Falmouth Town boss Andrew Westgarth was happy with his team’s efforts despite their 5-1 defeat at home to Truro City in their annual Aubrey Wilkes Trophy clash.
Tyler Harvey opened the scoring from the spot at Bickland Park after 20 minutes after Rocky Neal went down under Ryan Barnes’ challenge, before the same man doubled the advantage a few minutes later with a sublime effort from outside the box.
Neal made it three shortly before the interval after finding plenty of space to head home Shane White’s cross, with substitute Jacob Grange adding a fourth with another excellent finish three minutes into the second half.
The several hundred Town supporters did have a goal to cheer ten minutes from the end thanks to substitute Jack Bray-Evans’ powerful strike, before Grange finished off the scoring in the final minute of the 90 with a close-range header.
Despite the one-sided nature of the scoreline, Westgarth felt there were plenty of positives to take from the afternoon.
“It’s not very often I lose 5-1 and I’m quite pleased,” Westgarth said after the game. “It was such an improvement on last week at Tavistock where we weren’t at the races at all.
“We were never going to be free-flowing, attacking, chance after chance; today it was about how resolute we could be.
“For large spells of it I thought we looked really good, [we had some] good partnerships in the middle of the park and I thought Kayden [Gordon-Dunn], for his first start [had a good game]. Wardy is always going to be a big loss but I thought he was excellent.
“It was disappointing that the game changed a bit on the penalty, but that being said, they were probably going to score at some point. We probably gave the referee the decision which we didn’t need to do – from our point of view, it was disappointing.
“Overall, it was a much, much improved performance from Tavistock, and I know it says 5-1 but there were lots of areas we can be pleased with.”
Bray-Evans provided Town’s first goal of pre-season ten minutes from time with a fine, low finish from just inside the box.
The talismanic forward, who scored 32 goals in 29 games for Town last season, was named among the substitutes following a short illness earlier in the week.
But Westgarth brought his man on midway through the second period and Bray-Evans quickly repaid his manager’s faith by netting a consolation for the hosts, bringing with it the biggest cheer of the afternoon.
“He’s been a bit sick this week and he hasn’t trained,” Westgarth said, “but typical Jack, he’s desperate to get on and was pretty much doing star jumps behind me, he wanted to come on that much, but when he came on he showed his class.
“He’s a completely different centre-forward to [Luke] Brabyn. I thought Brabyn was excellent in the first half and caused a lot of problems, but Jack’s just a goalscorer, isn’t he?
“He held the ball up really well and the finish, OK the goalkeeper was beaten at his near post, but sometimes you’ve got to praise the striker for the finish.”
Westgarth also reserved mention for Alex Wharton, who enjoyed an impressive 90 minutes on the right flank. The young forward also shared set-piece duties with Tom Annear and Tim Nixon in the absence of regular takers David Broglino and Luke Barner, with some of the deliveries in the first half looking especially dangerous.
“[Alex] was excellent,” he said. “He’s played against arguably two of the best left-backs he’ll probably face all season in [Josh] Robins at Tavvy and the boy [Connor] Riley-Lowe, they’re no mugs and I thought he was excellent in both games, he just has to work on that end product.”