post

Preview: Falmouth Town v Penryn Athletic

Boxing Day is set to be a special occasion at Bickland Park as Falmouth Town do battle with local rivals Penryn Athletic in a league fixture for the first time in nearly 15 years.

Not since the 2006/07 season, the final year of the old South Western League, have the two rivals met in a league fixture, but that run ends on Boxing Day when Harry Pope’s side come to town for the 11am kick-off in the South West Peninsula League.

The teams went their separate ways when the SWPL was created in 2007, with Town entering the Premier while Penryn moved into the old Division 1 West. Athletic then dropped out of the league in 2017, but rejoined their neighbours at the start of this season after winning promotion from the St Piran League.

All eyes have been on Town this term, however, with Andrew Westgarth’s side racking up 17 consecutive victories since the start of the campaign – breaking the club record of successive league wins in the process – and they will be hoping to finish 2021 on a high with number 18 this weekend.

It is also Falmouth’s first home Boxing Day game since 2015, when Rob Wearne’s strike proved the difference as Town defeated Helston Athletic 1-0.

“We’ve got to treat it like any other game, we can’t play the occasion,” Westgarth said. “We’ve broken the club record which is great, so we’ve got to get that out of our minds and get back to treating it like another league game.”

He added: “It’s been such a long time since Falmouth played Penryn on Boxing Day, and for us it’s a long time since we had a home game on Boxing Day, so we’re looking forward to that occasion.

“From Penryn’s point of view, they’re out of both cups and doing quite well in the league, so I suppose they’ll treat it as their biggest game of the season now, so we’re fully aware of how big a game it’s going to be.

“But we’re used to playing in big games so it’s a game that we are very much looking forward to, but we are focused on our task.”

They may not have met in the league since 2006/07, but the two teams have already met once this season, with Town running out 4-1 winners in a Walter C Parson League Cup first-round tie back in September. Luke Brabyn’s brace and strikes from David Broglino and Tim Nixon ensured progression for Town, with Jak Davies bagging a consolation for Pope’s side.

Penryn come into the match off the back of a fine 2-1 win at home to Bodmin Town last weekend, with Ryan Reeve and Nick Boase securing the hosts’ seventh win of the campaign.

Jack Rapsey and Morgan Vallejo are Penryn’s leading marksmen this term, having netted nine goals apiece, with Ryan Reeve next on the list with seven strikes.

Harry Pope’s outfit sit 11th in the table with 23 points to their name from 17 matches, winning seven of those – including the scalps of higher-ranked Wadebridge Town and Wendron United.

“I think consistency is the difference between the top sides and the lower half of the league, but I think on their day anybody can beat anybody,” Westgarth said. “With the stature of Bodmin and the stature of Darren Gilbert [Bodmin boss], for Penryn to win those sort of games, regardless of Bodmin’s position in their league, is great for their confidence.

“They’re having a good season. If you look at the league table I think they’ll be relatively happy, so full credit to them to be where they’re at. We are expecting a tough game, like we do any other game.”

A sizeable attendance is anticipated at Bickland Park for the first league clash between the two local rivals for nearly 15 years, with some having their sights set on the SWPL record of 737, set in the 2008/09 season when Newquay hosted town rivals Godolphin Atlantic.

There are a few festive surprises in store on the day, with Santa set to make an appearance at Bickland to hand out sweets to the children in attendance.

That will precede a special rendition of Nessun Dorma by Joe Grimshaw, who will perform in front of the Packet End at 10.45am, with a special order of 200 black and amber flags set to add to the occasion.

In anticipation of the bumper crowd, supporters are advised to enter the ground early to avoid large queues forming as kick-off nears.

“They’ve [the F-Troop] been very vocal in trying to drum up support,” Westgarth said. “I’m expecting a bumper crowd anyway – there’s talk of breaking the record and if we can get that, great, but if we don’t, I’m sure it’ll still be big. 

“Whether we have 100, 200, 300 or whatever, the noise volume is always like a party atmosphere, so either way it’ll be great.”

Last five games: Falmouth Town

Dec 18: Launceston 0-3 Falmouth Town (SWPL)

Dec 11: Falmouth Town 4-2 Wadebridge Town (SWPL)

Dec 4: Liskeard Athletic 1-3 Falmouth Town (SWPL)

Boxing Day is set to be a special occasion at Bickland Park as Falmouth Town do battle with local rivals Penryn Athletic in a league fixture for the first time in nearly 15 years.

Not since the 2006/07 season, the final year of the old South Western League, have the two rivals met in a league fixture, but that run ends on Boxing Day when Harry Pope’s side come to town for the 11am kick-off in the South West Peninsula League.

