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In the squad for the first time this season, if Mark Vercesi was looking to be eased gently into the new campaign he was to be disappointed. Having initially been listed as a substitute, the Magpies stalwart was called into the starting line-up just before kick-off due to an injury to captain Tyler Tonkin. Vercesi’s second-half dismissal then proved to the turning point just as an exciting encounter appeared to be swinging Penzance’s way.

Less than a minute after he had set up captain for the night Silas Sullivan to head the home side level, Vercesi was shown a harsh red card for a foul on ex-Magpie Sam Buckley and, with a man advantage, the league leaders scored twice in the final half hour to couple the double over their hosts.

Aside from Tonkin’s late withdrawal, the only other change from Saturday’s defeat at Dobwalls was a start for Max Everard in place of Cam McCabe, working up country. The table toppers enjoyed the clearer early chances. Will Trenoweth saved from Buckley, Luke Cloke saw a shot blocked and Lewis Russell headed over from one of a series of missile-like long throws from right-back Will Tinsley.

Penzance enjoyed a purple patch around the half hour mark piecing together a couple of delightful moves. Firstly, Everard released Rolandos Samnauskas to surge through the defence before threading a perfect pass to Kevin Lawrence, but the former manager was just unable to walk the ball around keeper Brodie Cole. Samnauskas then fed Darryl Richards who in turn played in Jacob Trudgeon, but the midfielder found his angle too acute.

It was therefore somewhat against the run of play that St Blazey broke the deadlock six minutes before the break. Buckley pounced on a mistake at the heart of the home defence and fed Cloke. The striker saw his initial shot well saved by Trenoweth but was able to force the rebound high into the roof of the net despite the unlucky keeper still getting a touch.

After visiting captain Ollie Brokenshire fouled Kam Collins on the hour mark, Lawrence picked out Vercesi with a deep free-kick to the far post, and the veteran headed the ball back to Sullivan who could not miss. Penlee Park was rocking, and it was cruel that circumstances were to change so drastically with minutes.

Aided by a string of quite breath-taking saves from Trenoweth, the ten men held out until the 79th minute when Collins clattered Callum McGhee. The substitute got up to take the penalty himself, and even then Trenoweth managed to get a hand to the ball and was unlucky not to keep it out. Cloke wrapped things up with a close range finish after subs Gino Garside and Rio Ward had dovetailed well down the right flank, but Penzance could be proud of an impressive performance against a side who could well finish as champions.

Penzance: Will Trenoweth, Archie Reynolds, Max Everard, Kevin Lawrence (Josh Whitburn 89), Jordan Daniell, Mark Vercesi, Jacob Trudgeon, Kam Collins, Silas Sullivan (captain), Darryl Richards (Haidar Fadli 61), Rolandos Samnauskas (Robertas Samnauskas 80). Unused Sub: Ryan Andrew

St Blazey: Brodie Cole, Will Tinsley, Alfie Wotton, Lewis Vooght, Martin Giles, Lewis Russell, Jed Smale, Ollie Brokenshire (captain), Liam Eddy, Luke Cloke, Sam Buckley. Subs: Callum McGhee, Gino Garside, Rio Ward

Referee: James Long

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