St Ives Town 0, Mullion 3
MULLION booked their place in the semi-finals of the Jolly's Combination League Cup with this a comprehensive win over St Ives at The Saltings on Saturday, writes Scott Haley.
Despite just a point separating both sides in the table, the home side were clear favourites for the tie, but never looked like getting anything out of the match after conceding two early goals, a factor Mullion boss Kevin Richards believes was crucial.
He said: "We knew it was going to be tough but we came flying out of the blocks and effectively killed the game off inside the first ten minutes.
"Can we win the cup? There are some good sides left but St Ives are a good side so we've got every chance if we play as well as we did today."
It was the first home defeat of the campaign for the Saints and a downbeat St Ives manager Sky Allen was critical of his side's defending after the game.
Indeed it was a poor display from St Ives, who had it all to do after making the worst possible start.
Keeper Rob Rosevear's long ball up field was flicked in to the path of the impressive Keith Jacka, who had all the time in the world to pick his spot and finish confidently past Dave Chard after three minutes.
And six minutes later it was two when Stuart Robinson's long clearance was latched on to by Rob Carey who slotted away at the second attempt after Chard had blocked his initial effort.
Chris Morris then went close for Mullion, who, apart from a Joel McWilliams header which went narrowly wide, were hardly tested in a first period which they controlled from start to finish.
Allen changed to a 3-5-2 formation in the second half and it seemed to have an immediate impact after St Ives bundled in from a corner after 57 minutes, only for the referee to rule the goal out after he adjudged Jordan Kirton to have fouled Rosevear.
The decision looked harsh, but the Saints still pressed to get back in to the game and twice came within a whisker.
First Martyn Moon's effort from 12 yards was well saved by Rosevear before substitute Curtis Richards shot narrowly over the bar.
Richards came close again minutes later with a rasping volley which flew just wide of the post before Mullion put any hope of a comeback to bed. Carey again broke free of the Saints' defence and made no mistake, rounding Chard and rolling the ball in to the empty net.
There was still time for some late drama when Sam Twyford was sent off for a professional foul after bringing down Alan Thomas on the edge of the area after he took the ball past Chard and looked certain to score.
The subsequent free-kick was smashed against the bar by Dan Jenkin, which would have been the icing on the cake on a great afternoon for Mullion who moved into the next round, keeping a first clean sheet of the season in the process.
ST IVES: D Chard, S Twyford, C Russell, R Bushby, A Otto (C Richards 57), M Moon, I Hodges, S Stevens (c) (J May 74), J Kirton (B Poznansky 75), J McWilliams, M Harding.
MULLION: R Rosevear, J Shirlock, S Jones (C Ensink 70), J Lugg, S Robinson, C Morris (B Warmington 75), C Blee, D Jenkin, K Jacka (B Leech 77), A Thomas, R Carey (c). Not used: D Vaughan-Spence.
Scorers: Jacka (2), Carey (9, 73).
Referee: Graham Tippett (Camborne)
MoM: Keith Jacka – Took his goal well and ran St Ives ragged all afternoon.
LEADERS Illogan RBL also secured their place in the semi finals in emphatic style with a 4-1 win over Goonhavern Athletic at Reen Manor Parc on Saturday.
Luke Wort helped himself to a brace for Illogan, whose other goals came from Dominic Pullen and James Martin, before Joe Carlyon pulled a goal back late on for the hosts.
Illogan's main title rivals St Day are also safely through after a 2-0 home win over Pendeen Rovers at Vogue. Gavin Boon put the Saints ahead before Mikey Davies put the outcome beyond doubt.
The draw for the semi-finals will be made at the next League Committee meeting which is due to be held on Thursday February 21.
The Cornwall Combination League programme was restricted to only three games, with Ludgvan the main benefactors as Gerens James scored all four goals in a 4-0 home win over Porthleven at Fairfield.
The prolific former Mousehole and Penzance striker is now joint leader of the league's Golden Boot award alongside Jowan May of St Ives. Their 22 goals apiece gives them a two-goal advantage over third placed Wade Brown of Pendeen. They are the only three players to have scored more than 20 goals so far this season.
The victory helped the Hurlers climb four places to fourth spot in the table, only two points behind Pendeen, who do have a game in hand.
St Just were given an almighty scare by bottom side Holmans at Blaythorne, where goals from Stuart Nicholls, Lee Patchett and Toby Cape were just enough to earn the Tinners a hard-fought three points. Adam Selley scored both goals for Holmans who belied their league position with an excellent team performance.
Falmouth Town were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Troon, who came from two goals down at half-time to earn a point.
Goals from Town's Andy Westgarth and Sam Bromley put the home side in command, before Troon hit back through Matthew Rowe and Gareth Honer.
The match between Wendron and Perranwell was postponed shortly before kick-off after Mousehole referee Andre Howes deemed the pitch unplayable.
Two sides won through to the Supplementary Cup first round, with goals from Mark Kent and Brett Southerland giving Falmouth Athletic a 2-1 home win over Hayle, who were knocked out in the preliminary round for the second season running and replied with a goal from youngster Lewis Griffin.
Four-times winners St Agnes ran out winners by the odd goal in five at RNAS Culdrose, thanks to goals from Mike Burn, Tom Bartlett and Sam Kay, with Jamie Adam and Matt Holman on target for the servicemen.
Weekend fixtures: Jolly's Cornwall Combination (Saturday, 2.30pm): Falmouth Ath v Newquay; Holmans SC v Perranwell; Illogan RBL v St Agnes; Ludgvan v Goonhavern; Mullion v Hayle; Pendeen Rvs v RNAS Culdrose; St Day v Penryn Ath; Troon v Wendron Utd.