Falmouth Town took full points from another game in hand on their rivals in this Western League fixture against fellow play-off hopefuls Buckland Athletic on Tuesday night. They secured a 2-0 win with both the goals coming during a frenetic opening four minutes on a heavy but playable Bickland Park.
Falmouth rang the changes again for the game, with Jacob Grange replacing James Swan, James Ward coming in for Andreas Calleja-Stayne who moved to his familiar midfield role replacing Jack Webber, and Cam Hutchison being preferred ahead of Luke Brabyn.
The home team started the game strongly and within the first two minutes had taken an early lead. Cam Hutchinson picked the ball up just outside the area, beat two players and threaded a pass out to Luke Barner, who was making his 150th appearance for Falmouth, on the right wing. His cross was met by Tyler Coombes in the Buckland goal but he could only clear the ball out to Oscar Massey on the edge of the box. Massey’s shot took a heavy deflection and looped high towards the goal falling to Hutchinson who toe-ended it over the line to make it one-nil.
The respectable crowd of 295, who had braved the cold and drizzly night and chose to watch a live game over the FA Cup ties being shown on TV, did not have to wait long for the next goal. Barely two minutes later, Hutchison had added to his tally on the night to confirm his position as leading scorer for the season so far. Oscar Massey ran on to a pass down the left-hand side and cut inside the Buckland defender. The defender recovered but the ball fell to Cameron Hutchinson who hit a fantastic side footed effort into the top-right corner of Coombes’ goal. One of the goals of the season so far.
The game then became much more even for the rest of the half with some good moments of play from both sides, despite the heavy conditions. Ex-Helston player Teigan Rosenquest, playing down the right, particularly looked threatening when allowed to run at the Falmouth defence, and Buckland’s top scorer Jared Lewington looked dangerous as well, although he was well marshalled by the imperious Tom Annear and James Ward as they strove to ensure another clean sheet.
Falmouth missed a chance to effectively put the game beyond the reach of Buckland on the half-hour mark when Oscar Massey was put clean through and found himself one on one with the keeper but could only steer the ball wide of the right-hand post. Town found further space particularly on the right flank and delivered a few crosses to the near post, but the experienced Buckland defence, lead by skipper Rob Farkins, dealt with them comfortably and no further goals were added before half-time.
The 2nd-half was again fairly evenly contested although Buckland rarely threatened the steadfast home defence. As the pitch deteriorated, so did the standard of play and the game became more physical, with the foul-count increasing. However, it was controlled well by referee Tim Burley who seemed in the main to make allowances for the conditions.
Buckland had the better of the last 15 minutes with Falmouth happy to just clear their lines, but their goal was never really threatened and the game ended with a solid home win against a quality team who could and perhaps should be accumulating more points than they have. Indeed, their play-off hopes will have been further dampened with this result and they will need a strong run of form from now if they are to achieve promotion.
Town move to within 4 points of 2nd placed Clevedon Town, having played two games fewer, and within 5 points of leaders Helston Athletic who have played the same number of games now as Falmouth. Falmouth have two further league games to play before either Helston or Clevedon play again, according to the current fixture list. Further wins would put them back at the top of the league and put pressure on the teams below them as it comes to the crucial part of the season. The next game is a tricky tie at mid-table Street FC followed by another evening game at home versus Ilfracombe Town, who inflicted one of Falmouth’s rare defeats this season in the away tie between the two sides. Falmouth will then concentrate on their historic FA Vase Quarter-Final game at Great Wakering Rovers on March 9th.

Cam Hutchison (2, 4)
Att: 295.

Falmouth Town: Morgan Coxhead, Jacob Grange, James Ward©, Tom Annear, Bradley Leivers, Jared Sims, Luke Barner, Cameron Hutchinson, Andreas Calleja-Stayne, Rubin Wilson, Oscar Massey. Subs: Luke Brabyn, James Swan, Max Everall, Tom Fisher, Jack Webber.

Buckland Athletic: Tyler Coombes, Will Hall, Sam Morcom, Teigan Rosenquest, Rob Farkins©, Reece Shanley, Ben Carter, Ciaran Bridger, Ryan Bush, Jared Lewington, Myles James. Subs: Frazer Clark, Callum Watson, Own Stockton, Sammy Stayt, Josh Grant.

Referee: Tim Burley.
Assistant Referees: Scott Gilbert, Max Davies.

Highlights from our victory over Buckland Athletic from Will Hedgecock.