After welcoming its biggest crowd for a competitive match in over forty years on Boxing Day, Penlee Park should again be packed to the rafters tonight as Penzance lock horns with table-topping Liskeard Athletic in the quarter-finals of the Ward Williams Cornwall Senior Cup (kick-off 7.45pm).
If the Magpies are to progress to the last four for the first time in thirteen years, they will need all the vocal support the Jimmy Dann stand can muster, not least because they will be without talismanic skipper Tyler Tonkin due to an unfortunately timed overseas trip.
Silas Sullivan will don the captain’s armband in the absence of Boxing Day’s hat-trick hero. Centre-back Liam Andrew is still side-lined by the injury he sustained against St Austell last month, so Ryan Andrew and Freddie Neaum are drafted to a squad that also contains Will Trenoweth, Archie Reynolds, Mark Vercesi, James Butler, Alfie Turner, Ollie Butler, Charlie Willis, Kam Collins, Darryl Richards, Michael Fitchett, Jacob Trudgeon, Rolandos Samnauskas, Dylan Walter and Lewis Hitchens.
Another huge obstacle the Magpies must overcome is Darren Gilbert. The legendary manager was in charge of Bodmin Town when they broke Penzance hearts with an extra-time win in a thrilling semi-final at Newquay thirteen years ago. Now in charge of Liskeard, Gilbert names his squad as Sam Borthwick, Cory Harvey, Josh McCabe, Harvey Mullis, Harry Bell, Billy Westlake, Matt Outtram, Dylan Peel, Will Gilbert, Harry Jeffery, Ruben Kane, Max Gilbert, Jarrad Woods, Tom Savigar, Ben Collins, Mike Smith, Dan Jennings, Finn Bartlett and Will Larsen.
“In some people’s eyes, Liskeard’s ball is already in the pot for the next round,” believes Magpies manager Ashley Waters. “But we have everything to play for - a chance for us to make it a memorable night for the boys and the club. This is the Cup and we are underdogs. But we have proved before that when we get it right we can compete with anyone, especially at Penlee.”
Admission is £5 (concessions £3) and the gates open at around 7pm. Despite it being a Cup game, Season Tickets are valid. Drinks and refreshments, including hot pasties, will be available from the Black & White Cafe inside the ground. The Jewson Bar will open at around 6.30pm. A matchday programme – the Magpie Review – will also be on sale for £1.50.
Wrap up warm – it will be a cold one. And the game must be played to a finish, so an additional half-hour is a possibility.
Come on you Magpies!