Oliver heads in late equaliser for Penryn
CALLINGTON TOWN 2
PENRYN ATHLETIC 2
It was always going to be a difficult trip for Steve Jewell and Dale Band's side, who were without David Blizzard and Josh Hoon due to injury and work commitments respectively. Band himself was also ruled out due to injury, and goalkeeper Chris Symons was a late omission after falling ill.
Penryn see Callington as their biggest threat as they continue to challenge for fourth spot in the Peninsula League's division one west. The North Cornwall side, like Penryn, have hit good form since Christmas, slowly rising up the league as they battle their way through a backlog of fixtures caused by the cancellation of so many games at their boggy Marshfields pitch.
On paper this was the weakest side Penryn had put out in some time, but the visitors adapted well to their new setup. A dull opening half hour saw much of the play compressed into the middle third of the pitch. Indeed, the first of the game's opportunities fell to Penryn as late as the 40th minute when Jason Roberts broke through the Callington defence only to drag his shot wide.
Callington, spurred into action, hit back almost immediately, forcing Penryn's stand-in keeper Chris Page into a good save with his feet from Callington danger-man Ryan Lucassi.
The first half petered out to a close with very little to write home about, but after the break the atmosphere became fractious. Callington's frustration began to show with some questionable tackles and barracking of the referee.
Lucassi had an early opportunity when he shot over from a good position, before Page pushed an awkward deflection that spun off Hal Davis's boot just over the bar.
Callington managed a spell of sustained pressure, but a series of corners came to nothing with Penryn's defence holding firm.
Both sides looked to have battled their way to a deadlock until the last twenty minutes when the game finally exploded into life.
In the 72nd minute Callington goalkeeper Jamie Blatchford played a routine ball out to skipper Dan Jeffries, who somehow managed to get into a tangle allowing Greg Hobbs to nick the ball off his feet, take it in on goal and beat the keeper as he came off his line.
Penryn were jubilant, but within four minutes the home side were level when Dean Smith's corner caused chaos in the box and Ryan Lucassi was on hand to nod the ball in from close range.
Callington surged forward looking for a winner, and Page had to be alert to make another good save with his feet, before disaster struck when Davis failed to cut out a through ball for Smith who raced clear of the Penryn back line and gave Page no chance from eight yards out.
Penryn's four month unbeaten run in the league looked to have finally come to an end, but visiting skipper Ben Oliver had other ideas. He popped up with four minutes remaining to head a powerful effort into the back of the net from 12 yards out after darting in front of a clutch of Callington defenders to beat them to the ball.
It was no more than Penryn deserved, and a share of the points means they hang on to that all important fourth spot in division one west.