CORNWALL "DOUBLE" (Liskeard/Torpoint)

After, by default, following Billingham Synthonia for the last two rounds of the Vase, they were then drawn away to Torpoint Athletic. As much as I would loved to have ticked off Torpoint,  I felt that was a journey too far for me. It's a hell of a long way to go in one day.

However, after perusing the fixtures it was noted that Liskeard Athletic had a Friday evening game, so I could get in two South West Peninsula grounds in one trip, hmmm, that put a slighty different slant on things....

Friday 11th February 2011
South West Peninsula Premier League
Liskeard Athletic 1-2 Plymouth Parkway
Attendance: 152

For a Friday afternoon it was a relatively painless journey down the M5 to a very wet Lux Park, the home of Liskeard Athletic. The Blues currently find themselves hovering perilously close to the drop zone, whilst tonight's opposition are hot on the heels of league leaders Buckland Athletic.

The first half was dominated, possession wise, by the homesters but it was Parkway who created the best chances and Liskeard were grateful to goalkeeper Gary Turner for keeping the scoreline blank at the interval. The second half began in similar fashion and Liskeard eventually took the lead their dominance deserved when Sam Cooper scored on 65 minutes.

This brought Parkway out of their shell and they upped a gear to turn the game around, substitute Andy Sargent helping himself to a brace with two goals in a two minutes (76 & 78). This scoreline was harsh on Liskeard who done enough to earn a point at least. Maybe the difference in clinical finishing explained the postions of the respective teams.

Saturday 12th February 2011
FA Vase 5th Round Proper
Torpoint Athletic v Billingham Synthonia
Attendance: 450

After the wet weather of Friday night, Saturday was glorious sunshine as Torpoint Athletic prepared for their biggest game in recent years. The opposition was from the north east as Billingham travelled the 380 miles south to Cornwall. I have seen Billingham in their last two rounds of the competition and I, like most neutral people, had them down as strong favourites. That was not to completely dismiss Torpoint who are having a good season and, with games in hand, they could easily be involved in the title shake up at the end of the season, but it was Step 6 v Step 5 at the end of the day.

The game was an excellent one as both teams went for it from the off and it was an open end-to-end game. Synners played the more controlled football whilst The Point were happier to play on the counter. The deadlock was broken after just 17 minutes when Josh Grant broke through and his scuffed shot had enough on it to find the bottom corner of the net. Billingham kept attacking and the home goalkeeper, Martin Piper, pulled off two absolutely top draw saves to preserve his sides lead at the interval.

The second half was slightly different as Torpoint dug in to defend their lead. The Synners threw the kitchen sink at them but could not break down a stubborn defensive bank. The closest they came was an effort that was cleared off the line, but The Point held on to secure a famous victory. The majority of the 450 crowd that packed into The Mill went home extremely happy and dreaming of Wembley as their team are now just three games away.

Panic in the Torpoint defence as a Billingham effort heads towards goal,
but it was cleared off the line.

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