Mousehole ran away 3-0 winners at the AJN Stadium on Saturday afternoon, securing three points that moves them to within one victory of securing the Western League Premier title, writes Pablo Woolls-Blanco.
Having won 14 out of their 16 league fixtures in 2023, one would expect Mousehole to be run-away champions with just two games remaining, but the Seagulls’ slip-ups to Shepton Mallet and Helston, paired with Saltash’s incredible and relentless form, has made for a thrilling title race that looks set to be nearing its conclusion.
It was at full time on Saturday that news fed through that Clevedon Town had beaten Saltash United by two goals to one, very late on, meaning that after Mousehole’s victory at Keynsham, they can now confirm themselves as champions on Tuesday night at Fairfax Park, against third-placed Bridgwater.
On the afternoon, Jake Ash’s team started the better of the two sides, and in all truth limited Keynsham to scraps all game, with Ollie Chenoweth in the Mousehole goal enjoying a fairly routine day at the office.
Mousehole’s best early chance came from Jack Calver’s freekick that was tipped onto the crossbar by Joel Manning in the Keynsham goal. It took the visitors until the 40th minute to find the breakthrough, after efforts by Hayden Turner and Max Hill were saved and then blocked, before the ball fell to the edge of the area to Tallan Mitchell, who superbly struck on the bounce into the far top corner.
Just minutes later, Mousehole doubled their advantage before half-time, when Turner latched onto a fantastic ball over the top by Calver, before cutting inside a few defenders and firing a perfect finish into the corner, giving Ash’s team a 2-0 lead at the interval.
Mousehole controlled the second half without carving out too many clear-cut opportunities, although Paulo Sousa’s wonderful strike that found its way into the far top corner in the 70th minute, put the cherry on top of what was a comfortable away performance from the league leaders, with three spectacular goals to show for it.
Next up for Mousehole is a trip to Fairfax Park on Tuesday night, where they will face third-placed Bridgwater United, in the knowledge that victory will secure the Western League title and promotion to the Southern League Division One South.
[Featured image: Pablo Woolls-Blanco]