PENZANCE 2, ST DENNIS 1
A couple of brilliant first half goals from Oscar Massey proved the difference between a pair industrious sides as Penzance made it two-out-two for the new season on their own turf.
St Dennis endured a pig of a journey West taking well over two hours to complete the short hop down from the Clay Hills, the rail strike and roadworks compounding Bank Holiday traffic chaos. However, when the match finally kicked-off at 3.15pm, Jack Barbery’s side showed no ill effects from their A30 frustrations and dominated the opening quarter hour with Matt Mazzoni and Joel Cocking going close.
Against the run of play Penzance, heavily depleted by holidays and cricket, broke the deadlock after 18 minutes with a fine strike. Rolandos Samnauskas bent a splendid daisy-cutting pass onto Massey’s run, and the young striker delicately lifted the ball over Saints keeper Ryan Holland.
The goal triggered a purple patch for the Magpies. But for some profligacy in front of goal and a string of superb saves by Holland, most notably from a Frazer Cadman drive, they would have gone in at the break with a healthy lead. They did manage one more however, Mark Vercesi playing the ball out of defence to Alfie Hicks wide on the right. The youngster fed an accurate pass inside to Massey who drilled a low shot just inside the near post.
Penzance continued to monopolise possession after the turn-around but were unable to find a way past the excellent Holland. Twenty minutes from time, Andrew Butler beat home keeper Mikey Flores to a long clearance and, despite the best efforts of covering defender Vercesi, was just able to force the ball over the line to set up a tense finish.
The Magpies had plenty of chances the make the game safe, but Holland continue to defy with fine saves from Massey, Samnauskas and Ollie Butler. Set up by substitute Aiden James, Sam Ecclestone fired just over for Saints and the final whistle was greeted with collective relief by the Penlee Park faithful.
Penzance: Mikey Flores, Archie Reynolds, Alfie Turner (Gary Matthews 79), Mark Vercesi, Frazer Cadman, Tyler Tonkin, Alfie Hicks, Kevin Lawrence (Thomas Hosking 60), Rolandos Samnauskas, Oscar Massey (Obinna Akuka 90), Ollie Butler. Unused subs: Dylan Walter, Matt James
St Dennis: Ryan Holland, Zach Best, Mikey Davies, Ash Taylor, James Baker, Jake Hughes, Martin Sleeman, Andrew Butler, Matt Mazzoni, Joel Cocking (Aiden James 46), Sam Ecclestone. Unused sub: Mark Rowe
Referee: Andrew Hobbs
Assistants: Paul Barker, Francis Hood
Watch: The stream from this match (kindly sponsored by Antony Handyman and Ashley Waters - Painter & Decorator) is available to watch via our Facebook Page.