Shaw’s last-gasp goal ends Town’s hope of semi-finals

Shaw’s last-gasp goal ends Town’s hope of semi-finals

St Austell’s run in the St Piran League Cup came to an end at the hands of Penryn Athletic. Picture: Paul Williams

By Gareth Davies

19th May 2021

St Austell reserves bowed out of the St Piran League Cup with a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Penryn Athletic at Poltair Park on Saturday.

The loss completed a topsy-turvy week for Dave Lea’s men who lost 4-3 at home to St Mawgan on Wednesday in the group stages after blowing a 2-0 home lead.

This seemingly booked Saints’ place in the knock-out stages before they were ruled to have broken player eligibility rules and were subsequently thrown out, with Town given a reprieve.

With Penryn seemingly set to join the South West Peninsula League next season, this would be a big test of Lea’s young side and the away team, who curiously weren’t given home advantage, despite winning their group, started on the front foot.

They dominated the early stages but failed to carve out any real clear-cut chances with Ryan Reeve’s cross-cum-shot failing to trouble home custodian Billy Slinn.

Somewhat against the run of play, Town came within a whisker of going ahead when Zack O’Connor’s effort from just outside the box crashed back off the bar, with former home ‘keeper Jason Peters left stranded.

Despite coming close to breaking the deadlock, St Austell failed to build on O’Connor’s opportunity, and it was Penryn, who looked likelier to score. Nick Boase’s headed effort flashed just wide, while Reeve saw another sighter fizz past the upright. Tyler Cooke then matched the efforts of O’Connor by rattling the woodwork, but the teams remained locked at 0-0.

Just shy of the half hour mark, Town did finally score the game’s first goal with Cam Hutchison netting a fine individual effort. The tricky winger was played in behind the Penryn rear guard and after showing fleet of foot to close in on goal, he finished low and into the net.

Penryn were behind for less than 10 minutes though as parity was restored when Brad Leivers poked the ball home after Slinn had somehow kept out Morgan Vallejo’s teasing free-kick.

The away side then completely turned the game around to lead going into the break when Reeve made up for his earlier misses to fire home.

Set up by a deft touch from Leivers, pacey striker Reeve, who has interested Peninsula League heavyweights Falmouth Town previously, made no mistake to put Penryn in control.

The second half saw Penryn continue their dominance with Leivers, Vallejo and substitute Jack Rapsey all coming close to putting the tie behind all reasonable doubt. They couldn’t capitalise and at 2-1, St Austell were still very much in the match.

However, in the dying embers, Reeve put on the after-burners to streak clear with Town pushing men forward in search of an equaliser. He could have shot at Slinn himself, but Reeve squared the ball for Jake Shaw who rolled into an empty net from close range to seal Penryn’s semi-final place.