Falmouth Town 1 Saltash United 6
Sometimes in football you have to put your hands together, applaud, and say well done to your opponents. Falmouth’s players showed great respect for the Ashes as they stood at the bottom of the Bickland Park stand and along with a good crowd they lead the applause for their opponents at the end of this season’s County Cup quarter final.
Despite the score Town actually competed really well in this game, but Saltash, with the majority of their large squad having played together for over seven years, were physically bigger, stronger and very confident of their own ability and their easy on the eye passing style of play showed the familiarity of a team who have played together for some considerable time.
Saltash started brightly and had the lions share of the early possession but Town gradually worked their way into the game and after ten minutes it looked like Town were starting to find the key to opening up the Saltash defence when a Sam Jones cross across the edge of the penalty area was fired just wide of the upright by Ben Hedges. Had that shot gone in it would have made for an interesting test of Saltash. Having survived a near miss however moved up field and took the lead with a well crafted move finished with a shot past Towns keeper.
Town fell further behind ten minutes later to an own goal when following a series of corners the ball was fired across the six yard box and in trying to clear Towns keeper unfortunately smashed the ball into his own net.
Between these goals Town kept their heads and continued to probe the Saltash defence and looked the equal of their opponents but the Ashes defenders for the most part remained a good solid unit and were able to successfully protect their goal.
2-0 at half-time would have suited Town and given them time to re-organise for a second half fight back, but right on half time Saltash on the break threw a high ball over the Falmouth box to the back post where their big centre forward rose above everyone to score a great headed goal and leave Town with a mountain to climb in the second half.
The second half saw Town fall further behind early on, but once more they stuck at their task and were unlucky not pull a goal back when from a free kick from out wide the Saltash keeper pulled off a good save pushing the ball onto the bar. Dropping directly downwards at the foot of the post it just needed a Falmouth foot to touch it in to score but the Ashes defence reacted quickest to kick the ball away to safety.
Town, already with key players unable to play due to being cup tied, on holiday or unavailable through injury, suffered further set-backs when centre back Sam George had to leave the pitch with a foot injury and Torin Trevethick-Beckerleg followed with what turned out to be concussion.
Saltash scored two more before Town finally got the success their efforts deserved when William Hart wriggled through the centre of the Saltash defence to score with a good shot from just inside the area.
Saltash were worthy winners of this tie, but its fairvto say that the 6-1 scoreline does not reflect the overall contribution that Town gave to this game and although falling short on the day, Town can draw positives in knowing that they were, for good periods of this game, asking the right footballing questions of a very good team.
As said at the start Falmouth Town’s players showed great respect for their opponents at the end by spontaneously and sportingly waiting for their opponents to leave the pitch and clapping them back into their dressing room. Yes they had lost, but they recognised they had lost to a good team.
A class act of sportsmanship in adversity from a good group of young players who themselves are improving each week, and which made both Falmouth’s managers proud of their players attitudes.