A hat-trick by experienced striker Adam Carter proved the difference between St Austell and Penzance in a very open and entertaining season’s curtain-raiser at Poltair.
In unseasonably wretched conditions, the prolific former Bodmin, Plymouth Parkway and Saltash hitman broke the deadlock midway through the first half. Strike partner Liam Eddy, who has returned to the Lilywhites from St Blazey, was caught by Magpies captain Tyler Tonkin as he put a shot over the bar. Carter tucked the resultant penalty just inside Mikey Flores’s right-hand post.
Penzance levelled with a statement goal from their own new frontman right on the stroke of half-time. The blistering pace of Oscar Massey saw him get to an Alfie Hicks through ball ahead of Harry Ashton. With defenders rapidly converging, the former Argyle and Swindon pro demonstrated admirable sang-froid in slotting the ball into the goal the ex-Newquay gloveman had vacated.
Two strikes inside four minutes soon after the restart saw the match swing decisively back in St Austell’s favour. Carter pounced on some shabby defending to clip home his second, then right-back Jake Shaw was handily placed to mop up the rebound after Eddy had seen a shot saved. A cute far post header in the 66th minute from a Jake Miller cross sealed Carter his hat-trick, and St Austell the points.
Notwithstanding the score, Penzance pieced together some tidy moves in the closing stages. Kevin Lawrence plopped a corner on to the cross-bar, and Silas Sullivan got his head to the rebound only to be denied by an Ashton save. The keeper then thwarted Jacob Trudgeon, finger-tipping to safety a rasping 25 yard drive. Two minutes from time another Trudgeon pile-driver slammed against the woodwork. This time Penzance’s luck was more favourable – the ball bounced back against the sprawling Ashton and into the net for a deserved consolation.
Penzance: Mikey Flores, Archie Reynolds, Alfie Turner, Kevin Lawrence, Frazer Cadman, Tyler Tonkin, Jacob Trudgeon, Alfie Hicks (Dylan Walter 85), Rolandos Samnauskas, Oscar Massey, Silas Sullivan. Unused subs: Kai Baxter, Matt James, Sam Fisher, Gary Matthews
St Austell: Harry Ashton, Jake Shaw, Ben Thomas, Tom Whipp, Ollie Brokenshire, Adam Carter (Tom Guest 70), Martyn Duff, Noah Teagle, Liam Eddy (Martin Watts 61), Jake Miller, George Marris (Owen Rosevear 46). Unused subs: Connor Wharton, Zach Brokenshire
Referee: Shaun Edge
Assistants: Ashley Morris, Dan Bennetts
Watch: The stream from this match (kindly sponsored by Antony Handyman and Ashley Waters - Painter & Decorator) is available to watch via our Facebook Page.