Match Report – Saturday, Oct 14th, 2023


Top of the table Falmouth Town suffered a frustrating 3-1 defeat at home to the lower ranked Shepton Mallet on Saturday after conceding 3 first-half goals in front of a crowd of 400, their highest attendance of the season. The majority of the supporters would have gone home unhappy as Town’s normal fluent passing game was not really in evidence for much of the day and they were undone by some uncharacteristic unsure defending and an unfortunate own goal.

The game started promisingly for Town as Cam Hutchinson shaved the top of the bar from a header in the first minute after a good move down the left. However, Town’s fortunes took a turn for the worst 2 minutes later when a defensive mix-up resulted in the ball falling to Charlie Bateson on the edge of the box who passed the ball into an unguarded net. Town Keeper Morgan Coxhead having come out of goal to try to deal with the mistake.

There followed a period of Town pressure without them ever threatening the young Millbrook keeper Tom Roberts, but on 28 minutes, the visitors forced a corner. It was an in-swinger which Coxhead wasn’t able to get to and the ball hit the back of a Town defender and was deflected into the net.

Town still had the majority of the possession, but Shepton Mallet would not allow them to dictate the play with some great pressing in the midfield areas. Things got even worse for Town after 39 minutes. Nathan Legge for Shepton Mallet picked the ball up around the half-way line and drove at the Town defence. As he arrived in the area, he cleverly cut the ball back on to his other foot, only to be brought down by the outstretched leg of Tom Annear. Referee Shaun Edge correctly awarded the penalty and Jake Sloggett duly dispatched it. 3-0 to Shepton Mallet.

A bad half of football for Falmouth, but they were given the chance to score a much-needed first goal just before half-time when a penalty was awarded for a foul at the near post after a goalmouth scramble. Cam Hutchison stepped up but was unable to beat Roberts who made a good save down low to his right to keep the score at 3-0.

The same Falmouth line-up entered the field after the break but it soon became clear that key Falmouth midfielder Jack Webber could not continue and he was replaced by Kayden Gordon-Dunn before the play was re-started.

Town still had the most of possession but were unable to break down a resolute Mallet defence who maintained the 3-0 score-line with some great blocks and last-ditch tackles. A change was needed and the lively Jacob Grange was brought off the bench for Cam Hutchison, Luke Barner then stepping into the no.10 role. Soon after, further pace was introduced as Alex Wharton replaced Jayden Gilbert. Grange started running at the Mallet defence and Town looked much more dangerous. On 76 minutes, a neat flick from Jared Sims enabled Luke Barner to cross from the left and Jacob Grange was there to steer the ball home. 3-1 to Shepton Mallet but with a possible 15-20 minutes still to play, hope was renewed for Falmouth.

The game started to become more physical and at the end of normal time, Sloggett was sent off after a 2nd yellow. Soon after Callum Gould for Mallet was sin-binned and the last 4 minutes of the 10 added on was played at 11 v. 9. With skipper James Ward pushed up-front, Town could not change the score-line and the game finished at 3-1 to Shepton Mallet, to much delight from their players and supporters.

Town now slip to 4th and may drop even further if games-in-hand are won by the teams beneath them. However, they are still well-placed for the play-offs at this early stage of the season.
Shepton Mallet now rise up the table to 8th.