FALMOUTH Town came from behind to book their place in the semi-finals of the Cornwall Charity Cup with a 3-2 extra-time victory at Penzance on Wednesday night.

Andreas Calleja-Stayne gave the Magpies a half-time lead with a fine finish from the edge of the box, but Luke Brabyn’s 75th-minute header sent the game to extra time.

Luke Johnson completed the comeback four minutes into the first half of extra time, before Scott Kellow all but sealed victory with a stunning half volley from distance.

Anton Oliver gave Penzance hope late on but Town saw the game out to set up a semi-final date with Saltash United at St Austell’s Poltair Park on Wednesday, April 1.

After three rain-enforced postponements and nearly two months since the original tie was scheduled in November, the tie finally went ahead on a chilly, but dry, January evening at Penlee Park.

Town were first out of the traps and could have led after nine minutes when Matt Buchan raced to the byline and pulled it back to Luke Brabyn, who dragged his shot inches wide from ten yards.

Penzance grew into the half and had two decent efforts from Darryl Richards and Mawgan Kewn before Calleja-Stayne fired the hosts in front in the 20th minute. The youngster controlled a pass in the box, swivelled and fired into the far corner to end the Magpies’ run of six games and more than 560 minutes without a goal.

Falmouth’s appeals for handball against Calleja-Stayne fell on deaf ears, with referee Matthew Carney deeming the Magpies midfielder to have controlled with his chest.

The home side passed up the chance to make it two soon after when Ryan Barnes raced out to clear Kewn’s through ball. His clearance was weak and it fell to Callum George, whose first-time volley flew well wide.

Aside from that early chance and a close-range effort from Buchan that flew into the side netting, Town struggled to make any real impression on Leigh Isaacs’ goal.

That changed after the break as Andrew Westgarth’s side dominated for the rest of the game. They still could not find the net, however, with Brabyn, Buchan and Luke Barner spurning six or seven decent chances between them.

That almost came back to haunt them when Penzance nearly doubled their lead in the 73rd minute with a rare foray forward. Tyler Buckley fired across goal but Barnes did brilliantly to tip it away and keep his side in the tie.

That proved crucial as Town finally hauled themselves level two minutes later. David Broglino kept a move alive on the left flank and delivered an inch-perfect cross for Brabyn to nod past Isaacs.

There was controversy ten minutes from time when Barner fell in a heap inside the box under a challenge from a Penzance defender. Carney went over to consult linesman Lee Atkinson before pointed for a goal kick to the dismay of the visitors.

Town kept pushing for a winner inside the regulation 90, and almost had it when substitute Johnson weaved past his man and fired at goal, only to be denied by a superb reaction stop from Isaacs.

But he wasn’t to be denied four minutes into the first period of extra time, with the winger finally giving his side the lead for the first time in the tie. Sam Pickup threaded the ball through for Johnson on the left of the box, who raced to the byline, cut back inside and drove the ball in low at the near post.

Town’s delight turned to delirium five minutes later when a loose ball sat up kindly for Kellow to strike it on the half volley from 25 yards, with the ball arrowing perfectly into the net to send the Falmouth players, dugout and supporters wild.

It was suddenly a case of how many Falmouth could score, and they should bagged a fourth in the 110th minute when Barner sent a low cross towards Johnson at the back post, but the midfielder contrived to stop the ball on the line.

Despite being outplayed for the last 74 minutes, Oliver struck to give the hosts a glimmer of hope in the final minute of the 120. The forward raced to meet Richards’ long ball and, despite not hitting it cleanly, managed to loop it perfectly over Barnes and inside the far post.

There was to be no miracle comeback, though, as Town saw out the remaining few seconds before starting the celebrations at the final whistle.

Penzance: L Isaacs, J Turner (S Grant 105), D Richards, C George, L Hart (S Owen), T Buckley (J Cleverly 90), J James, G Bell, A Calleja-Stayne, A Oliver, M Kewn. Subs (unused): K England.

Falmouth: R Barnes, B Oliver (M Duff 52), O Moody (L Johnson 60), S Kellow, J Cooper, J Ward, L Barner, D Broglino, M Buchan, S Pickup (W Harding 105), L Brabyn. Subs (unused): A Westgarth.