MOUSEHOLE 2-2 WADEBRIDGE TOWN
SOUTH WEST PENINSULA LEAGUE, PREMIER WEST
SATURDAY 31ST AUGUST 2019
AT TRUNGLE PARC
The Seagulls put in a surprisingly below-par performance on a bright and breezy afternoon against a team they beat 6-0 towards the end of last season, and managed to come back from two goals in arrears to rescue a point with a goal right at the end of a dramatic and controversial finale.
On the positive side, the point keeps Mousehole in third place in the table and also preserves their unbeaten record in the first seven matches of this season after promotion. Better still, The Seagulls have not lost a single league match during 2019, a run that has seen 18 wins in 21 games.
Wadebridge Town came into the match on the back of two home defeats in a week, including a 9-0 thrashing by leaders Saltash United, but their better form in away matches continued on Saturday.
The Seagulls created some early half-chances but the visitors were quickly into the tackle all over the pitch and the warning signs were already in evidence before Matt Lloyd dispossessed Lez Cela 35 yards from goal and promptly lobbed the ball over the stranded Corey Harvey in the 15th minute.
The Bridgers went 2-0 up on 22 minutes when slack defending from a floated free kick on the left was touched on and Kyle Flew was first to the ball to prod in at the post.
Mousehole’s Paulo Sousa had twice hit the bar with crosses before captain Billy Curtis scored six minutes before the interval with a low angled shot after Ben Harding’s goalbound shot had been blocked. But the expected upping of tempo did not materialise as passes were frequently misplaced amid a general lack of urgency.
Wadebridge went back on to massed defence for the second half, leaving Matt Lloyd as their sole attacker, and his persistence nearly brought further goals in the 57th and 89th minutes, Corey Harvey pulling off important full-length diving saves on each occasion.
In the meantime, the woodwork was again The Bridgers’ saviour as Lez Cela drove a 20 yard shot against the bar on 51, Ben Harding struck the post from 18 yards on 65, and Kieran Toland headed a nodded-back corner against the bar on 69. Veteran stand-in goalkeeper Paul Clark was proving to be Wadebridge’s unlikely hero as he twice saved with his feet and kept out a close-range Gerens James snapshot at his near post, while he was also fortunate that several chances in front of him were mishit.
Young referee Scott McKenzie was vigilant in stopping his watch as The Bridgers increasingly resorted to time-wasting, with players receiving prolonged on-pitch treatment and causing frequent stoppages as the officials’ decisions were disputed. The tactics continued well after the 90-minute mark and turned out to be the visitors’ downfall, as in the 10th minute of added-on time substitute Imani Matthews turned on the edge of the box and drove a perfect shot into the top corner for a long-awaited equaliser.
Mousehole: Corey Harvey, Billy Curtis (captain), Mark Richards, Jamie Devine, Paulo Sousa, Ben Harding, Lez Cela, Rheiss McClean, Amara Bakayoko, Kieran Toland, Steven Ziboth
Substitutes: Gerens James (for Steven Ziboth, 35), Imani Matthews (for Rheiss McLean, 64), Scott Imade (for Ben Harding, 77), Steve Burt, Sam Shulberg
Mousehole scorers: Billy Curtis (39), Imani Matthews (90+10)
Referee: Scott McKenzie Attendance: 81
*Mousehole’s next match is next Saturday (7th September), when they will be looking to extend their unbeaten record with a home fixture against Liskeard Athletic (3pm). The game will see last season’s Division One West runners-up versus the champions, with the two sides currently third and fourth in the Premier Division table after promotion.