Westgarth rues missed chances in Wendron loss

Falmouth Town manager Andrew Westgarth rued a lack of sharpness in front of goal after his side’s Cornwall Senior Cup reign came to an end at the hands of Wendron United on Wednesday night.

Goals in either half from Lucas Potts and Reece Carroll gave the visitors victory in the second round tie at Bickland Park as Wendron exacted revenge for their defeat to Town in last year’s final.

Potts gave Michael O’Neill’s side the lead with a speculative strike from distance midway through the first half, before Carroll’s powerful effort from just inside the box flew in off the underside of the crossbar to give the visitors some breathing space.

Town had several chances to get back into the game, with James Ward hitting the crossbar before Olly Walker’s shot struck the post, but a mixture of wayward shooting, bad luck and some inspired goalkeeping from Ethan Fearn meant it was not to be for Town, whose reign as Senior Cup winners is over.

“It was a really frustrating night but I think we’ve played a lot worse and won,” said Westgarth, who was taking charge of Town for the 300th time on Wednesday night. “We created enough chances and I think football’s all about being sharp enough in both boxes and unfortunately if we were there all night I don’t think we would have scored. 

“We created so many chances on goal and I think if you look at the balance of play and the chances on target I think we won on both counts, but unfortunately on the stat that mattered the most they scored two and we didn’t. 

“I’m bitterly disappointed to be knocked out of the cup because as a club we hold cup competitions in high regard and we’ve got some great memories of the Senior Cup, but it just wasn’t our year this year and we’ve got to congratulate Wendron and we wish them all the best in the next round.”

It was only the third time Town have failed to score at home this season in 13 outings, but it was not for the lack of trying, with Town creating more than enough chances throughout the 90 minutes.

Fearn was the hero for Wendron, pulling off a fine double save to deny Jack Bray-Evans and then Cam Hutchison in the first half before saving two goalbound Ward headers after the turnaround, tipping one onto the underside of his crossbar.

Hutchison thought he had scored his first goal for Town when he got on the end of Luke Brabyn’s header and slotted the ball past Fearn, only to see the assistant’s flag go up for offside.

Tom Moxham also drew a save out of the Wendron custodian with a fierce strike from 30 yards while Luke Brabyn’s deflected shot rolled narrowly wide, and fears it wasn’t going to be Town’s night were confirmed when Walker’s first-time effort struck the inside of the far post late on.

“I was resigned to [defeat] when Wardy’s having goals off the line and headers off the bar,” Westgarth said. “Ethan [Fearn]’s having the game of his life and sometimes you just think it’s not our day today, but we’ve had a good run of it, winning two competitions in a row.

“It’s really frustrating because Cam’s looking for his first goal of the season, he’s had one in the first half when he was unlucky not to score, and then in the second half he’s had one in the net [that was disallowed]. Olly Walker hit the post, Jack Bray-Evans had two good chances and Wardy hit the bar and had one off the line. 

“I think they had three meaningful chances on goal: obviously the two strikes and Barnesy’s made a great save in the second half, but other than that I’m struggling to think of many, if any.

“I’ve got so much respect for Mike [O’Neill] and what he’s doing there, he deserves massive credit and I suppose after losing in the final and the disappointment they suffered, it’s probably the least they deserved.”