Falmouth Town manager Andrew Westgarth admitted his frustration with his selection options after his side suffered a 3-1 defeat at Millbrook on Tuesday night.
Town are still missing several first-team players to summer holidays, with Luke Brabyn, Luke Barner, Tim Nixon, Scott Kellow and Olly Walker among the absentees, while new signing Cam Hutchison is yet to make his competitive debut.
It meant a small Town squad made the trip to Millbrook for their second Western League Premier Division encounter of the season, with Callum Kenny scoring twice and assisting another as the hosts roared into a three-goal lead midway through the second half.
Tom Annear pulled one back for Town in superb fashion, finding the net from a long-range free-kick, but it was scant consolation from a match in which Westgarth admits his side were very much second best.
“I can’t fault the guys who were there with their efforts, but I almost feel at the minute like I’m fighting with one hand tied behind my back,” Westgarth said after the game. “Since pre-season we’ve had to deal with personnel not here. We knew it was going to be difficult at the best of times, but we don’t stand much of a chance with so many of our key players away.
“It’s not just having personnel away, it’s what they bring: Barner, Nixon and Brabyn, that’s 69 goals there [from last season]. It was a difficult night, but full credit to Millbrook, and what I will say is they worked their socks off. I wouldn’t say it was a game for the purists, it wasn’t a game of Total Football, it was pretty direct from both sides which was the frustration.
“Tom scoring at the end to make it 3-1 softened the blow a little bit, but I think Millbrook were by far the better side and totally deserved it.”
But Westgarth is certainly not panicking and drew a comparison to Western League colleagues Mousehole, who lost three of their first five league games last season after several covid-enforced absences at the start of the campaign. Jake Ash’s Seagulls eventually brushed off their slow start by finishing third and just six points behind champions Tavistock.
“There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel, it’s not all doom and gloom,” Westgarth said. “If you look at Mousehole, they had a terrible start [last season]. I know it was more covid related, but when you don’t have your full contingent, you don’t tend to win games of football.
“We will be fine. The games are coming thick and fast, which is fine, I’ve not got a problem with that. We’ve just got to get up to speed quick and hopefully get that first win under our belt.”