NEWTON ABBOT SPURS 2, PENZANCE 1
Playing their first game in a fortnight, a heavily depleted Penzance made a 220 mile round trip to take on Newton Abbot Spurs in the WC Parson Cup, but still managed to push their East Division hosts to the wire in a thrilling tie.
All three players who have regularly worn the captain’s armband this season – Tyler Tonkin, Silas Sullivan and Mark Vercesi – were among the absentees along with Archie Reynolds, previously the only ever-present of the campaign. Robertas Samnauskas was asked to play out of position and deputise for Reynolds at right-back, so it was little surprise that both of the home side’s goals stemmed from moves down this flank.
The first came as early as the sixth minute when Penzance were unable to clear their lines following a free-kick from the left and, after a number of ricochets, the ball fell to the feet of Gavin Collins who stabbed it home from close range. To their credit, the Magpies hit back strongly. Captain for the day Liam Andrew threaded a good pass to Rolandos Samnauskas who tried his luck from distance stretching Joel Patchett to a good save. The striker then scooped the ball over the bar from close range from a Cam McCabe free-kick, just after Jacob Trudgeon had pulled an angled shot inches wide. It was therefore very much against the run of play that Spurs doubled the lead just after the half mark, Pedro Pinto and Jaden Bond linking up down the left to set up Toby Pullman for a far post finish.
Max Everard pushed a shot just wide when well placed just before the interval, but Penzance struggled again after the turnaround and only a magnificent save by Will Trenoweth from Stuart Morgan kept them in the game. That was significant as, shortly afterwards, Rolandos Samnauskas rolled home a low shot to set up an exciting finish.
Striker Nathaniel West was brought on for his first appearance since getting injured at Camelford at the start of October, and his physical presence, together with the perceptive probing of Kevin Lawrence, asked many questions of the home defence. For the last few frenetic minutes, Trudgeon was switched to the left side of a three man attack, young midfielder Alfie Hicks thrown into the fray and Trenoweth even went upfield to attack a corner. But in the end it was not quite enough and Spurs held on to reach the quarter-finals.
Penzance: Will Trenoweth, Robertas Samnauskas (Kevin Lawrence 59), Cam McCabe, Jordan Daniell (Alfie Hicks 84), Liam Andrew, Ryan Andrew, Kameron Collins, Jacob Trudgeon, Rolandos Samnauskas, Darryl Richards, Max Everard (Nathaniel West 74)
Newton Abbot Spurs: Joel Patchett, Sam Hancox, Jaden Bond, Sol Barclay, Lewis Breslan, Pedro Pinto, Lloyd Gardner, Gavin Collins, Stuart Morgan, Owen Green, Toby Pullman. Subs: Nick Rudge, Jason Jones, Will Hancox, Simon Revell
Referee: Jonathan Veale
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