In their opening game of the competitive season, Penzance fell just short despite turning in an excellent performance at St Blazey, one of the pre-season title favourites.
The Magpies started the match, which was preceded by a poignant minute’s silent tribute to Alfie Beard, on the offensive with Sam Buckley stretching Brodie Cole to a good low save in the first minute. They then came agonisingly close after half an hour when Darryl Richards got behind the Blazey back line running on to a through ball, but his lob over the on-rushing keeper unluckily plopped on to the crossbar.
Jacob Trudgeon then fired wide after Jordan Daniells had nodded down a Richards corner before the luckless visitors were denied by the woodwork a second time. Cameron McCabe located Buckley with a raking long pass, but the striker’s deftly cushioned shot grazed the bar on its way over.
So it was somewhat against the run of play that Blazey edged ahead ten minutes before the break. McCabe heroically blocked a Steve Rogers shot on the line, but the reprieve was temporary, Luke Cloke timing perfectly his run to meet River Allen’s corner and head the hosts into the lead.
Penzance’s only rocky spell of the match came early in second half, but sadly it resulted in the concession of two gals that put Blazey out of sight. In the 51st minute Will Trenoweth, who otherwise had a good game deputising in goal for the injured Mikey Flores, turned a drilled corner from Cloke into his own net. Cloke, on his debut after signing from Callington Town, then got his second of the afternoon when he headed home a deep cross from Will Tinsley.
In between these two strikes, Max Everard skimmed the top of Cole’s net with a dipping shot from twenty yards out before being replaced by Robertas Samnauskas, a change that saw Trudgeon switch from the right to left flank. Penzance finally got the goal their sterling efforts deserved twenty five minutes from time. Cole could only parry a thumping free-kick from Tyler Tonkin into the path of Silas Sullivan who converted from close range.
With the sweltering heat taking its toll, the Magpies were unable to make further inroads into St Blazey’s lead, but managers Adrian Ferrell and John McCallum were both extremely encouraged by the performance of their charges against very strong opposition.
Penzance: Will Trenoweth, Archie Reynolds, Cameron McCabe, Ryan Andrew, Jordan Daniells, Tyler Tonkin (captain), Jacob Trudgeon (Joe Gordon 88), Silas Sullivan, Sam Buckley, Darryl Richards, Max Everard (Robertas Samnauskas 58). Unused sub: Kevin Lawrence
St Blazey: Brodie Cole, Will Tinsley, Rio Ward, River Allen, Joe Cooper, Lewis Russell, Steve Rogers (Jordan Dingle 62), Olly Brokenshire (captain), Luke Cloke, Gino Garside (Jed Smale 79), Jack Alexander. Unused subs: Harry Hambly, Kai Foster, Ollie Swiggs
Referee: Murat Kaymaz