Last season's Burngullow Park fixture between these two teams - won 5-3 by Penzance - was an absolute belter. The 2023-24 version was not.
Hat-trick hero of that 2022 encounter, Rolandos Samnauskas, was handed the opportunity to repeat the feat with a rare start in the central striker’s berth due to the continued absence of Tyler Tonkin. But, from the moment the Lithuanian frontman, running on to an early Silas Sullivan through ball, was denied by Ethan Elwell, one sensed it might be a frustrating afternoon for forwards.
Kam Collins hit the woodwork and Jacob Trudgeon, Charlie Willis and Archie Reynolds all went close as Penzance hammered repeatedly at the Sticker door. “In the first 35 minutes we should have been comfortably in the lead,” rued Magpies manager Ashley Waters. “The Sticker keeper produced great saves and we were left frustrated.”
The half ended for Penzance with concerns at the other end of the field. Experienced defenders Alfie Turner and Mark Vercesi both retired injured, replaced by teenagers Ollie Butler and Charlie Palmer, the latter making his first team debut after some impressive performances captaining the Under-16s.
Gareth Ireson became the afternoon’s second Penzance debutant when replacing Samnauskas on the hour. The ex-St Day midfielder fired over some excellent crosses from the right, the best of which Trudgeon was unlucky not to convert. But, on balance the second half belonged to Sticker. Substitute Ovo Ememerurai was particularly menacing down the left and Magpies keeper Will Trenoweth had to be at his acrobatic best to maintain parity.
“The introduction of 16 year old Palmer and his performance were massive plusses,” concluded Waters. “We’ve come away with a clean sheet and a point. It could have been a pointless trip but for two unbelievable saves from Trenoweth. Overall, it was another gritty performance from this young and improving team.”
Penzance: Will Trenoweth, Archie Reynolds, James Butler, Mark Vercesi (Charlie Palmer 44), Alfie Turner (Ollie Butler 34), Silas Sullivan, Jacob Trudgeon, Kam Collins, Rolandos Samnauskas (Gareth Ireson 63), Darryl Richards (Michael Fitchett 69), Charlie Willis. Unused sub: Ashley Mead
Sticker: Ethan Elwell, Sam Bray, Isaac Varga, Connor Cooke, Mickey Rowles-Jane, Lewis Clapham, Jake Nancarrow, Rich Edworthy, Dan O’Hara, Alfie Flack, Josh Margetts. Subs: Ovo Ememerurai, Taeler Chapman, Jack Ham, Paul Cox, Connor Clarke
Referee: Shaun Edge
Assistants: Stuart Bowden, Leigh Michael
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