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The Mark Vercesi era at Penlee Park got off to an explosive start on Monday night, the new manager’s side netting twice in the last eight minutes to secure an eye-catching draw against Southern League Falmouth Town in a hugely entertaining opening friendly.

In utterly vile conditions, the newly promoted Ambers struck an early blow, a low shot from Kian Thomas skidding off the slick surface and under Will Trenoweth. The keeper immediately made amends with a fine save from Kai Cornish, but was unable to prevent the visitors from doubling the damage just before the turn-around. A swift counter-attack culminated with Luke Barner drilling a low centre from the right into the path of Oscar Massey. The ex-Swindon Town striker – a Penzance player this time last summer – made no mistake.

In between the two Falmouth goals, the Magpies showed plenty of enterprise. Liam Andrew picked out Curtis Smith on the right and the youngster, signed from Hayle, delivered a fine cross to fellow new boy Charlie Young whose header was just off target. The half concluded with Rolandos Samnauskas, set up by Young, crashing a shot against the Falmouth cross-bar.

Vercesi made eight changes at the break, but the second half side performed as competently as the pre-interval version, limiting the visitors to one clear chance, substitute Charlie Edney just failing to convert a Max Everall through ball. They pulled one ball when Jude Tripconey crossed to fellow new boy Brodie Kemp who nodded home from close range. Ex-Mullion striker Kemp then turned creator, his forceful break down the left enabling Lewis Caspall, on his return to the Magpies after a break from senior football, to slide home a deserved equaliser.

“I was really pleased with our first outing together,” said Vercesi. “It was nice to see all the new boys settle in well, and I was also really pleased with the players returning from last year. They really showed promise towards helping deliver what we are after this season. Every player got at least 45 minutes which was a massive bonus. Now, on to the small matter of another hard derby on Friday night!”

Penzance: Will Trenoweth (Mikey Flores 46), Archie Reynolds (James Butler 46), Chris Wormington, Tyler Tonkin, Liam Andrew, Sam Young (Jasper Turner 46), Silas Sullivan (Lewis Caspall 46), Jacob Trudgeon (Charlie Willis 46), Rolandos Samnauskas (Darryl Richards 46), Charlie Young (Brodie Kemp 46), Curtis Smith (Jude Tripconey 46)

Referee: Paul Kempen

Assistants: Thomas Milburn, Ian Pattison

Attendance: 120


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