Kernow FA 3, Foxhole Stars 2

The Kernow Football Alliance marked their first-ever match with a win as they beat a Foxhole Stars XI at Poltair Park on Monday night.

The newly-formed Kernow FA team enjoyed a 3-0 lead after 50 minutes, but the Foxhole side struck twice to threaten an unlikely comeback, although Kernow held out for a landmark victory.

Harry Clarke gave Kernow a half-time lead with a goal midway through the half, but a penalty from Olly Brokenshire and a goal from Liam Eddy put daylight between the teams.

But any thoughts of the 'hosts' easing to victory were quashed when Dan Jennings and Harry Downing quickly closed the gap, but Kernow were eventually able to see the game out.

There was a sense of anticipation around AFC St Austell's Poltair Park ground prior to kick-off. Many of the 186 spectators will have been excited to see a unique sporting event unfold, while some may have been keen just to see what the fuss was about.

The 'fuss' was the inaugural match of the Kernow Football Alliance, a football organisation which was formed last year and ratified by CONIFA - the football governing body for non-FIFA affiliated nations.

Since then it has been bit of a waiting game as to when we would see a Cornish representative side take to the field, but now the waiting was over.

Falmouth Packet:

The Kernow FA coaching staff (inc. co-managers Phil Lafferty and Darren Gilbert) in high spirits before kick-off

The Kernow team, which was made up of South West Peninsula League players, started brightly with Max Gilbert coming close on two occasions inside the first seven minutes. He fired his first effort narrowly wide of the bottom corner from outside the box before striking the post with a free-kick a couple of minutes later.

Neil Slateford, one of six St Austell players in the starting line-up, shot just wide shortly after as Kernow began to build some pressure.

But it was Foxhole, who were also largely SWPL-based, who were screaming for a penalty in the 24th minute when Kernow 'keeper Jason Chapman clattered into Dan Jennings, but the referee deemed the foul to be just outside the box.

That decision took on added significance four minutes later when Kernow scored their first-ever goal. The honour of first-ever goalscorer went to Bodmin Town's Harry Clarke, who raced past the Foxhole defence and chipped goalkeeper Anton Lake.

Falmouth Packet:

Harry Clarke is congratulated after scoring Kernow's first-ever goal

Foxhole responded by forcing a couple of smart stops out of Chapman, before James Lorenz skewed a shot wide at the other end following a lovely passing move.

Kernow took the slender lead into half-time, but were three goals to the good after just ten minutes of the second half.

The second goal came on 50 minutes when the lively Liam Eddy, fresh from the bench, was brought down in the box when clean through, with Brokenshire powering home the resulting spot kick.

The third arrived just another six minutes later, with Eddy netting from close range after Lake parried a shot into the St Austell man's path.

But just when it seemed that Kernow would be easing to victory on their special day, Foxhole were handed a lifeline when Carl Rickard was brought down in the box. Jennings took on the responsibility and left substitute goalkeeper Barrie Wyatt no chance with a howitzer into the top corner.

A lifeline turned into a fully-fledged comeback four minutes later when Downing nodded home from close range, with Kernow defenders' protests that the ball had already gone out of play falling on deaf ears.

Falmouth Packet:

Helston Athletic 'keeper Barrie Wyatt played the second half for Kernow FA

But despite a previously unlikely comeback looking much more likely all of a sudden, the big chance that Foxhole were looking for never materialised.

With that the full-time whistle went and Kernow FA had chalked up a landmark victory on their historic night, even if it ended up being a bit closer than they would have liked.

What the future holds for the organisation remains to be seen, but if big things are still to come, then this will be remembered as the night it all began.

Kernow FA: J Chapman, J Rogers, T Chambers (c), T Harris, T Whipp, M Giles, N Slateford, M Gilbert, J Lorenz, M Goldsworthy, H Clarke. Subs: B Wyatt, C Reski, O Brokenshire, E Timmons, M Lloyd, L Eddy, G Tucker, D Pethick.

Foxhole Stars XI: A Lake, M Davies, L Rickard (c), K Powell, L Carhart, L Reed-Bennett, K Friendship, S Gerken, C Rickard, D Jennings, C Kenny. Subs: J Wilmott, H Downing, B Waters, K Rowe.