Toolstation League premier division: Wellington 1, Mousehole 3
Wellington began their gruelling run-in to the end of the season with defeat by title-chasing Mousehole at the Playing Field last night (Tuesday, April 4th).
It was the first of four games in just over a week for the Tangerines who were returning to action after a string of postponements which have played havoc with their fixture list.
They could not have faced a tougher re-start as Mousehole – currently second but with games in hand on leaders Saltash – were by far the best side they have played this season.
Despite their long journey from the tip of Cornwall, the visitors launched into Wellington from the kick-off and it looked like being a torrid night.
But they were stunned as the hosts then took a shock lead after 11 minutes. A long throw by Jack Bown-Porter was headed goalwards by Tom Stone and ball was bundled over the line by a combination of Glen Wright and an opposing defender.
That failed to knock Mousehole out of their stride and, after a good save by keeper Shay Allen, the resulting corner was turned home by Max Hill for a 21st minute equaliser.
It was high-tempo action with Jamie Nicholson going close and the Quick twins, Miles and Jason, both being denied by clearances as Wellington attempted to regain their lead.
But the well drilled and lightning quick Mousehole side were always on top and took control of the contest with two goals either side of half-time.
They went ahead on 31 minutes as Hayden Turner was denied by Allen but, again, they scored from the resulting corner – this time Turner made no mistake with a clinical finish.
The opening stages of the second half were always going to be critical and it was Mousehole who seized the initiative seven minutes in.
Turner scored from the penalty spot after a team-mate had been sent tumbling just inside the box.
That virtually sealed the points with only Tom Burt going close to reducing the arrears as both sides rang the changes with Wellington using all five subs.
At the final whistle, the Tangerines found themselves beaten but far from disgraced by a team who look destined – and well equipped – for Southern League football next season.
Wellington must now pick themselves up for the Good Friday home game v Buckland Athletic (kick-off 1pm) followed by a trip to Cadbury Heath on Easter Monday and another home match, against Ilfracombe, next Wednesday.
Wellington: Shay Allen, Lloyd Tucker, Jack Bown-Porter, Glen Wright, Tom Stone, Jason Quick, Jamie Nicholson, Ryan Brereton, Tom Burt, Miles Quick, Alfie Clark. Substitutes: Eli Collins, Nathan Byrne, Jake Quick, Alex Cherry and Zeph Collins (all used).
Photo below courtesy of Dom Tancock.