Skipper Russell May hopes Saturday’s 4-3 win at Godolphin Atlantic can act as a catalyst towards a change in fortunes for Penryn Athletic, writes Tom Howe.
Jak Davies struck six minutes from time to finally edge Saturday’s tie in favour of the visitors, who were required to recover the lead after the Sky Blues had fought back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to lead 3-2 at the break.
With it came only a second victory this calendar year – the other being a 3-2 triumph over Penzance on January 22 – and something to cheer following the departure of manager Harry Pope, some key playing personnel and the added disruption of covid postponements.
Three points gained sees Penryn move seven clear of 14th place Sticker and, with games in hand on a handful of the teams above them, as many points away from breaking into the top ten in South West Peninsula Premier West.
“[Godolphin] are in a similar position to us and we knew this game was going to be a struggle,” said May. “We were able to get a good squad out and I thought that we were on top for 35 minutes or so but conceded three poor goals.
“In the second-half, despite coming up the slope this time, I felt we had the quality to beat them. We had everything to gain. There was no point sitting back and feeling sorry for ourselves. We felt might as well go out and give it our all.
“That is the attitude we put into the players and, as you can see, it worked very well. Rappo [Jack Rapsey] hasn’t played in five or six months, this was his first game back, and for him to score a lovely chipped equaliser put belief back into the side.
“For Jak to score near the end too was brilliant. Those goals topped off a good weekend for us.”
After a strong start to the campaign, it has turned out to be something more of a baptism of fire for the Kernick based outfit, who were founder members of the South West Peninsula League (SWPL) in 2007-08.
Having withdrawn ten years later, Penryn’s rebuilding process was complete last summer when promotion back into the SWPL was confirmed following two seasons in the Cornwall Combination and, latterly, two in St Piran.
“We are struggling for numbers after having the manager leave as well as five or six players,” added May. “We called up two from the second team for this game and are trying to get a settled side together, a good young squad that can push on next year.
“These are a massive three points for us, as you can see from our celebrations. We have been involved in games but there seem to be five or ten minute spells that cost us. We know we are in every game but it is our mistakes that get in the way.
“This is huge for us. We haven’t won in so long and you can see it in the changing room, it is so good for the morale of the team. Hopefully that puts us in a good position to kick on and do that week in, week out now.
“We have got six games left, including Falmouth Town on Good Friday. There are a few tough ones coming up but we will go and put this high into our next performance and go from there.”