MOUSEHOLE 0-1 HELSTON ATHLETIC
SOUTH WEST PENINSULA LEAGUE, PREMIER WEST
FRIDAY 24TH JANUARY 2020
AT TRUNGLE PARC
Friday night floodlit football between the third and first-placed teams drew the largest crowd of the season to Trungle Parc, and in a game of contrasting styles Helston took all three points to take their record-breaking run of consecutive league wins to 20 and also complete a treble over Mousehole after earlier home wins in the league and away in the Cornwall Charity Cup.
The Blues, with their combative and direct approach, dominated most of the first half and grabbed the all-important goal with a spectacular strike, before being pushed all the way by a resurgent Seagulls performance after the interval, with the final whistle prompting a combination of jubilation and relief among the visitors’ contingent.
On another day, Mousehole might have profited from careful approach play – as well as from refereeing decisions – but they will have learned a great deal from defeat by arguably the league’s most effective and efficient team.
Helston were well on top in the opening exchanges, forcing the hosts back on to the defensive and capitalising on misplaced passes. Phil Cattran was thwarted by keeper Cory Harvey in the 4th minute, and in the next attack Mark Richards made a great tackle as Billy Tucker steamed through on goal. Centre back Ryan Beattie was only just wide with a 20 yard drive in the 6th minute and Rheiss McClean made an important challenge to prevent a breakthrough a minute later. In the 12th minute Cattran from distance fired wide of an open goal with Harvey caught out of position and on 17 Billy Curtis blocked Tucker’s 8-yard shot.
The visitors’ goal in the 20th minute said a lot about their qualities. Gathering the ball in front of goal, former Seagulls keeper Jason Robertson immediately launched a high 70-yard kick downfield, where last-man Billy Curtis was shoved off the ball by Phil Cattran who then unleashed a superb first-time dipping volley into the net from fully 30 yards.
Mousehole started to click around the half-hour mark and fashioned a series of chances before the interval but without causing Robertson too much concern. Lez Cela drove over from 10 yards after a clever reverse pass by Rheiss McClean, Tallan Mitchell fired wide from 20 yards and Amara Bakayoko came in from the right to send a trade-mark left-footer millimetres over the bar from 25 yards. The same player then raced in from an angle but found only the near side-netting, while in first-half added-on time Jamie Devine got to a corner just ahead of Robertson but headed over.
The second half started with The Seagulls playing with quicker tempo but with Helston’s defence coping comfortably when the ball was passed in front of them, the main threats came when ‘Plan B’ came into operation with longer passes causing the back four to turn. Lez Cela headed wide from a good position as a McClean free kick came in towards the near post on 60 minutes as Referee Glanville began to issue yellow cards as he lost patience with the visitors’ frequent fouls.
But Jason Robertson got the benefit of the doubt from the Referee twice in the closing stages, firstly obstructing Amara Bakayoko 30 yards out after a miskicked clearance, but receiving only a yellow card, and then in the dying minutes coming out of the area to clear a bouncing ball, with the Referee over-ruling the assistant referee’s raised flag for a handball offence. And just to prove it was not going to be Mousehole’s night, Hayden Turner at last got free of the defensive cordon in the last minute to square the ball in front of goal where Ed Timmons denied substitute Jonny Ludlam the tap-in chance with a hacked clearance, only for a goal kick to be awarded and Ludlam sin-binned for his reaction.
Despite defeat, Jake Ash and his team will still regard themselves as being in with a chance of grabbing one of the two promotion places on offer this season. In 22 league games they have been defeated only by Helston, and have only one remaining match against a top-five team – away at Saltash United on 7th March – whereas their rivals will inevitably drop points as they each have several matches to play against each other.
In the meantime, there is much to celebrate at Trungle Parc, with the First team currently in 4th place, and far and away the most successful of the nine teams promoted from Division One in last season’s league re-structuring, The Seagulls are currently 22 points ahead of last season’s champions Liskeard Athletic with two games in hand, as well as in the quarter finals of both the SWP League Cup and the Cornwall Senior Cup. And the ground is undergoing major work to improve the spectator experience and meet the requirements of both the current league and the next Step up.
Next for Mousehole is a league fixture at home to Sticker this Saturday (1st February) with a 3pm kick-off. The visitors have found a good run of form in recent weeks, winning three of their last four matches, including two away from home, to rise up from the foot of the table.
The following Saturday (8th, kick off 2pm) sees the mouth-watering Senior Cup quarter-final tie at home against Torpoint Athletic, who are currently in second place in the SWPL East Division.
Mousehole v Helston: Cory Harvey, Billy Curtis (captain), Mark Richards, Jamie Devine, Paulo Sousa, Steve Burt, Lez Cela, Tallan Mitchell, Amara Bakayoko, Hayden Turner, Rheiss McClean
Substitutes: Glenn Gabriel (for Rheiss McClean, 67), Ben Harding (for Steve Burt, 77), Jonny Ludlam (for Lez Cela, 90), Tom Hands, James Butler
Officials: Mike Glanville (Referee), Dave Rowe and David Bartlam (Assistants)