Penzance Reserves, the story so far...
After a promising pre-season that was overshadowed by the devastating loss in a road traffic accident of striker Alfie Beard, Penzance’s reserve team is starting to settle after consecutive wins in the first two matches in front of their home crowd.
A tough start.
The Trelawny League season started on the swelteringly hot August 13th when a heavily depleted team made the short trip to Penzance Leisure Centre to face recently relegated Newlyn Non Athletico. The first half was pretty shabby with three soft goals conceded before Man of the Match Connor Thomas managed to pick up a deflected ball and fire into the bottom corner. Unfortunately Newlyn grabbed another on the stroke of half time and went further ahead with a soft penalty soon after. A change in the formation seemed to wake up Penzance and, with the game pretty much out of sight, the lads went all out and we began to play some attractive football. Sam Payne helped the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble following a Ben Jefferies free kick. Thomas grabbed his second, then a spill from the Newlyn keeper gifted Haider Fadli an opportunity that he wasn’t going to miss. Sadly a through ball from the Newlyn central midfielder saw the home centre forward race clear and poke the ball past an onrushing Adrian Murley to make the final score 6-4.
The following weekend brought a 1-3 away defeat to Rosudgeon’s first team in a friendly, James Payne volleying the Magpies into an early lead before the Oxen turned the game around after the break. The next Trelawny League fixture was on Saturday August 27th – another tough away game against a New Inn Titans side who won last season’s Division Two title by a massive nine point margin. At Illogan Park, New Inn relied on power shooting from long range and a very good keeper as the young Magpies were defeated 4-1.
A busy afternoon for the young Penzance Resrves keeper, Adrian Murley (Photo from New Inn Titans FC Facebook).
Penzance played their first home game of the new season on Tuesday August 30th, and celebrated with an excellent derby win over St Buryan, Sam Payne scoring twice with Tyler Dayus getting the other. The victory was followed up four days later when Constantine were thrashed 5-1 at Penlee Park. An early goal from in-form Sam Payne put the Magpies in driving seat before efforts from Elliott Rudge, Chaz Harry and Kizzy Snowden made it 4-0 going into half time. The second half consisted of much the same with Penzance creating the better chances whilst never really firing on all cylinders. A free shot from inside the box gifted Constantine a goal before Snowden grabbed his second of the game, sealing the points. It could have been more as Matt Robinson, Thomas and Jefferies passed up some good chances. All 16 players had a decent amount of game time with a number of top performances, but Josh Reeves received the accolade of Man of the Match.
Bolstering the squad.
Reeves is one of three signings made by managers Darren Smith and Lee Major since the start of the campaign. A former grassroots captain at Penzance, Rosudgeon and Mousehole under-21s as well as a regular centre back for Cornwall, he has also been on Plymouth Argyle’s books. Smith and Major say: “Reevesy is another massive signing. Quick, solid, and a great reader of the game, Josh will happily play out from the back having played this style for many years!”
Another newcomer is former Blind Date contestant Ben Reeve who the managers describe as “Mr Versatile with the ability to play many positions and always give 100%”. Also joining is Josh Whitburn, about whom Smith and Major state: “Josh was always on the opposite side of the pitch to some of our lads at youth level, and was a very tough player to play against. Featuring strength, physicality and a great touch, Josh will be a massive signing defensively, and is quite happy to play the villain role given the opportunity!”
More new signings for Penzance Reserves. Josh Reeves, Ben Reeve and Josh Whitburn.
Finally, Smith and Major have announced that Elliott Rudge is to be team captain. They describe Rudge as: “A charismatic leader both inside and outside the changing rooms as well as on the pitch. He has demonstrated great leadership qualities and is as committed as they come! Elliott is often our "go to player" to get the lads going in a game, and fully understands the club’s philosophy moving forward. He has a fantastic engine and is full of running whilst setting the standard in game!”
Penzance AFC Reserve Team Managers Daz Smith (Left) and Lee Major (Right) with new Reserves captain, Elliot Rudge.
The Reserves continue their campaign with another home fixture when New Inn Titans visit Penlee Park this Saturday (September 10th), 2.30pm kick-off.