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Derby delight for Seagulls as leaders see off brave Magpies

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 02, 2014

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THE Seagulls struck two second half goals to secure their 15th successive league win with a sweet local derby victory over the struggling Magpies, but Wayne Quinn's side were made to work mighty hard for it by a spirited Penzance outfit at a sun-drenched Trungle Parc.

In front of a bumper Boxing Day crowd, the home side, who named nine former Magpies in their starting line-up, were first to settle and twice came close inside a dominant opening 10 minutes.

Assistant manager Matt Shiels saw his left-foot volley hit a post before midfielder Nick Pugliese shot just wide with a good effort from 20 yards.

After surviving another couple of anxious moments when two deflected efforts just missed the target, the visitors gradually grew in confidence and had the ball in the net after 27 minutes, only for Jamie Payne's header from Graham Stirr's corner to be ruled out for a push on home keeper Dexter King.

At the other end Mousehole had claims for a penalty waived away following a strong challenge on Seagulls midfielder Steve Burt by full back Tom Dann, and with tempers starting to fray Mousehole's Martyn Moon and Stirr were both shown yellow by referee Kevin Knowles following a brief fracas.

Penzance looked increasingly dangerous on the counter attack just before half-time, but found themselves a goal down only five minutes after the restart when Pugliese's left-wing cross was headed into his own net by Magpies player-boss and ex-Seagull Dean Mooney. The visitors suffered a further blow 15 minutes later when they lost centre-half Jamie Burr with an ankle injury, but undeterred Mooney's men continued to give a good account of themselves with another ex-Seagull Bradley Wills desperately unlucky to see his superb 30-yard strike come back off the post with home keeper Dexter King well beaten.

But it was Mousehole who put the outcome beyond any doubt 10 minutes from time when substitute Karl Turner glanced home Pugliese's left-wing corner kick at the near post to double his side's advantage.

And although Lewis Caspell became the second visiting player to be denied by the woodwork in the closing stages the home side held on without further alarm as they celebrated their first ever Peninsula League success over their local rivals since promotion from the Cornwall Combination League in 2007.

Before the match a minute's silence was impeccably observed in memory of popular local referee Lenny Stevens, who died on Monday following a long battle with cancer.

Jolly's Combination League champions Illogan beat Redruth United 3-2 in one of only two matches to survive the weather on Boxing Day.

Elsewhere Wendron moved up to second with a 1-0 win at Mullion. Third placed Ludgvan's match at Porthleven was postponed.

All Saturday's matches also fell victim to the inclement weather.

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