Boss pleased with ‘steady’ display as Pandas progress
Lanivet Inn finished as runners-up in their group after a 5-0 win over St Breward, setting them up for a third place play-off tie with Polzeath. Picture: Tom Howe
19th May 2021
By Tom Howe
Lanivet Inn will meet North Cornwall District League rivals Polzeath in Saturday’s third place play-off after scoring five times for the third game on the bounce.
The Pandas ran out emphatic 5-0 winners over local rivals St Breward on Saturday to secure the runners-up spot in Group B, where they finished second only to an unbeaten Nanpean Rovers side.
After a goalless first-half, Matt Pearson rose highest to head home a corner before Benno Bould doubled his side’s advantage from the penalty spot. Further goals followed in quick succession, with James McNary getting the final touch in a scramble to score Lanivet’s third.
Two more arrived before the full-time whistle, with Ben Prideaux’s cool finish and Bould completing a swift break to fill Lanivet with confidence going into Saturday’s play-off encounter at Callywith College (12.30 pm).
“I think it was a steady performance again,” Panda’s assistant manager Dave Mullis told the Voice at the full-time whistle.
“We played well last week [when winning 5-1 at St Minver] and we took that into this week. It was nice not to concede for a change as we can be quite suspect at the back at times.
“I am quite happy with it and it was quite a good performance. Obviously we needed a result to go into next week’s game. I’m happy with the games leading into [the play-off]. We could have just downed tools, gave up and gone on holiday if you know what I mean but we have put in some good performances.
“We [were missing a few players] and that has been the case since we started. Since we took over we never seem to have the same settled side and we can’t get our best XI out at times due to work commitments and things like that. It is disappointing on that side of things but we know that we have got players that can come in and do a job.”
It was the home side that came closest to breaking the deadlock in an entertaining first 45 minutes, with Bould’s fine turn and lob leaving the crossbar shaking. At the other end of the park Lanivet’s stand-in goalkeeper, Bodmin Town striker Dan Jennings, was rarely tested by a St Breward attack led by number nine Martin Jago.
Jennings’ opposite number was the busier of the two custodians and, after both sides lost a player to injury, Prideaux and Bould both conspired to fire narrowly off target for the Pandas.
The half ended with Prideaux’s persistence almost paying off, with the left winger charging through and seeing a shot well saved before calls for a handball and a subsequent penalty were waved away by the referee.
Having huffed and puffed to no avail, Lanivet finally blew the Saints’ house down in the second half with Pearson heading in the game’s opening goal.
Bould drew the ‘keeper before missing the mark shortly afterwards but made no mistake from 12 yards when, following a foul on James McNary, the ex-Foxhole and Mevagissey forward finally found the net.
McNary, who saw an earlier effort ruled out for offside, really should have done better when presented with a one-on-one opportunity with the chance ultimately going begging as he was smothered by the visiting custodian.
Lanivet didn’t deter from their dominance and put themselves out of sight when McNary scored their third through a sea of bodies. Jennings, more accustomed to the role of playmaker than shot stopper, made a fine stop before starting a swift counter attack that brought about the Panda’s fourth, with the ball being pulled back on the byline for Prideaux to finish.
The rout was complete late on when, with St Breward tiring, another Lanivet break ended with Bould hitting the target to complete his side’s Group B campaign in style.
“It is a massive game next week,” concluded Mullis who, at the time, was unaware of how results had affected the adjacent Group A table.
“I don’t know who we are going to face but I think it will be a tough game whatever. It is good to go into [the match] in good form and, as I say, hopefully we can go on, finish the season on a high and look forward to next season.”