An injury ravaged Penzance team, featuring three members of the Under-16s side, came within quarter of an hour of taking a point off league leaders Liskeard Athletic with courageous, backs-to-the-wall, resistance at a windy Penlee Park.
Injuries at Sticker in the last outing resulted in Mark Vercesi and Darryl Richards joining long-standing casualties Mikey Flores, Liam Andrew and Frazer Cadman on the side-lines. With Tyler Tonkin still abroad and Michael Fitchett working, teenage striker Dom Hodges, boasting three goals from four games at youth level this season, was thrown in at the deep end with a start up front.
The home side’s only clear opportunity of the first half though fell to a more seasoned campaigner. Rolandos Samnauskas, in the wide left role, was denied by a fine tip over save from Cory Harvey. Though Kam Collins put a half-chance wide after Ollie Butler had seen a shot blocked, Liskeard were generally on top with Dan Jennings missing their clearest opening – a point-blank range header – on the stroke of half-time.
Harvey denied Jacob Trudgeon just after the turn-around, but thereafter it was one-way traffic towards the Penzance goal. Macauley Thorp and Tyler Elliott both went close before Will Trenoweth pulled off a stunning save from Ruben Kane, set up by substitute Max Gilbert. Just when Penzance looked like they might hold out for a draw, stand-in captain Silas Sullivan, under pressure from Matt Outtram, had the misfortune to divert a vicious centre from the left into his own net. A second own-goal, from Collins five minutes later, handed a deserved but hard-earned win to the Blues.
“For over an hour today, today we matched Liskeard and the club can be so proud of these players,” said Penzance manager Ashley Waters on the final whistle. “Despite a massive injury list, the players have once again delivered showing total commitment.
In the end Liskeard showed why they are top of league and deserved the three points . They are a quality side with a top manager.”
In addition to Hodges, there were two other Penzance debuts to record. Gareth Ireson, as a half-time substitute, made his first appearance at Penlee Park having signed from St Day. And, replacing Archie Reynolds at right-back for the final seven minutes, 16 year-old Ashley Mead joins grandfather John and father Andrew in representing the Magpies first team.
Penzance: Will Trenoweth, Archie Reynolds (Ashley Mead 83), Alfie Turner (Lewis Hitchens 86), James Butler, Ollie Butler, Silas Sullivan (captain), Jacob Trudgeon, Kam Collins (Freddie Neaum 83), Rolandos Samnauskas, Dom Hodges (Gareth Ireson 46), Charlie Willis. Unused sub: Charlie Palmer
Liskeard: Cory Harvey, Josh McCabe, Matt Outtram, Harry Bell (captain), Macauley Thorp, Ruben Kane, Will Larsen (Max Gilbert 55), Finn Bartlett (Harry Jeffery 66), Will Gilbert, Dan Jennings (Lee Rundle 79), Tyler Elliott. Unused subs: Sam Borthwick, Bobby Hopkinson
Referee: Tom Anstice-Mitchell
Assistants: Neil Stephens, Tom Milburn
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