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Veteran Dent makes history

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

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JOHN Dent made Peninsula League history on Saturday when a goalkeeper crisis forced the Penzance manager to pull on the gloves – at the ripe old age of 57.

The new Magpies' boss became the oldest player to appear in the league after the unavailability of his two goalkeepers left Dent with no option but to pull on the No.1 jersey for the first time in 14 years.

However, he couldn't prevent Penzance from going down to 4-2 defeat at Liverton Town – though he did keep a clean sheet in the second half as the Magpies fought back gallantly.

Dent admitted he was fearing the worst after conceding a couple of goals in the opening minutes.

And trailing 4-0 at the break, Penzance looked on course for another heavy drubbing.

But Dent, and his much younger team-mates, composed themselves in the second half, scoring two goals.

Dent made the decision to play on Friday evening after discovering the club's two regular goalkeepers, Paul Williams and Gavin Power, were unable to travel due to other commitments.

He said: "I spoke to our secretary (John Mead) on Friday and said that I'd play, but we'd have to keep it from my wife!

"It was funny, because on the way to the game one of our players, Luke Rudkin asked me if I'd ever played in goal before, which shows just how young some of these players are compared to me."

In Dent's final season in 1998, and at the age of 43, he helped Perranwell to the treble, winning the Combination League, Combination League Cup and the Evely Cup, as well as reaching the final of the Durning Lawrence Charity Cup.

He added: "When Liverton went 4-0 up I thought 'what the hell am I doing?' but thankfully we were much better in the second half.

"I did enjoy it, and I've had some lovely messages but I think that's it now – though I said that last time!"

Williams returned to the side on Tuesday night as Penzance were beaten 3-0 at Liskeard Athletic.

The veteran goalkeeper will continue in goal on Saturday when Penzance travel to Newquay.

Dent said: "We know what we're up against, Newquay are new to the league but they have some very good players and we know it's going to be difficult.

"But I was really pleased with our second half performance at Liverton. It's still early days, and I'm hopeful things will improve once we strengthen the squad."

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