Penryn Athletic 1, Porthleven 1 - SWPL Division 1 West, December 2014

DENNIS Annear said he thought Porthleven fully deserved a point after a heroic defensive display kept a gung-ho Penryn Athletic out.

The Fishermen threw their bodies on the line as their hosts plundered attacks at their goal during a second half they dominated. Try all they might, Athletic could not score a winner in the South West Peninsula League West clash, even after Dan Tarrant was sent off.

David Leach had given them a fourth minute lead when he latched onto a horrendous error by goalkeeper Benji Bryant. But Port got a response halfway through the first half when Dan Thomas chipped over Chris Symons.

After this the game was controlled by Athletic but despite their endeavour, they found a visiting defence who would do anything to keep them out.

Annear said:“It looked a bit smash and grab, but I thought we defended for the badge for the first time in a long time, so I’m absolutely delighted for them.

“Every side when you’re under the kosh you want to see that and I thought for the passion we showed we deserved a point.

“I could have not asked from any more for the 11 who turned up today.”

Disaster struck the visitors just four minutes in when Bryant went 30 yards off his goal-line to retrieve the ball, only to see it slip under his feet. This error let Leach in who had the simplest of tasks to run to goal and slam the ball into an unguarded net.

In a match which was seeing tussles in the midfield with both sides closing each other down quickly, Athletic's winger Luke Brabyn was proving to be a bright spark.

He nearly set up a chance to make it 2-0 when his cross was flicked on by leach, but Russell May could not steer in his shot at the back post.

With the amount of pressing being applied by both sides, carving out chances at either end of the pitch was proving difficult.

But with 25 minutes on the clock, Port struck back when a ball over the top found Thomas who had beaten the offside trap. As Symons rushed out to put the forward off, Thomas let the ball bounce before lobbing it over the goalkeeper.

Having been beaten 5-0 in their previous match at Bude Town and with fellow promotion chasers St Dennis coming to Kernick Road on Saturday, Athletic came out after the interval knowing a win would be a welcome boost.

Their search for another goal had a difficult start as their eagerness saw their passing lose control with possession being lost regularly.

Once they did recapture their composure, the home side did start creating chances in the last 25 minutes of the match. Kevin Lawrence was put in by Ryan Chinn, but the midfielder's shot clipped the post and went wide.

Ryan Martt also went close when he got on the end of a left wing cross, but the defender could not get his effort on target.

As Athletic turned the screws, Port put in a big shift at the back with skipper Tom Annear and right-back Chris Wormington both making important tackles.

Bryant, keen to make amends for his early error, also pulled off several good saves, including one from a shot from substitute Scott Palmer.

He also prevented Brabyn's header from hitting the back of the net with 12 minutes left after a lovely ball into the box from Ben Oliver.

May went close two minutes later when he got on the end of a fine passing move from the hosts, but Bryant was there again to save well with his shins.

It seemed Athletic would need a bit of help to get a winner and it looked like they had it when Tarrant's heavy challenge on Sean Johnson saw he get a red card with seven minutes remaining.

Port appeared to become more galvanised at the back though with more men throwing themselves on the line.

A final chance came for the hosts in the last minute, but Palmer's flick-on from a long throw-in was not read by his team-mates with no-one at the back post for what would have been an easy score.

Penryn: Symons, Blizzard, May, Chinn, Oliver(c), Martt, Brabyn, Moody (Johnson 77), Leach (Palmer 57), Winnan, Lawrence. Subs (unused): Cooke.

Porthleven: Bryant, Wormington, Ogunbode, Coleman, Tarrant, Jorey, D Greet, Thomas, T Annear (c), J Annear, Williams. Subs (unused): D Annear.