New Combination Side Win at West Cornwall

WEST CORNWALL F.C. (1) 1 FALMOUTH TOWN  (2) 3

On a baking hot Saturday afternoon, this seasons new look Combination league side travelled to Pool to play the Trelawny league side West Cornwall FC.
West Cornwall have failed twice in recent seasons to be elected to the Combination league, apparently being unsuccessful due to their facilities. It is acknowledged by most in local football that their team is indeed a Combination side in the waiting and this was very evident  in the style and quality of their play today.
Town, with players on holiday or carrying knocks, travelled with only 11 outfield players which meant adjusting the team line up to get the best balance.
For Town their were 8 sixteen year olds and an 18 year old captain in the starting line up, showing Town’s intent this season to develop a youth based Combination league team.

Playing on their own Astro surface saw West Cornwall make an excellent start finding the right weight of passes on the Astro and intercepting Towns sometimes underweighted passes as Town struggled to adapt to the hot rubberised surface.
Throughout the opening twenty minutes, as at Sidmouth a week earlier, Town were often on the back foot. However keeping their shape against a technically good West Cornwall side eventually started to frustrate their opponents.
Having worked their way into the game, Town changed their formation mid way through the first half from 442 to 433 which forced West Cornwall onto the defensive.
Around the half hour Steve Retchford found space to unleash a sizzling shot from thirty yards and the ball flew into the top corner, giving Town what had become a deserved lead.
West Cornwall’s reply was swift and decisive. Almost Straight from the kick off they moved up the Astro and scored with an even better strike from distance to make the scores all even.
Disappointed, but by no means down, Town continued to press and counter. The net result was Robbie Donald nipping into the penalty area, ripping the ball away from the right back,  before slotting past the keeper to restore Towns lead.
2-1 half time.
The second half Town reinforced their growing confidence by having the greater share of possession and the better goal scoring opportunities. Eventually from a corner Fin Cross looked to have scored his first Town goal, only for that man Retchford to gain the last touch and claim the goal which put Town just about out of site.
For all their effort West Cornwall were now huffing and puffing but never looked likely to be able to blow the Town house down.
Frustration saw a few meaty challenges on Towns Ollie Walker and Rob Donald, which I guess was a compliment to how they were playing their opposite numbers.
The midfield trio of Retchford, Everard and Baressi kept things tight, closing down early and not allowing their opposite numbers time to settle or turn, whilst it was game management time for the solid back four of Hart, Frier,  Grahamslaw (captain) and Morris.
An excellent workout on a hot hot day.

Town Team:
Keepers: Ethan Fern, Adam Dower.
Defence: Kevin Morris, Archie Fryer, Callum Grahamslaw, William Hart.
Midfield: Steven Retchford, Max Everard, Marco Baressi.
Attack: Ollie Walker, Fin Cross , Rob Donald, Adie Hart.

Successful Pre-Season Sidmouth Trip for Town

Two encouraging results away to Sidmouth Town last weekend saw the first team beat Their  Devon peninsular league one opponents 2-0 with second half goals from player manager Andrew Westgarth and centre back Tom Whipp.
Town, with players away on holiday etc, played five of this seasons Combination league side in this fixture, four of whom were only just sixteen.
There were first team debuts for Max Everard who started in midfield and Adam Dower in goal, both acquitting themselves well with Everard hitting the post early on and Dower calm and collected deputising well for the on holiday Ryan Barnes.
Ollie Walker and Fin Cross came on as substitutes and both looked dangerous, Walker with many runs beating his opposition fullback and the hard working striker Fin Cross setting up the second Town goal after beating a defender to reach the dead ball line before unselfishly cutting the ball back for Tom Whipp who slammed the ball home from ten yards.
In Addition Calum Grahamslaw, this seasons newly appointed Combination team captain was solid as a rock in his substitute defensive role.
A good first friendly for our Peninsular Premier league side and manager Andy Westgarth, the travelling supporters and the first team squad, can surely feel pleased that there are a good crop of youngsters emerging from the Combination side in readiness to support and try to earn a place in Westgarths squad next season, if not occasionally this season if needed to be called upon.
Both the  Falmouth Peninsular Premier first team and the Jollys Combination team travelled together on the coach to Sidmouth creating a great squad team bonding exercise and there is a great deal of unity being shown this season already between the two sets of players. There was no , ” them and us” atmosphere, rather it was a FALMOUTH TOWN TOGETHER which was good to see and experience.
The Combination side, playing later in the afternoon, recorded a 0-0 draw in their first ever game together. New players drafted in from around the county quite literally with players from Newquay, St Austell, Truro, Camborne,  Redruth and of course Falmouth, had a tough opening twenty minutes against a big physical Sidmouth side who went close to scoring with a couple of set play free kicks, and an excellent free kick from just outside the box which crashed off the upright.
As Towns new boys started to settle they started to pass and retain the ball a little better and gradually took over the dominant offensive role with Fin Cross looking the most dangerous element with his pace, strength and direct running. It was hard up at the point of the attack for Fin on his own, and playing in his second game of the day, but he always looked like he might bag or create first Town goal.
Changes at half time saw Ollie Walker, Max Everard, Rob Donald and Will Hart come on and with a slight change in formation. Cross now had Walker and Donald coming up the flanks to join the attack, and the footballing traffic became more one sided, particularly with Will Hart providing good support as an overlapping wingback.
A much improved and more settled second half performance saw Town unlucky not to score with the Sidmouth keeper in outstanding form, and the last twenty minutes pulling off many fine saves from close range to  deny Town a victory.
A good first outing which should particularly be noted for the defensive bedrock which the senior players, Kevin Morris, Steve Winnan, Steve Retchford, along with Callum Grahamslaw  and sixteen year olds Archie Fryer and Gabe Hamshore provided. That solid spine allowed the other youngsters to play, and play without fear.
A great day out for Town as a club was followed by much merriment on the long coach trip back. Many thanks to our superb hosts Sidmouth Town, whose facilities and welcome would be credit to any sporting club.
Also special mention and thanks to the supporters who made the long journey up and back to support both teams.
Lastly great to see former Town manager Wayne Hughes also making the journey from his Exeter home to watch both teams play.
Falmouth first teams next friendly is at home this Friday evening against Truro City, whilst on Saturday the combination side are away to West Cornwall over at Pool college.

Reserves Triumph at Helston

The new management team of Dave Rawlings and his assistant Mike Newbury had a fantastic start with a 5-0 win over Helston Athletic Reserves at Kellaway Park in a Combination League match.  With only the bare eleven Dave played himself in goal.

Town’s goals were scored by Luke Murray, a brace from Steve Retchford, Callum Grahamshaw and Alex Ottaway.

 

Dave Rawlings to Manage Reserves

Former player Dave Rawlings has been appointed as Falmouth Town Reserves team manager.  He will be assisted by Mike Newbury  and will take charge for the first time at Helston Reserves on Saturday 29th of August.  Everyone at the club wishes them well.