A match preceded by a poignant minute’s silence in memory of Tony Claypole saw Penzance do their former player proud by surging into the last eight of the Cornwall Senior Cup with a blistering second half display.
The home management made two changes to the side that had started against Newquay, resting Darryl Richards and Max Everard in favour of Kevin Lawrence and Haidar Fadli. The rotation proved no hindrance as the Magpies dominated the opening stages. Silas Sulllivan (twice) and Fadli both went close before Mark Vercesi broke the deadline in the 19th minute, soaring to meet a Lawrence corner and head in his first goal of the season.
Against the run of play, St Dennis levelled just before the interval. With Penzance still reorganising having been forced to replace injured Fadli with Everard, a free-kick was conceded on the edge of their penalty area. Josh Pope blasted it against the wall, and the ball broke kindly to Ryan Oxley for a close range finish.
Unfazed, the Magpies re-emerged just as dominant in the second period, but this time were able to convert the pressure into goals. Jacob Trudgeon pounced on a defensive blunder to walk the ball into an unguarded net to restore the lead, then turned provider, laying a Lawrence pass back into the path of Sullivan to curl a sumptuous left foot shot into Ryan Holland’s far right corner – richly deserved by a player had seen “goals” disallowed in each of the last two home games.
Sullivan bagged his second of the night in the 67th minute. Trudgeon capitalised on another misunderstanding in the St Dennis defence to head a loose ball goalwards and the stand-in captain applied the slightest of touches as it crossed the line. Trudgeon then completed a hat-trick of assists – cushioning a Cam McCabe cross back to Rolandos Samnauskas to conclude the scoring with vicious low drive.
Penzance are therefore through to the Quarter-Finals for the first time since 2011. The tie, which will be played in the second midweek of January, has yet to be drawn.
Penzance: Will Trenoweth, Archie Reynolds, Cam McCabe, Mark Vercesi, Liam Andrew, Silas Sullivan (captain) (Jordan Daniell 67), Jacob Trudgeon, Kam Collins, Rolandos Samnauskas, Haidar Fadli (Max Everard 43), Kevin Lawrence (Obinna Abuka 70). Unused Subs: Darryl Richards, Ryan Andrew
St Dennis: Ryan Holland (captain), Tyler Trudgeon, Jack Caron, Ross Maynard, Zack Best, Mikey Davies, Harry Cranstone, Josh Pope, Marcisse Campbell, Ryan Oxley, Sam Mellor. Subs: Nathan Owen, Mark Rowe, David Grose, Callum Attwood, Arbennick Webster
Referee: Josh Eyre
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