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St Austell 5 Foxhole 1

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St Austell 5 Foxhole 1

Friday 10th April 2009

St Austell cruelly exposed the folly of ten man Foxhole throwing their best defender Rowe into attack with a quarter of the match remaining by inflicting an ignominious hammering on visitors whose slide towards mid-table mediocrity becomes ever more alarming. Within five minutes of the change, Hobbs' failure to clear when under little apparent pressure summed up his hapless performance, Body gleefully running through unchallenged to make it 3-0. On 81, Brokenshire set up Phillips with a chance he could hardly miss and, although Warne's 20-yard drive eluded Penhaligon four minutes later, within seconds Phillips' cross was converted by Chapman at the far post. In stoppage time, Bullock was inexplicably unable to shepherd the ball out of play and could only prevent Tinsley a sixth by bringing him down, earning him a booking. However, Chapman's tame penalty was smothered by Holland, but the brief moment of schadenfreude felt by the visiting faithful was scant consolation after enduring a wretched second-half display.

Perhaps there may have been a different outcome had Penhaligon not atoned for his poor drop kick by spectacularly tipping over from Butler after two minutes, or had Griffin not wasted a great opportunity on the half hour to equalise Body's bundled opener on 27 after Holland had spilled Isbell's free kick. But, in truth, the Foxes were always second-best even before the break, and were indebted to Holland for fine saves from Body on three occasions, and twice from Isbell. Although Butler's goal-bound volley was bravely blocked by Tinsley moments from half-time, the points were effectively sealed as early as the 47th minute when Crapp's free kick was pushed out unconvincingly by Holland before ricocheting back into the net off an unwitting defender. Hobbs' caution for a foul on Body had followed Griffin's yellow for high feet on Penhaligon, and the marine's inevitable dismissal duly arrived on 65 minutes for a challenge on Crapp. Foxhole's ambitious 4-3-3 formation had long since been rendered ineffective, but re-shaping the team with a man short unfortunately merely allowed St Austell the chance to boost their goal difference, although once again indiscipline had proven costly.

Foxhole (4-3-3): Ryan Holland 6; Lewis Prince 5 (sub. Jamie Bullock 4), Jason Warne 5, Mark Rowe 6, Phil Hobbs 5 (sub. Matt May 5); Andrew Butler 5, Scott Ansell 6 (sub. Aydan Rundle 5), Adam Holland 6; Richard Griffin 4, Liam Nicholls 5, Kyle Friendship 6.

St Austell (3-5-2): Gary Penhaligon; Richard Crapp, Lee Whetter (sub. James Avery), Bradley Ralph; Josh Higman (sub. Dan Magee), Will Tinsley, Ollie Brokenshire, Ben Douglas, Jay Isbell; Chris Phillips, Michael Body (sub. James Chapman).

Referee: Mr Ian Spurling (Saltash) 7.

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