Falmouth Town manager Andrew Westgarth was ultimately satisfied with a share of the spoils after his side were held to a 1-1 draw at Torpoint Athletic on Saturday.
Town had the better opportunities of the first 45 minutes of the Western League clash at The Mill, with Jack Bray-Evans turning Luke Barner’s cross wide at the far post before the same man had a header cleared off the line.
But Westgarth’s side did get their noses in front just before the hour, with Olly Walker winning the ball on halfway and surging into the box before delivering a low cross. This led to a bit of pinball inside the six-yard box with the ball eventually falling for Walker to finish off the move he started.
Their lead lasted only three minutes, however, with Torpoint levelling with their next meaningful attack. A corner was half cleared before being fed back into the path of Curtis Damerell, who drove the ball into the net from the left side of the box.
From there it looked like there would only be one winner, with Town having stand-in goalkeeper Zach Telling to thank for a couple of vital saves in the dying embers of the game as the visitors held on to their point.
The draw means Town have slipped one place to 14th in the Western League Premier Division table, while Torpoint remain 18th in the division.
“I think a point was fair,” Westgarth said after the game. “We had a couple of big chances in the first half and they came into the game really strong and would probably be a little disappointed they didn’t get the [winning] goal, but I suppose both of us would look at it as missed chances costing matches.
“On another day we could have scored more, but I think we both would have settled for a point over the course of the game.
“I think we’re showing we are a tough team to beat. I know we’ve lost a couple of games in the cups recently, but defensively we always look really strong.
“Our goals against tally is pretty good but we just need to sharpen up in front of goal, ultimately missed chances cost matches and I think that could be for both of us really.”
Stand-in goalkeeper Telling was making his second appearance of the season in place of regular starter Ryan Barnes, and he came away from east Cornwall with the team’s man of the match award after a fine display.
Telling’s presence was especially felt in the latter stages of the game as Torpoint pushed for a winner, with the goalkeeper pulling off three point-blank saves in as many minutes shortly after the hosts’ equaliser.
He was called upon again late on to smother another shot at his near post to ensure his side walked away with something for their efforts, and Westgarth was pleased with his goalkeeper’s impact.
“Zach’s played for us a few times now and it’s never been a question with Zach, he’s never let us down,” he said. “I was pleased for him [on Saturday] because he’s come in and done well and there were some games last year where he probably never touched the ball, whereas [on Saturday] he was an integral part of us getting that point, and for him to get the man of the match award was thoroughly deserved and I’m pleased for him on a personal level.”
Olly Walker was once again on the scoresheet for Town, with the winger claiming his fourth goal in just six games since returning to the side at the end of September.
He started and finished the move that saw Town open the scoring at The Mill, winning the ball on the halfway line going on one of his trademark sprints down the left flank before sending the ball towards the back post.
The cross eluded Bray-Evans but Luke Brabyn was on hand to keep the play alive, with goalkeeper Tyler Coombes able to punch the ball as far as Walker, who rifled it home from six yards.
“He’s been excellent for us, Olly,” Westgarth said. “He gives us such a different dynamic, he’s a completely different winger to [Tim] Nixon or [Luke] Brabyn or Alex [Wharton] or Oli Pickup, he’s just raw pace and his ability to get past people is frightening at times.
“I think Olly will be the first to admit that in years gone by, end product was definitely an area he’d want to work on and this year we’re seeing it. He’s added goals and assists to his game which is really good.
“Two weeks ago against Ashton & Backwell he set up the winner for Jack [Bray-Evans] and this week he’s scoring, so he’s been a real asset for us.”