Match Report – Tuesday, Oct 24th, 2023


Falmouth Town bowed out of this season’s Les Phillips Cup with a 2-0 defeat to the current holders, and local rivals, Helston Athletic at a rainy Bickland Park on Tuesday night in front of a crowd of around 400.
Both teams fielded some changes from recent games. Falmouth were without Ollie Walker, Jack Webber and Bradley Leivers with last years player of the season Tom Annear starting from the bench. Helston started with Jordan Copp, Curtis Damerell and Tom Payne on the bench with ex-Town favourite Tom Moxham absent also.

Falmouth started brightly and dominated the possession, a pattern that was mirrored for the vast majority of the game. Helston seemed content to defend and then get the ball forward early when able.
With the game being dominated by Falmouth, Helston launched the ball forward in the 13th minute. In a moment similar to the previous Town home game, there was some miscommunication between Coxhead in the Town goal and the Falmouth defence as Coxhead raced off his line to clear. Instead the ball was poked past him and it rolled into the back of the net with Coxhead stranded.
After forcing a series of corners, Falmouth swung one over from the left on 25 minutes and it was met by James Ward at the far post, only to see his header hit the bar and be subsequently cleared away. 2 minutes later, Jacob Grange, playing down the right for Falmouth, jinked inside and hit a rising shot which just cleared the bar.

On 44 minutes, Helston mounted a rare attack and won a corner. It was delivered from the left and Aaron Bentley arrived at the far post to power a header into the net to make it 2-0 to Helston.

Half-Time: FalmouthTown 0-2 Helston Athletic

The second half continued much as the first half with Town having most of the ball but Helston defending well and mopping up all the pressure. Town were playing in front of the Helston defence but were struggling to get through them or in behind them. It was a classic Attack v. Defence and Helston came out on top.

On 49 minutes, after further Town pressure, the ball broke to Jacob Grange just inside the box, but he saw his effort frustratingly hit the woodwork and rebound to safety. No luck for Falmouth when they needed it most.

Changes ensued as the game wore on with Tom Annear coming on for Max Everall on 62 minutes, as Falmouth changed to 3 at the back. The promising Tom Fisher then replaced James Swan in the 67th minute who had moved into midfield after Annear’s introduction. Fisher didn’t look at all out of place in such a big game and retained the ball well when required. Cam Hutchison replaced Jacob Grange at the same time and moved in to the #10 role, Luke Barner then moving to a wide-left position. This change seemed to rejuvenate Town as Barner started running at Tyler Elliott, the Helston right-back, time and again getting to the by-line and crossing into the box. However, the Town forwards were not able to get in front of their defenders and Helston cleared comfortably on most occasions.

In summary, a great defensive performance from Helston against a Falmouth side who out-played their top of the table opponents but just did not have enough in the final third to make good the damage done by their earlier defensive errors.

Man of the Match for Falmouth was Andreas Caleja-Stayne who worked tirelessly in the heavy conditions making crucial tackles and driving Town forwards from midfield with his sound distribution and ball-carrying.

Falmouth move on to a very difficult tie at Barnstaple on Saturday in the league as they push for a play-off place. Helston have a tough trip to Buckland.