St Day 6, Pendeen Rovers 4
ST DAY ensured they kept the pace with leaders Illogan after overcoming title rivals Pendeen Rovers in an explosive Jolly's Combination League encounter at Vogue on Saturday, writes Scott Haley.
It was a match which had everything, including two red cards for the visiting side, who were less than impressed with referee Simon Berryman's handling of this top-of-the-table clash.
St Day have now lost only one of their last ten league matches, but manager Matt Harris admitted that "the best team lost".
He added: "If we could mix our ability with Pendeen's heart we'd cruise this league."
Indeed Pendeen boss Andre Peters believed it could have been a different result if it wasn't for the referee.
He said: "We are disappointed with some of the referee's decisions. How he can book so many of our players and only one of theirs I don't know.
"It was hard going down to ten men but we stuck at it and I thought we created the better chances. With 11 players it could have been different."
And Rovers showed no fear in taking the game to the home side and found themselves a goal up inside four minutes.
The ball fell to Scott Meagor inside the area after good work from Ashley Ellis and the midfielder's looping shot deflected over keeper Ryan Gendall.
St Day were back on level terms five minutes later after a good finish from Gavin Boon, only for Rovers to restore their advantage right from the restart.
Wade Brown latched on to Jamie Payne's through ball and the former St Day striker made no mistake, coolly slotting the ball under Gendall.
The home side looked shell shocked but regrouped and after Terry Rowe saw his header cleared off the line by Andrew House, they were in front on the half hour.
First Danny Ford picked himself up to send keeper Dexter King the wrong way from the spot after being brought down by Luke May, before Boon smashed in his second after a goalmouth scramble with Rovers adamant that King had the ball in two hands.
Kyle Rees was booked for dissent in the aftermath and a minute later was shown a second yellow after a foul on Ford in the centre circle.
The booking seemed harsh and within two minutes St Day scored their fourth, Ford heading home Dan Ellis's cross.
Ford was then the centre of controversy shortly after when Pendeen players and staff felt he deliberately elbowed Ashley Ellis, but the referee didn't spot the incident.
Both teams had time to compose themselves at half-time, although at times it seemed as if it was the home side who were a man down in the second half as they struggled to contain Pendeen's pressure.
And Rovers' determination was rewarded on the hour when Brown found space in the box to head over Gendall and made it 4-3.
This gave the visitors belief and House had a shot cleared off the line by Martin Day before Gendall denied Meagor and Brown.
And his saves proved vital as the home side extended their lead again when substitute Shane Richards found Tom Hogarth who slotted home.
Again the ten men came back at the home side and after Gary Mathews was fouled in the area, Brown completed his hat-trick, smashing in the rebound after his penalty was saved by Gendall.
It set up a tense final five minutes which saw Matthews' ball across goal somehow scrambled to safety before Boon superbly set up Chris Tolley who slotted away the sixth in the final minute to deny any hope of a Pendeen comeback.
There was still time for more drama when Glen Carew harshly saw red for a second bookable offence when he was adjudged to have deliberately handled the ball, sparking angry scenes from the away contingent after the whistle.