The teams went their separate ways when the SWPL was created in 2007, with Town entering the Premier while Penryn moved into the old Division 1 West. Athletic then dropped out of the league in 2017, but rejoined their neighbours at the start of this season after winning promotion from the St Piran League.

All eyes have been on Town this term, however, with Andrew Westgarth’s side racking up 17 consecutive victories since the start of the campaign – breaking the club record of successive league wins in the process – and they will be hoping to finish 2021 on a high with number 18 this weekend.

It is also Falmouth’s first home Boxing Day game since 2015, when Rob Wearne’s strike proved the difference as Town defeated Helston Athletic 1-0.

“We’ve got to treat it like any other game, we can’t play the occasion,” Westgarth said. “We’ve broken the club record which is great, so we’ve got to get that out of our minds and get back to treating it like another league game.”

He added: “It’s been such a long time since Falmouth played Penryn on Boxing Day, and for us it’s a long time since we had a home game on Boxing Day, so we’re looking forward to that occasion.

“From Penryn’s point of view, they’re out of both cups and doing quite well in the league, so I suppose they’ll treat it as their biggest game of the season now, so we’re fully aware of how big a game it’s going to be, but we’re used to playing in big games so it’s a game that we are very much looking forward to, but we are focused on our task.”

They may not have met in the league since 2006/07, but the two teams have already met once this season, with Town running out 4-1 winners in a Walter C Parson League Cup first-round tie back in September. Luke Brabyn’s brace and strikes from David Broglino and Tim Nixon ensured progression for Town, with Jak Davies bagging a consolation for Harry Pope’s side.

Penryn come into the match off the back of a fine 2-1 win at home to Bodmin Town last weekend, with Ryan Reeve and Nick Boase securing the hosts’ seventh win of the campaign.

Ed Harrison is the Camels’ leading marksman this term, having found the net 12 times in 16 league appearances.

Harry Pope’s outfit sit 11th in the table with 23 points to their name from 17 matches, winning seven of those – including the scalps of higher-ranked Wadebridge Town and Wendron United.

“I think consistency is the difference between the top sides and the lower half of the league, but I think on their day anybody can beat anybody,” Westgarth said. “With the stature of Bodmin and the stature of Darren Gilbert [Bodmin boss], for Penryn to win those sort of games, regardless of Bodmin’s position in their league, is great for their confidence.

“They’re having a good season. If you look at the league table I think they’ll be relatively happy considering when I read reports [of their games] they’ve got a depleted squad, so full credit to them to be where they’re at. We are expecting a tough game, like we do any other game.”

A sizeable attendance is anticipated at Bickland Park for the first league clash between the two local rivals for nearly 15 years, with some having their sights set on the SWPL record of 737, set in the 2008/09 season when Newquay hosted town rivals Godolphin Atlantic.

There are a few festive surprises in store on the day, with Santa set to make an appearance at Bickland to hand out sweets to the children in attendance.

That will precede a special rendition of Nessun Dorma by Joe Grimshaw, who will perform in front of the Packet End at 10.45am, with a special order of 200 black and amber flags set to add to the occasion.

In anticipation of the bumper crowd, supporters are advised to enter the ground early to avoid large queues forming as kick-off nears.

“They’ve [the F-Troop] been very vocal in trying to drum up support,” Westgarth said. “I’m expecting a bumper crowd anyway – there’s talk of breaking the record and if we can get that, great, but if we don’t, I’m sure it’ll still be big. 

“Whether we have 100, 200, 300 or whatever, the noise volume is always like a party atmosphere, so either way it’ll be great.”

Last five games: Falmouth Town

Dec 18: Launceston 0-3 Falmouth Town (SWPL)

Dec 11: Falmouth Town 4-2 Wadebridge Town (SWPL)

Dec 4: Liskeard Athletic 1-3 Falmouth Town (SWPL)

Nov 27: Falmouth Town 4-2 Camelford (SWPL)

Nov 20: Buckland Athletic 3-1 Falmouth Town (FA Vase)

Last five games: Penryn Athletic

Dec 18: Penryn Athletic 2-1 Bodmin Town (SWPL)

Dec 4: Penryn Athletic 2-4 St Blazey (SWPL)

Nov 13: Penryn Athletic 1-3 Launceston (SWPL)

Nov 6: Dobwalls 2-2 Penryn Athletic – Dobwalls win 3-0 on pens (Senior Cup)

Oct 30: Penryn Athletic 2-2 Callington Town (SWPL)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.