
Liskeard started the brighter of the two teams and it was hardly a surprise when James Lorenz added to his 40-goal tally in the 16th minute as he raced on to a simple through ball to open the scoring. And just three minutes later it was nearly 2-0 to the visitors, captain Jack Podmore shooting wide from 15 yards.
Mousehole were having to work hard at this stage to combat the impact of ball-carrying midfielder Jarrad Woods and the lurking menace of Lorenz, but they gradually succeeded in imposing themselves on the game. On 22 minutes Lez Cela’s goalbound volley from Dan Osomebi’s cross was deflected for a corner and from the flag kick appeals for a penalty for handball were turned away. Meanwhile at the other end Podmore was wide with a near-post header from a corner. Ben Williams then came up for a Kevin Nicholson free kick but put his attempt wide at the far post on 37.
The Seagulls’ persistence paid off three minutes before the interval with an equaliser to give fresh impetus to the half-time team talk. After Ben Williams had again come close, a short corner on the right was played to Paulo Sousa and his low cross into a crowded area from the angle of the penalty box was touched home for a debut goal by Dan Osomebi from 8 yards. The scorer then sprinted clear from inside his own half on 44 after a dangerous-looking Liskeard attack had been broken up, only for keeper Jamie Blatchford to smother the chance.
Mousehole started the second period on the front foot in worsening visibility on the pitch. It was a characteristic strike from Mousehole’s top scorer that put the home side into the lead in the 51st minute. Osomebi’s lofted cross from the left was headed back across the six yard line by Paulo Sousa from beyond the far post, where Gerens James for once got the better of his close marker Dylan Peel, chesting the ball down with great composure and driving home in one movement.
Hamza Kaid almost made it 3-1 in the 55th minute, Blatchford blocking the shot after a classy interchange of passing on the right had prised open the visitors’ defence. Back came Liskeard and substitute Sam Rogers’ first touch was a 20-yard volley that flew marginally high and wide. And The Blues came close to salvaging their remarkable record in an amazing few seconds in the 71st minute, when they had a header cleared off the line, volleyed the clearance against the upright, and saw keeper Jason Robertson tip over a header from the rebound.
That was the last seen of the visitors’ attacking threat as Mousehole completely controlled the remainder of the game, with Blatchford again keeping the score down with big saves from Lez Cela on 74 and substitute Amin Ahmed on 80, with the latter also miscontrolling a great chance in front of goal on 89.
The scene is now set for an exciting last two months of the league season, with just seven points separating the top five teams. Mousehole are in 5th place, five points behind Liskeard, who have a game in hand, and seven points behind the new leaders Porthleven, who have played a game more. St Dennis and Wadebridge Town are one point ahead of The Seagulls having played four and two games more, respectively, and with much worse goal differences. Significantly, seven of Mousehole’s last nine games are at home, including against both Wadebridge and Porthleven – the latter being the last match of the season – with an away trip to St Dennis a few days before.
Meanwhile, Mousehole’s next fixture is another tough challenge this Saturday (2nd March) when they make the long journey to the other side of Plymouth to take on Premier Division team Elburton Villa in the quarter finals of the League Cup. The Seagulls are the only Division 1 representatives left in the competition, having already beaten three higher-league sides in Newquay and Sticker away, and Plymouth Argyle at home. Kick off at Haye Road is at 2.30 pm, with extra time and penalties if necessary to decide the outcome. The winners will play high-flying Premier Division Saltash United in the semi-finals at a neutral venue on Tuesday 26th March.
Mousehole: Jason Robertson, Billy Curtis (captain), Liam Andrew, Ben Williams, Kevin Nicholson, Lez Cela, Lorenzo Qerimi, Paulo Sousa, Hamza Kaid, Gerens James, Dan Osomebi
Substitutes: Callum George (for Lorenzo Qerimi, 61), Amin Ahmed (for Dan Osomebi, 77), Amara Bakayoko (for Hamza Kaid, 90+3), Tyler Tonkin, Sam Schulberg
Scorers: Liskeard – James Lorenz (16). Mousehole – Dan Osomebi (42), Gerens James (51)
Referee: Simon Long. Attendance: 128