With holidays and cricket taking their toll, Penzance travelled to Helston for the opening friendly of the new campaign with a first team squad of fifteen. This number diminished when Mark Vercesi tweaked his knee during the warm-up and could take no part, and was further reduced by a first half injury to Ryan Andrew.
The remaining players were rotated throughout the match, and were given a helpful work-out by a very youthful Helston side. Liam Andrew struck home a low shot in the opening minute after a free-kick by Frazer Cadman had not been properly cleared. The lead was doubled on the quarter-hour when sixteen year old Kai Baxter wriggled clear down the right and squared to Silas Sullivan. The Supporters’ Player of the Year, spearheading a three-man front line, turned skilfully and slipped home a low shot.
Sullivan dropped back into defence after Ryan Andrew’s injury, and the home side reduced the deficit early in the second half. Joe Baker tucked the ball inside the near post of Mikey Flores, making a come-back in goal after breaking his arm at Liskeard Athletic in March.
Penzance secured victory with a brilliant dipping strike from twenty yards out by midfielder Ollie Butler who thus capped a very impressive debut performance.
Penzance: Mikey Flores, Archie Reynolds, Ryan Andrew, Liam Andrew, Gary Matthews, Tyler Tonkin, Ollie Butler, Frazer Cadman, Kai Baxter, Silas Sullivan, Max Everard. Subs: Rolandos Samnauskas, Obinna Abuka. Unused subs: Matt James, Mark Vercesi
Helston: Jack Hicks, Lewis Wareham, Kyle Woodhouse, Cam Searle, Josh Hichens, Dylan Mitchell, Sam Pallett, Jackson Penhallurick, Ty Galloway, Joe Baker, Liam Pascoe
Referee: Andrew Barnet