Mousehole came away from the far side of Plymouth with only a single point after conceding three goals from a winning position with less than half an hour to go.

And in similar circumstances to the opening-day 4-4 draw at St Dennis, The Seagulls had mixed feelings after seemingly securing all three points at one stage, while also being relieved to hear the final whistle as they clung on in the face of the hosts’ bombardment.

Mousehole, with four wins in the last five matches, were without Tyler Tonkin, Bradley Wills, Yeshe Briar, Jordan Adlard and Josh Otto, but included young Byron Wood at right back and welcomed former Scottish Premier League forward Calum Elliot to take up a midfield role.  Plymstock came into the match having won their last three games after a poor start to the season.

Both sides created half-chances in an evenly-contested first half-hour, with Matt McIlroy coming close for the visitors with a left-foot shot on 27 minutes.

Mousehole went ahead in the 37th minute when a fast break down the right hand side led to Luke Johnson firing over after being partially tripped in the area, only for Referee Andrew Glanville then to spark a major talking point by awarding a spot kick.  Matt McIlroy hammered in the opening goal from 12 yards, and three minutes later doubled the score by converting from close range after a short-corner routine involving Kevin Lawrence and Luke Johnson.

The Seagulls continued on top in the early stages of the second half, with Luke Johnson driving a superb 20-yard volley against the bar, and it was 3-0 after 52 minutes when Kevin Lawrence’s flighted free kick from just outside the left-hand corner of the box slipped in at the far post.

But just after the hour, Plymstock’s substitutions and changed tactics had instant impact with two goals in three minutes as the balance of the game shifted decisively, and a few minutes later only Steve Parker-Billinge’s close-range save kept Mousehole ahead.  But the lead looked fragile as the buoyant home side put The Seagulls’ defence under pressure with every attack, and the comeback was completed with a penalty in the 85th minute when Kevin Lawrence was adjudged to have committed a foul on the edge of the area.

Not content with the equaliser, Plymstock powered forward at every opportunity and came very close to an improbable winner in the 4th minute of added time when a goalbound drive was diverted to safety via Liam Andrew’s knee.

Mousehole:  Steve Parker-Billinge, Byron Wood, Billy Curtis (captain), Max Hill, Liam Andrew, Kevin Lawrence, Connor Davey, Calum Elliot, Luke Johnson, Matt McIlroy, Caleb Marsden.   Substitutes:  Ben Fewkes (for Matt McIlroy, 71), Josh Storey, Danny Park.

Mousehole scorers:  Matt McIlroy (37 pen, 40), Kevin Lawrence (52).  Plymstock – 62, 65, 85 (pen)

Referee:  Andrew Glanville

  • Mousehole’s defence will face a similar challenge this Saturday (4th November) when local rivals and unbeaten league leaders Ludgvan visit Trungle Parc for a first round tie in the Cornwall FA ‘Lawrence Durning’ Charity Cup, kick off 2pm, with extra time and penalties to decide the tie if necessary.  Ludgvan will be looking to avenge their 3-2 home defeat to Mousehole in the South West Peninsula League Cup first round in September.

Mousehole’s other teams had a good weekend, with the Reserves knocking out higher-division Helston Athletic 3rds in the Cornwall Junior Cup, the Thirds beating Wendron United 4ths 8-0 in Trelawny 4, and Mousehole Women continuing their 100% record in the Cornwall Women’s League with a 5-0 home victory over St Teath.

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