By David Harrison at Penlee Park


Penzance 0 Launceston 3

THE Clarets made the long trip down to Penzance on Saturday, looking to get their season back underway following a frustrating series of postponements.

Penzance had enjoyed the better of a 3-3 draw at Pennygillam in October and came into Saturday’s game on a four-match unbeaten run.

Launceston welcomed Declan Woodgate and skipper Mike Steele back into the starting line-up, as well as handing a start to promising youngster Mason Tape.

With a challenging schedule of nine games in three weeks, following recent postponements, Price had made no secret of his intention to rotate the squad.

The Clarets started brightly against an uncompromising home defence, but should have fallen behind after 22 minutes when Jacob Trudgeon ran clear on the left but failed to make the most of an excellent opportunity.

Jacob Ham and Lewis Young combined well on the right as the Clarets stepped up the pressure. Home keeper Kam Collins, a late replacement for Will Trenoweth, fumbled a cross, only to see Jude Jago’s shot blocked on the line by Mark Vercesi.

Lewis Slade had to react sharply to keep out a speculative long-range Trudgeon effort, but it was Launceston who broke the deadlock after 38 minutes, with a well-worked goal. Jago played the ball through to Woodgate whose left-wing cross was firmly headed home by Andy Watkins.

Before the home team could respond, the Clarets doubled their lead. A fine through ball from Steele picked out Young who timed his run perfectly to stay onside. The Launceston striker calmly dribbled around the keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net.

The Clarets came close to settling the game before the interval. Young’s shot was blocked by Collins and fell for Watkins who, from 20 yards, volleyed inches over the crossbar.

The Magpies adopted a more physical approach after the break but Slade and his back line held firm, with George Beardsmore, Archie Wall and Jago meeting every challenge. However the Clarets needed a third goal and it duly arrived early in the second half. 

Ham played an accurate through ball into the penalty area meaning Watkins barely had to check his stride. Collins came rushing out and brought down the Launceston man. Steele took the responsibility and drove an excellent penalty kick into the bottom corner. It was the skipper’s eighth goal of the season.

With the points all but assured, Price made wholesale changes. The manager withdrew Tape, Steele, Ham and Watkins, replacing them with Dan Clifton, Liam Raglan, Jaden Wood and Josh Chidley.

The game had become increasingly physical, with the Magpies facing a comprehensive home defeat against a side below them in the table. 

In defending their lead, the Clarets were shown a series of yellow cards by referee Steve McCulloch, with Jude Jago receiving two cautions and a subsequent red after one flare-up.

Mark Wilson was sent to the sin-bin as a tough game entered added time, meaning the Clarets had to see out the game with nine men. 

However they nearly added a fourth when Young was denied by a diving Collins.

This was a very different style of victory for the Clarets, with Price’s young side needing to withstand a severe physical test. 

However they passed with flying colours to climb into the top ten where they are closing in on local rivals Camelford, Callington and Bude.

LAUNCESTON: Lewis Slade; Mark Wilson, Archie Wall, Jude Jago, Declan Woodgate; George Beardsmore; Lewis Young, Jake Ham, Mike Steele (capt), Mason Tape; Andy Watkins. Subs: Dan Clifton, Liam Raglan, Jaden Wood, Josh Chidley.

Clarets man of the match: George Beardsmore.