Penzance Reserves 3, St Just Reserves 1
Penzance put the destiny of Group C of the Percy Stephens Cup, and qualification for the quarter-finals, into their own hands with a thrilling come-back win in front of a large crowd at Penlee Park on Tuesday night.
Victory for St Just would have seen them qualify on the night with a draw also leaving them as hot favourites. And the Tinners seemed to have one foot in the last eight when Nick Hichens handed them an early lead, out-muscling the home defence to bundle home a deep free-kick from Dominic Clemens.
But the Magpies were showing a lot of attacking guile with Haidar Fadli, Kizzy Snowden, Kai Baxter and Robertas Samnauskas all going close. A fully deserved equaliser arrived two minutes before the break when Fadli belied his slight stature to get on the end of a Snowden corner and bring his side level with a text book, powerful downward header.
Penzance might even have turned around ahead had a thunderous free-kick by Tyler Dayus not just missed. They were soon in front after the turn-around though. Captain James Payne threaded a gorgeous pass behind the St Just back line and, though he did not make the cleanest of connections, Harvey Richings got enough on to the ball to tease it inside Liam Arthur’s near post.
It was just reward for Richings whose deliveries from the right flank were of the highest order. It was one such cross that spawned the final, killer goal twenty minutes from time. The ball was cleared only as far as Payne whose volley nearly ripped the goal net from its frame.
The result means Penzance travel to Mount Ambrose on Saturday knowing that victory will take them through as group winners. A slip-up, however, will give St Just another chance in their final fixture, away to Lizard Argyle on April 15th.
Penzance: Adrian Murley, Lewis Hitchens, Tyler Dayus, Josh Whitburn, James Payne (captain), Josh Reeves, Robertas Samnauskas, Harvey Richings, Haidar Fadli, Kai Baxter, Kizzy Snowden. Rolling subs: Connor Thomas, Matt Robinson, Kempa Marks, Joel Steel, Freddie Neaum
St Just: Liam Arthur, Mark Sands, Dominic Clemens, Yann May, Oliver George, Cordell Mayer, Stefan Smith, Charlie Harry, Nick Hichens, George Harry, Paul Jackson. Rolling subs: Martin Grenfell, Luke Attwood, Sean Atkinson, James Reynolds, Sam Capstick
Referee: 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.