LAUNCESTON 2 PENZANCE 1
Penzance’s five match unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt end by Launceston – second from bottom at the start of play – who thus completed the double of a Magpies team from whom they have now gleaned over a third of their season’s points tally to date.
The visitors were without holidaying keeper Will Trenoweth and central defender Mark Vercesi. In their places returned Mikey Flores in goal for a first appearance since his arm break at Camelford in October, and left-back Cam McCabe after a toe injury.
The visitors came within a whisker of scoring within the first minute. Kam Collins played in Jacob Trudgeon down the right and the latter’s low centre was smashed against the Launceston crossbar by Rolandos Samnauskas. Sadly, that early move proved to be Penzance’s best of the entire afternoon. Launceston found their feet and hit the woodwork themselves with a dipping shot from Josh Harris. Alfie Fothergill and Mark Elvidge also went close as the home side carved out the better chances of a scrappy, poor quality first half.
Though Penzance managed to get to the interval intact, they held out for less than a minute after the turnaround. Flores did well to parry a stinging drive by Jimmy Hamson, but only into the path of Carl Aldridge who made no mistake. The Magpies were acutely missing the calming influence of Vercesi at the heart of their defence, and were punishing again just after the hour mark. Hamson dispossessed Liam Andrew and hared though to score a deserved goal of his own.
With a towering header from a corner by Frazer Cadman – who had come on for yellow-carded Darryl Richards just before half-time – Andrew nearly put Penzance straight back into the game. The introduction of Alfie Hicks and Kai Baxter, as substitutes for Kevin Lawrence and Silas Sullivan, injected some youthful enthusiasm and the deficit was halved when Trudgeon played in Samnauskas to fire past keeper Lewis Slade.
Despite a protracted period of injury-time, Penzance were unable to threaten again and Launceston moved above Sticker to just one place behind their day’s opponents.
Penzance: Mikey Flores, Archie Reynolds, Cam McCabe, Liam Andrew, Kevin Lawrence (Alfie Hicks 67), Tyler Tonkin (captain), Jacob Trudgeon, Kam Collins, Rolandos Samnauskas, Darryl Richards (Frazer Cadman 41), Silas Sullivan (Kai Baxter 78)
Launceston: Lewis Slade (captain), Mark Wilson, Carl Aldridge (James Richardson 90), Mike Steel, Jude Jago, Tyler Jones, Jimmy Hamson (Alfie Cole 68), Josh Harris, Mark Elvidge, Tom Bullock, Alfie Fothergill
Referee: Richard Butter