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Penzance Reserves' Junior Cup 2017 Journey

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Cornwall Junior Cup 1st Round

Holman SC Reserves 1-2 Penzance Reserves


Att – 10

Of course being game day, and a cup match to boot the weather played it's normal trick and started blowing a hoowie and dumping a cold drizzle about an hour before kick-off making it an unpleasant afternoon. Your correspondent thought he was being clever sitting on the benches by the clubhouse until the home side put the flags out on the bottom pitch. Forget it, after catching colds many a time watching my side I decided to stay dry, watch from the clubhouse, and become a member of the Penzance WAGs, following the game from 100yds away.

The game kicks off with Penzance having the honour of defending the train-line end giving them the advantage of the wind and driving drizzle.

The game starts fairly evenly with both sides getting a share of the ball but after 15mins The Magpies start pushing Holmans back into and around their box. The Holmans keeper leaps and tips the ball over. Long range efforts from both sides go no-where. A Holmans free-kick slips through the Penzance back line, the striker runs on, one on one, Penzance keeper Simon Mortimer only comes out to his 6yd line. Player shoots, keeper down and blocks with his legs at the expense of a corner.

Penzance mid-fielder gets the ball in own half, runs with it, jinxes past three or four tackles only to fire wide in the heat of the moment. A long Penzance ball is knocked through the right channel, curling shot around the outside of the keeper but defender is back to clear off his line.

Most of the game still in the Holmans half. Then in the final minute a lobbed ball from midfield finds a Holmans striker, who lobs Mortimer from 20yds. On a normal day the ball would have gone over the top but with the wind it dipped down and in.


Both sides make a dash for the changing rooms to get some respite from the drizzle. Holmans out early, keen to get on but have to stand around as Penzance wait for the ref's whistle before emerging. In fact the ref plays the rest of the game wearing a waterproof jacket. Sensible.

The second half sees the advantage of the elements helps Holmans to camp for long periods in the Penzance half, and The Magpies have to defend well and deep to prevent going further behind. Lots a free-kicks, mostly against the visitors frustrate the players. Again both sides shoot wide.

As the game progresses, even from 100yds away, you see Holmans growing in confidence as the pass the ball around which they didn't do in the first half.

With 10 minutes remaining Penzance win a throw out left, level with the penalty area. Luke Carroll gets the ball, turns and curls a volley on the ground, round the keeper and into the net. Cue celebrations.

With a few moments left, Mortimer saves the day as he again blocks with his legs after Holmans split the defence. F-T

Holmans kick-off extra-time facing the tracks. Both sides change their tactics from short on the ground to long and in the air, and both sets of defences cope fairly easily. Neither side has a shot or attempt worth noting.

The sides change end, the ref only playing 11 minutes for the first period.

Penzance again press their opponents back, but again free-kicks break up play for both sides. With it starting to look like penalties, Penzance strike. The are awarded a free-kick 25yds out, just left of centre. Luke Carroll takes it, over the wall, over the keeper, scraping the underside of the bar. 2-1, 5 minutes to go. WAGs go crazy.

Holmans push, Penzance into the corners to waste time. Whistle blows, game over. After Penzance boss the first half, Holmans the second a 1-1 draw at 90 minutes was a fair scoreline. Justice done as Penzance just shaded extra-time to scrape through to the second round.

Thanks to the referee and both sets of players.

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Cornwall Junior Cup 2nd Round
28th October 2007
St Columb Major 2-3 Penzance Reserves
Att – 25

After defeating Trelawny 3 side Holman SC Reserves in the first round of this season's Cornwall Junior Cup. Penzance Reserves became the sole surviving Division 4 side going into the hat for the second round. This round, as the first, is supposed to be regional but due to the unevenness of numbers several Duchy League sides had to be placed inside the Western bag along with the remaining Trelawny sides. After a good shake of the balls, Penzance were paired with St Columb Major, another away trip. Fingers tapping on keyboards found that the journey would take The Magpies to The Recreation Ground, in the centre of the village, and that the home side were top of Duchy 2. 
Thankfully holiday traffic was fairly light and the side made it to the ground with time to have a decent warm-up, not having had a game for three weeks.
What a great set-up there, covered standing and seating, a compact clubhouse serving hot and cold drinks, even pasties. A pity on 25 people bothered to turn up to watch the game.
Did your correspondent think Penzance have a chance to pull off a shock. Yes, once he saw the St Columb keeper smoking a roll-up inside his goalmouth as the teams were lining up for the kick-off.

St Columb kick-off defending the clubhouse end of the ground and nearly take the lead in the first minute. The ball is lobbed high into the box, The Penzance keeper drops it, a volley, but he is down to block it, giving away a corner.

Now it is Penzance's turn to have the ball and they all seem to have learnt a new trick of flicking the ball behind them and turning their marker. This carried on for the first 30-35 minutes of the half and proved very effective. A few of the St Columb lads were well built and were having trouble pinning down the players in white.

After 5 minutes the visitors go ahead. The ball is knocked down the left-hand channel for Nyle Mayou who taps it into the box for Luke Carroll to run onto it. Carroll goes out a bit wider, passes his defender, turns and volleys cross goal into the net. 2 minutes later they could have doubled their lead as a slow low roller beats the keeper, but a defender races back knocking the ball off the line for a corner.

St Columb have a few attempts on goal but their shooting is a bit wayward. Frustration creeps into their back line as they try to cope with the turn and run game of Penzance. Both sides then miss chances until 4 minutes before the half-hour. Penzance win a corner on their left, knock it long towards the back post, the keeper flaps at it, bang, a strong header gives him no chance. 0-2 to the minnows.

