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Liskeard Athletic progressed to the semi-finals of the Ward Williams Cornwall Senior Cup, but were pushed all the way by a spirited Penzance side on a bitterly cold night at Penlee Park.

The Magpies brushed off the absence of captain Tyler Tonkin, and stunned their table-topping visitors by taking a 13th minute lead. After Will Trenoweth had saved a Mike Smith header, the home side counter-attacked down the right. Jacob Trudgeon fired over a delicious centre that Darryl Richards, arriving at pace, smashed home for this first goal of the season.

Liskeard levelled just ten minutes later when Mark Vercesi was penalised for handball during a goalmouth scramble. Smith emphatically rammed the spot kick to Trenoweth’s right, but the home side were unfazed and perhaps somewhat unfortunate not have regained the lead by the interval. Vercesi was denied twice in a matter of seconds, firstly by an excellent save from Sam Borthwick then, from the resultant corner, by a goal-line clearance from his powerful header. Trudgeon was also extremely unlucky to see a powerful shot tipped by Borthwick on to the cross-bar.

The Blues were themselves denied by the woodwork seconds after the restart, Josh McCabe slamming a low shot against Trenoweth’s left-hand post. The sides then traded chances during an exciting, hard-fought half until Liskeard made the critical break-through just seven minutes from time. Substitute Macauley Thorp fed a pass out to Ben Collins wide on the left. The latter’s splendid cross was converted at the far post by James Rowe, himself on the pitch for barely a couple of minutes, to put Darren Gilbert’s side into the last four.

“Tonight the boys were magnificent. The commitment and work-rate are something the club can be proud of,” said Penzance manager Ashley Waters. “We’ve gone toe to toe with a top Liskeard team, and are unlucky to come away as losers.”

Penzance: Will Trenoweth, Archie Reynolds, James Butler, Ollie Butler (Kizzy Snowden 78), Mark Vercesi, Silas Sullivan, Jacob Trudgeon, Kam Collins, Rolandos Samnauskas, Darryl Richards, Charlie Willis. Unused subs: Lewis Hitchens, Alfie Turner, Michael Fitchett, Freddie Neaum

Liskeard: Sam Borthwick, Josh McCabe, Matt Outtram, Harry Bell, Will Gilbert, Ruben Kane, Finn Bartlett, Jarrad Woods, Mike Smith, Dan Jennings, Ben Collins. Subs: Harvey Mullis, Macauley Thorp, James Rowe, Bobby Hopkinson

Referee: Nigel D’Arcy

Assistants: Max Davies, Liam Bray

Attendance: 89

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