WADEBRIDGE TOWN 1-3 MOUSEHOLE
SOUTH WEST PENINSULA LEAGUE, DIVISION 1 WEST
TUESDAY 3RD OCTOBER 2017
AT BODIEVE PARK
In the last of their nine consecutive away matches – being played while the Trungle Parc pitch gets ready for home matches after major drainage and re-surfacing work during the summer – Mousehole put in their best 90-minute performance of the season to make it the best possible start for newly-appointed manager Kevin Richards working alongside Football Director Jason Blunt.
The Seagulls came into the match with one win, two draws and five defeats, placing them in second-bottom position in the league. Wadebridge had opened the season with three straight wins, scoring 19 against 2, to go top of the table, but had slipped to fifth place with only one win and a draw in the following five matches.
Mousehole were without the unavailable Jorome Slew, Yeshi Briar, Matt Moody, Josh Otto, Joshua Storey and Paolo Sousa, and the injured Liam Andrew. But young Ben Fewkes was promoted from the Reserves at left-back, Jordan Adlard started in midfield after his recent transfer from Helston Athletic, and Caleb Marsden took up the left wing-back role, with all three making a strong contribution to the all-round team effort.
After a goal-less but evenly contested first half with missed chances at both ends, Caleb Marsden was put through on goal seconds after the re-start by Matt McIlroy’s pass from inside the centre circle and he stroked The Seagulls’ into the lead past the onrushing ‘keeper.
The visitors were then indebted to goalkeeper Steve Parker-Billinge – returning to the line-up after a six-week injury-enforced absence – who kept his team in the match with three outstanding saves in a 12 minute spell as The Bridgers tried to force their way back into the game after the hour mark.
But with captain Billy Curtis, Max Hill and Tyler Tonkin – playing in an unaccustomed right-back position – resolute and reliable in the back line, and Bradley Wills and Jordan Adlard adding steel in midfield to complement Kevin Lawrence’s creativity, Mousehole regained the initiative and in a dazzling display of forward power scored two almost identical goals in the 78th and 87th minutes.
Kevin Lawrence released Luke Johnson for a typical surging run down the right past his opponent and his low cross from the bye-line was sidefooted in at the far post by the alert Bradley Wills for 2-0. Nine minutes later Johnson again powered his way forward to produce a strong chest-high cross which was volleyed in superbly by Wills.
The only blemish on an otherwise hugely encouraging night was a home goal deep into injury time that denied SPB the clean sheet he deserved.
If league position were the only guide, Mousehole had defied the odds, but this was a performance of intelligence and commitment that has been ‘in the making’ for some weeks. The Seagulls’ squad, coaching staff and supporters can now look forward to the ‘homecoming’ to Trungle Parc in a positive frame of mind, as there now remain only 7 league games away, but 16 at home (including an amazing 11 in a row between 25th November and 17th February).
The first home league game of the season is on 21st October with Dobwalls the visitors (3pm), but before that comes the fascinating League Cup 2nd round tie at home against Premier Division Camelford on Saturday 14th October (2.30pm kick off, with extra time and penalties if necessary). Mousehole earned this tie with a stirring 3-2 first round away win at Ludgvan three weeks ago, whereas Camelford progressed with a 4-2 victory at Wendron United.
Mousehole’s First team have a blank weekend coming up (7th October) with a bye in the Cornwall Senior Cup, but all other teams’ fixtures are on the club’s online ‘monthly planner’.
Mousehole at Wadebridge: Steve Parker-Billinge (GK), Tyler Tonkin, Max Hill, Billy Curtis (captain), Ben Fewkes, Kevin Lawrence, Bradley Wills, Jordan Adlard, Luke Johnson, Matt McIlroy, Caleb Marsden.
Substitues: Joe Davies (for Ben Fewkes, 71), Danny Park (for Caleb Marsden, 90), Jason Simmonds (for Jordan Adlard, 90+1), Louis Graham, Paul Williams (GK)
Mousehole scorers: Caleb Marsden (46) Bradley Wills (78, 87)
Referee: Matthew Carney