Then on the half hour Penzance go 3-0 up, following a long ball into the box. There is a mix-up between the defenders, Carroll barges through and volleys past the keeper from 12yds out. Cue swearing amongst the St Columb back five blaming each other.

Then for some reason Penzance ease off, change their style of play to the touch and pass game, and they start to loose the ball when under pressure. A St Columb volley from a striker in the clear sees keeper Simon Mortimer get down and block. On 43 minutes St Columb win a corner on their left. The ball comes over to the back of the box, next second a cross goal volley nestles in the back of the net. 

Penzance go in heads down, having just conceded, St Columb even 3-1 down have their tails up.

The second half restarts and the home side are really up for it, charging forward on-mass. Their shooting is a bit wayward plus Lee Goodall, marshals the Penzance back line well whilst getting in a couple of crucial tackles himself.

St Columb have a golden chance to pull another back when a high ball bounces over the Penzance keeper but the striker with an open goal before him shoots wide from 12yds. Groans emanate from the crowd.

Penzance now definitely on the back foot and concede another left-sided corner in the 55th minute. The ball drops into the centre of the six yard box, is blocked but a toe poke pushes it over the line. 2-3 with 35 minutes to play.

Penzance start to cause their own problems as they give away free-kicks. St Columb can't seem to take advantage and with their poor finishing frustration boils over for a bit of handbags at dawn. A St Columb player is shown his second yellow and walks.

This seems to be the kick up the rear Penzance need and they settle down and now it's their turn to put pressure on the hosts. But like the men in red, their finish is a bit wayward, but they eat up time by keeping the ball in St Columb's half.

The clock counts down, the referee blows time and Penzance march on to Round Three.

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Cornwall Junior Cup 3rd Round

Penzance Reserves 5-2 St Minver Reserves

Att – 28

After a couple of Saturdays where the weather has been against decent football, it was a pleasant surprise to wake up to a calm, fairly warm but overcast day.

Penzance the lowest ranked team still left in the competition faced St Minver Reserves who at the time of writing were sitting mid-table in Duchy Division 2. After their previous two away victories against Trelawny Div 3 side, Holman SC Reserves and another Duchy 2 side, St Columb Major, it was good to have a home tie.

The final score of 5-2 to the hosts does not show what a difficult game it was for them and for most of the first half and part of the second the visitors were the better team and deserved their lead.

The St Minver goals once again showed the weakness Penzance have at defending set pieces but it is a skill that will appear with age and experience.

Penzance kick off facing the park end of the ground. They are straight on the attack pushing St Minver back, but instead of playing to their strengths with a ground ball game they decide to kick long. On 3 minutes a Penzance ball from the back sees Luke Carroll run on and fire in a strong shot. The St Minver keeper spills it and Finlay Walsh following up belts the ball in low from 10yds.

The lead lasts 6 minutes before the visitors are level. Penzance give away a free kick 30yds out, left of centre. The wall lines up, the attacker fires over the wall. The ball hits the top of the post, bounces back into the middle of the 6yd box for one of three attackers to head down and in to make it 1-1.

St Minver now have their tails up and push forward. They are quick on the break and get caught off-side several times. Penzance play long still and it is not working. Players are moaning at each other for lack of goal action. One or two want to hold onto the ball perhaps one touch too many.

On 16 mins St Minver go ahead. Another free kick, wide-right this time, is knocked into the box and a Penzance defender in his haste to clear his lines heads it into his own net.

The half then follows the same pattern as before, with the visitors breaking with numbers, the Penzance back line pushing forward catching them off-side. But of the two sides St Minver look the most likely to score again.


The half starts with a quick Penzance break and shot that is blocked, the ball is knocked straight up the pitch for a striker to run and shoot from all of 3yds. Simon Mortimer, Penzance's stopper somehow gets down to block the ball which bounces out. A shot comes in and is cleared off the line. If that had gone in it would probably have been game over.

The game carries on as before until the 58th minute when Penzance equalise. They win a corner on the right. It is knocked out 25yds to Will Symons who unleashes an absolute screamer giving the keeper and defenders no chance. 2-2 game on.

As Penzance seem to do lately, once they score and equaliser they score a go-ahead goal almost immediately and this game was no exception. 3 mins later on 61 minutes they work the ball forward to the edge of the box for Carroll to also unleash a pile-driver that the keeper gets his fingertips too but can't prevent the home side going 3-2 up.

The tempo of the game speeds up from roughly the 65th minute as St Minver have to push forward to score and Penzance at last start to play the ball on the ground. This opens St Minver up at the back but Penzance miss a couple of chances. At the other end Mortimer is having a good game grabbing every ball on target.

73 minutes gone and Reece Evans puts the Magpies 4-2 up. In his own words “ the ball gets played up field as it bounces over one of the Minver midfielders Reece is there to flick the ball over the defensive line and beat the keeper to the ball, magnificently chipping the ball over the keeper and smashing the ball into the back of the net.”

Mortimer makes another good save when a free kick is knocked over to the back of the box, a shot comes in, he gets down to block and grab. St Minver work the ball forward, are rewarded with an open goal but the striker puts it wide.

With 10mins to go Penzance get their 5th to make the game effectively safe. Again a long ball from the keeper to the middle of the St Minver half. Carroll collects the ball, beats a defender, runs on to roughly 30ds out, one on one with the keeper, rising shot past his flailing arm into the net.

The final goalmouth action sees the visitors break right, lob to the back post, shoot but Mortimer is equal to it and blocks at the bottom of the upright.


Looking back, Penzance have to thank Mortimer for some great saves to keep them in it. Penzance defensive unit played well holding St Minver back apart from the occasional through balls when the visitors would then break in numbers. Penzance were second best for nearly an hour but eventually showed what they can do.

Three higher placed sides now defeated in the Junior Cup, into the last 16, the dream continues.

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