Kent U18s 3, Cornwall U18s 1
CORNWALL manager Tommy Matthews admitted his players only had themselves to blame after crashing out of the FA Youth Cup at the first hurdle on Saturday, writes Lee Hall.
Having impressively got their campaign under way with a 1-0 win over Devon in the South West Counties Youth Championships last month, the Duchy youngsters wasted a good opportunity to advance to round two of the Youth Cup at Tonbridge Angels' Longmead Stadium at the weekend.
They had led through Newquay's Sam Hill's first half strike.
But Cornwall's wastefulness, especially in midfield areas, was to prove their downfall as goals from Connor Taylor, Sam Murray and Gary Smith sealed their fate.
Matthews said: "The boys are massively disappointed because this is a game that was there for the taking.
"Even after they equalised in the first half, at half-time we were saying this is a game we can win.
"But our passing at times was poor, we gave the ball away far too many times and Kent took their chances.
"We are all very disappointed because there was probably not a better time to beat Kent."
A disappointing afternoon was compounded by injuries to Newquay's Jake Street and Penryn's Ryan Chinn.
It had started so well for Cornwall after Hill headed home Newquay's team-mate Cameron Bidgood's corner just seven minutes in.
Kent drew level in the 20th minute when Taylor's (VCD Athletic) low drive beat Newquay goalkeeper Sam Trudgian.
But despite the Duchy's hopes of going back in front after the break, too many errors proved costly.
And within two minutes of the second half Kent went 2-1 up through Murray (Fisher Athletic).
Perranporth's Ed Wilton had Cornwall's best chances, but following some last ditch defending from the hosts, Kent made sure of victory when Smith (VCD Athletic) beat Trudgian a minute from time.
Matthews said: "We really wanted to build on our win against Devon last month.
"We have a very talented group of players who are capable of so much more. "Unfortunately it just didn't happen for us on the day.
"The pitch was in fantastic condition, the game was played in very good spirit by both teams, it's just a shame we didn't play like we know we can."
Matthews' squad will regroup next month when they take on Wiltshire in their second game of the South West Counties Youth Championships on November 24.
The Cornwall manager said: "We will be expecting a response next month when we play Wiltshire.
"I know the boys will be determined to bounce back."
Cornwall: S Trudgian (Newquay), J Bray-Evans (Newquay), K Frazer (Porthleven), R Chinn (Penryn) (T Cowling) (Wadebridge), S Hill (Newquay), C Sturgess (Goonhavern), O Bennetts (Saltash), J Street (Newquay) (R Trathen) (St Day) C Bidgood (Newquay), C George (Penzance); E Wilton (Perranporth), J Burton (Penryn).