Illogan ride their luck to reach third round
Illogan 2, Pendeen Rovers 1
ILLOGAN progressed to the third round of the Senior Cup after overcoming fellow Combination high flyers Pendeen Rovers in a competitive tie at Oxland Parc, writes Scott Haley.
Two goals either side of half-time from Dominic Pullen and Dan Bowman were enough to send Mike Pascoe's side through, although keeper Barrie John-Wyatt must also take credit after denying the visitors an equaliser with a string of fine saves.
After the game, Pascoe admitted he was delighted to be in the hat for the next round and believes it could help his side in their fight for the league title.
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He said: "Although we controlled possession, they probably had the better chances but luckily we rode the storm.
"It's a vital win, not only because we're in the hat, but because we're both on good runs at the moment so the win could stop their momentum and maybe improve ours."
Pendeen trail Illogan by five points but have two games in hand which, if won, would see them climb above the league leaders in to first place.
And Rovers manager Andre Peters believed the only thing that stopped his side from getting a result on Saturday was bad fortune.
He said: "It was an even game which saw both keepers make four or five great saves but sometimes you need that bit of luck and we just didn't have it today."
The game started without much incident but sprung in to life on 15 minutes when both teams had penalty appeals turned down within the space of 30 seconds.
Pendeen front man Wade Brown felt he was tripped in the box before Bowman was clattered from behind at the other end but both incidents were waved away by referee Tim Reeks when they looked stonewall.
Brown looked lively, testing Wyatt twice minutes later, but after losing midfielder Gary Mathews to concussion shortly after, the away side lost their way and soon found themselves a goal down.
Stuart Peters' inch perfect cross from the left found the head of Pullen, who looped his effort over the keeper into the net.
It was just what the home side needed after a sloppy start, and they could have doubled their lead five minutes before half-time after Wyatt again did well to deny Brown and Jamie Payne.
However, Ben Widdershoven's cross was glanced wide by Bowman from six yards when it looked easier to score.
The home side pressed for a second early in the second half and after Pullen was denied by a fine save from Dexter King, their persistence finally paid off on the hour mark.
Ashley Kemp was too quick for the Pendeen defence and after driving in to the penalty area, the winger had the composure to pick out Bowman who made no mistake with his finish this time, dinking over King from 12 yards.
It looked like game over, but Pendeen rallied and were back in the tie nine minutes later after Brown got the better of Sam Fenton down the right and drilled a ball across goal which was tapped home by Jack Willis from close range.
It set up a dramatic final 20 minutes which saw Rovers press for an equaliser but they couldn't get the better of Wyatt, who beat away an effort from substitute Ashley Ellis before superbly tipping Scott Meagor's rasping shot over the bar to ensure his side were victorious.