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Port pay the penalty as nine-man St Dennis take the spoils at Gala Parc
Porthleven 1 St Dennis 3
Punch-drunk Porthleven must be wondering what hit them after Saturday's opponents St Dennis managed to concede three penalties and finish the game with nine men, yet still come away from Gala Parc with all three points.
Port were on top for large periods - particularly during the second half - and played some delightful football, but not for the first time this season defensive naivety and the lack of a killer instinct did for the Fishermen.
Two penalty misses don't help either, and for that reason Saturday will probably be a day promising youngster Tom Annear would rather forget.
Annear, who has attracted the interest of a number of SWPL premier division clubs, has a reputation for being metronomically accurate from the penalty spot.
But at the weekend his nerve deserted him. Three times Porthleven were awarded penalties, but Annear managed to find the back of the net with just one of them.
Not to say that St Dennis were undeserving of the win. Theirs was a dogged, determined performance.
The Boscawen Park club started the better of the two sides, going ahead in the third minute when Mark Rowe broke down the right and crossed for Lee Rickard, who planted a bullet header into the top corner from six yards out.
Port keeper Martin Wortley - deputising for the absent Dennis Annear, who was away watching son Jordan play for the county - made a good stop from Rickard minutes later to prevent St Dennis going two up.
But gradually Porthleven found some rhythm, and ten minutes in James Greet fired a warning shot across the Saints' bows with a long range effort that whistled over the bar.
Tom Annear nodded over from a corner, before St Dennis keeper Brett Allen made a stunning reaction save from Freddie Williams's point-blank header, tipping the ball over the bar when Williams looked odds-on to score.
Then on 15 minutes St Dennis doubled their lead.
Port were guilty of trying to play their way out of trouble in their own penalty area, and Rowe pounced to nick the ball and fire in from just outside the six yard box.
Dan Tarrant saw his header cleared by St Dennis at the second attempt, and Thomas Hawkins spurned a great opportunity to pull one back for Port, but it remained 0-2 at the break.
The second half was one way traffic, with Port making all the running.
They won their first penalty in the 61st minute when Liam Hunter was sent tumbling by Saints keeper Allen, who received a yellow card.
Up stepped Tom Annear, but he thumped his spot kick wide of the upright.
Barely ten minutes later he had the chance to atone for his earlier miss when St Dennis defender Ian Stone pushed Greet over in the box.
And this time Annear made no mistake. Port were back in the game, and looking for all the world as though they could go on and win it.
Then came the turning point.
In the 74th minute Allen brought down Hunter in the box for the second time, and earned his marching orders. Scott Hill was forced to deputise bnetween the posts for the visitors.
Once again, up stepped Annear, but his effort was pushed onto the post by Hill, and St Dennis managed to scramble the ball to safety.
Stunned, Port laid seige to the St Dennis goal, with Annear, Tarrant and substitute Lewis Griffin all going close.
Then in the 92nd minute Kyle Fraser lost the ball in midfield and St Dennis striker Martin Sleeman broke clear and put his shot past Wortley to seal the points.
There was just time for one final controversy as goalscorer Sleeman earned a red card of his own for a late challenge on Jed McCardie.
But on his way back to the changing rooms the whistle blew for full time, and a disconsolate Porthleven were left to ponder what might have been.
Porthleven: M Wortley, L Hunter, C Wormington (M Best 70), D Tarrant, T Annear (c), J McCardie, J Greet, J Glover, F Williams (L Griffin 61), K Fraser, T Hawkins. Subs (not used): A Orchard.
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