Falmouth Town got their just rewards for an outstanding season at Bickland Park today with a historic victory against Clevedon Town to secure a place in the Southern League Division 1 South next season. In front of another sizeable crowd, the home side was roared to victory with goals from Oscar Massey and Luke Barner, two of the most influential players in the Falmouth ranks.

Falmouth manager Andy Westgarth understandably went with the same starting line-up as the play-off semi-final last Tuesday night, with the experienced Luke Brabyn being preferred again to Rubin Wilson.

The game started with a bang as Falmouth took the lead after only two minutes. With the fans still streaming in and the queue still snaking down the car park, Bradley Leivers played a pass down the line on the left to Oscar Massey, who turned and ran at the Clevedon full back. He cleverly cut inside and hit a shot low and hard to beat James Dunn in the Clevedon goal at his near post. A goal from nowhere from Oscar Massey and the perfect start to such a massive game for Falmouth.

Falmouth had another great chance four minutes later when Massey was released down the right this time and squared the ball to Jared Sims, but a Clevedon defender made a timely interception to deny Sims a certain tap-in at the far post.

After a few more minutes of Falmouth pressure, Clevedon started to get into the game more with Kieran Ireland looking particularly tricky on the ball and No. 9 Sam Beresford working hard pressing the Falmouth defence when they were in possession. What turned out to be Clevedon’s best chance of the game came at around the 20-minute mark. Clevedon went on the attack and their followed a goalmouth scramble where there were a number of defensive blocks and a goal-line clearance, but Clevedon were unable to find the shot to beat Coxhead in the Falmouth goal and the game remained at 1-0.

Clevedon had the better of the half territorially and possession-wise but were unable to pierce the excellent Falmouth defence. However, Falmouth will have been relieved to have got to half-time with their goal intact.

There were no changes from either side at half-time and Clevedon continued to slightly edge the game, but it was Falmouth who had the next chance at the 6 minute mark. The dangerous Massey ran on to a lofted through ball and it was a foot race between himself and the keeper as the wind blew the ball goalwards. Massey got to it first but was unable to direct his effort towards the goal and the ball ran out to safety.

The Packet End was at full capacity this half as Falmouth attacked the goal at that end, and the F-Troop started to make some momentous noise as they sniffed victory and a chance to see their team get their second promotion in three seasons. It really was like being at a football league ground with an amazing atmosphere for this level of football. Although the game was scrappy, Falmouth still looked the most likely to get the next goal and much to the delight of the home crowd, that goal came on 70 minutes. Rubin Wilson, who had replaced Luke Brabyn after 55 minutes fed Oscar Massey from the left. The crowd would have put money on a Massey shot but instead he squared it for Luke Barner in space on the right-hand corner of the area and he struck the ball past the despairing hand of Dunn to make it 2-0.

Falmouth reacted well to the goal and seemed to up their intensity, with substitute Jack Webber, who has had a frustrating season due to injuries, adding some dynamism to the midfield as he replaced Andy Elcock. Elcock has proved to be a very useful acquisition at this crucial part of the season and had another steady game.

Neither side was able to create any further chances as it got to 5 minutes from time. Clevedon made a number of substitutions but were unable to change the course of the game. They started to go direct and play the ball high and early to the heart of the Falmouth defence but it was all to no avail as the aerial prowess of Bradley Leivers, captain James Ward and Tom Annear, who again was flawless, came to the fore and gave the visitors nothing to build on.

Five minutes of stoppage time was announced, and the nervousness of the crowd was palpable as they contemplated a momentous victory in the history of the club. The time was played out with no further incident and with the final whistle came a massive roar from the relieved home crowd. Falmouth Town had made it to the Southern League!

As the players shook hands and congratulated and commiserated with each other, the youngsters in the crowd showed great restraint. But within a couple of minutes, the pitch invasion had begun. The triumphant Town players were mobbed as supporters from all over the ground gathered in the Packet End to salute their victorious Falmouth team for the last time at home this season. As the crowd treated the players to a rendition of the most popular F-Troop songs, some of the older fans, who had seen the best and the worst of times for the club over the years, were seen to shed a tear or two of joy as they reflected on what had been achieved today. Andy Westgarth, Chairman Graham Medlin, superfan General Jeff Chambers, whose enthusiasm and energy has played a big part in the fan-base Falmouth have today, and the numerous coaches and club officials, should take great pride in where they have taken the club. From when they were on the brink of losing their historic ground and even possible relegation from the Peninsular league before Westgarth took over, it has been an amazing achievement by all involved.

What a game? What a day? What a club!

Wendron awaits next Sunday as Falmouth bid to the end the season on another high. They take on St Austell in the final of the Cornwall Senior Cup, in what may be their last appearance in this competition for a while, given Falmouth’s promotion today.

Goal Scorers:

Oscar Massey 2’

Luke Barner 70’

Line Ups:

Clevedon Town: James Dunn, Elliott Nichols, Syd Camper©, Glan Hayer, Henry West, Callum Kingdon, Brad Prabert, Kieran Ireland, Sam Beresford, Joe Teal, Harlee Vozza.

Subs: Sol Kent, Sam Ledward, James Wakefield, Own Punselie, Freddie King

Full match highlights from Will Hedgecock.
Enjoy some Promotion Day highlights from Will Hedgecock.