ST AUSTELL boss Chris Knight felt his side ‘looked more like themselves in patches’ after reaching the semi-finals of the SWPL Walter C Parson League Cup on Wednesday, March 13, with a 3-1 victory over Camelford at Trefrew Park.

The Lillywhites dominated early on against a weakened Camels side missing six players – and although Matt Searle put them in front eight minutes in after being set up by Adam Carter, Sam Brown drew the hosts level 12 minutes later.

The Saints, who later piled on the pressure during the midway point of the second half, then scrapped their way through much of the rest of the game with goalkeeper Harry Ashton making a crucial save from Shae Cardiff at 1-1.

But in extra-time with the likes of Neil Slateford and Liam Eddy on the pitch, their extra quality showed as Eddy fired in with two minutes of the first half remaining.

The tie was then wrapped up five minutes before the end of the second period as sub Tom Guest slotted home at the near post after a neat header inside by Carter.

A relieved Knight said: “I thought we were solid if not spectacular on the evening and really should have won the game in normal time after a lot of pressure early on. But fair play to Camelford, Reg's teams are always hard to beat and it proved to be the case again.”

While Camelford’s compromised three players who play further down the pyramid, St Austell’s bench compromised established Step Six regulars.

As well as Slateford, Eddy and Guest, they could call upon experienced centre-half Martin Watts and winger Connor Wharton.

And Knight knows he’ll need them all over in the next few weeks.

Not only do they have seven league games remaining as they battle it out with Liskeard Athletic for the SWPL Premier West title, they are now into the last four of the League Cup and Cornwall Senior Cup.

He said: “We are going to need our squad over the next month and so it proved last night. Being able to bring those lads of the bench is great for us as they calmed the game down and know how to win which is great in tight games.”

St Austell had not played since February 3 before beating neighbours Sticker 3-1 on March 8, and Knight felt his side are far from their best.

He said: “We are feeling our way back at the moment and I was disappointed with the Sticker match, but I thought we started to look more like ourselves in patches last night which was encouraging.

“I thought my two full-backs (Kieron Bishop and Martyn Duff) were outstanding and Matt Searle must have covered every blade of grass on the pitch!”

The Lillywhites are now back to the bread and butter of league action on Saturday when they welcome mid-table Holsworthy to Poltair Park (3pm).

They currently have a five-point cushion over second-placed Liskeard, but the Blues, who they also face in the Cornwall Senior Cup, have two games in-hand.

Knight, who is in his second spell in charge at the club, knows they can ill-afford to make any mistakes against the Magpies who have had an inconsistent season.

After a flying start since being transferred over from the Premier East division, they have since lost their last six games, albeit they have been spread out since November due to the poor weather.

Knight said: “Every game as it’s been all season is a big one for us.

“It’s obviously a massive cliche but we really can only take each game as it comes and see where we are.

“I’m sure there are a few twists and turns yet and Holsworthy are a dangerous team, so we will need to be at it!”