Bodmin Town 4 Newquay 2
Adam Carter helped himself to a Boxing Day hat-trick as Bodmin stretched their lead at the top of the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League to four points with a hard-earned victory over Newquay at Priory Park, writes Kevin Marriott.
Carter struck in the 28th, 62nd and 85th minutes and also set up Chris Luxton's 57th minute strike against a Newquay side which never gave up and pulled back second half goals from Lewis Hilton (54) and Danny Brook (penalty, 67).
The premier division game did well to survive two morning inspections before the 11 am kick-off after heavy overnight rain had left the pitch almost waterlogged.
Bodmin dominated the early exchanges, forcing a number of corners, but Newquay defended well and one superb challenge from Ollie Deadman denied Sam Matthews a scoring opportunity in the 12th minute.
But the pressure continued and Bodmin broke the deadlock after 28 minutes when a Steve Colwell corner was only half cleared and Luke Rundle provided a left wing cross for Carter to head home.
In spite of Bodmin's domination of possession, Newquay always looked lively and they should have equalised in the 35th minute when Mark Vercesi found himself unmarked inside the six yard box but crashed his header against a post with Bodmin keeper Kevin Miller beaten.
Bodmin responded with their best move so far, sweeping through on the right flank with Matthews and Luxton combining brilliantly. Matthews then cut back a cross from the byline but Carter lifted his shot over the bar.
Newquay had another great chance a minute before half-time when Vercesi's shot looked destined for the net but Miller dived at full stretch to his right to fingertip the ball around the post for a corner.
That must have given Newquay plenty of heart for the second half and they were level in the 54th minute with a brilliant goal from Lewis Hilton, who had come on at the start of the half in place of Ollie Deadman.
Hilton cut in from the right and produced a left foot shot from 20 yards which left Miller rooted to the spot as the ball nestled in the roof of the net.
The goal was greeted with wild celebrations on and off the pitch but Newquay found themselves behind again three minutes later when Carter found space on the right and fed the ball through for Luxton to make it 2-1.
Five minutes later it was 3-1 and it all started from a Newquay corner. The ball was cleared to just outside the Bodmin box and Olly Brokenshire produced a sublime pass towards Carter making a run through the middle.
In the muddy conditions Newquay defender Matt David failed in an attempt to clear, leaving Carter to run through and finish with aplomb.
Brokenshire turned from hero to villain in the 67th minute when he tripped Brook just inside the penalty area and Brook picked himself up to send the spot kick in and make it game on again at 3-2.
Again Bodmin found another gear and only a good save by Sam Trudgian and the woodwork prevented Carter from completing his hat-trick as the game moved towards its last ten minutes.
Luxton's deft chip from the right byline in the 82nd minute floated over keeper Trudgian and hit the bar, with Josh Harris taking up a great position to head off the line.
But Bodmin scored the clinching fourth goal with five minutes to go as man of the match Steve Colwell played a superb through ball for Luxton to run on to and his cross found Carter, who made no mistake from 15 yards.
Both teams deserve every credit for providing an entertaining contest on an increasingly difficult surface. The opportunity to do so was provided by excellent referee Sam Rothwell, who allowed the game to be played.
Bodmin: Miller, Matthews, Rundle, Morgan, Simmonds, Brokenshire (Krac 79), Colwell, Swiggs, Carter, Luxton, Slateford. Subs not used: Doddridge, Reed, Hodge, Hobbs.
Goals: Carter (28, 62, 85), Luxton (57).
Newquay: Trudgian, Bray-Evans, Devine, Kemp, Brook, Sabo, Vercesi, Middleton, Weldhen (Harris 74), Deadman (Hilton 46), David. Subs not used: Farrant, Bidgood, Piggott.
Yellow card: Middleton (70).
Goals: Hilton (54), Brook (67 pen).
Referee: S Rothwell.