Preview: Falmouth Town v Barnstaple Town

Falmouth Town will be aiming to exact revenge on Barnstaple Town when they welcome the Devonians to Bickland Park in the Les Phillips Cup on Wednesday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

In another quirk of the fixture calendar, Wednesday night’s first-round tie – which has already been postponed four times – sees Town entertain Barnstaple only 11 days after visiting the north Devon outfit in the Western League.

Andrew Westgarth’s side hadn’t lost in their last eight league games prior to last Saturday’s visit, but they fell to a 3-2 reverse at the hands of the Mill Road outfit despite taking the lead after just 42 seconds.

The result means the two league fixtures between the teams yielded some 14 goals, with the sides scoring seven apiece after Town’s remarkable 5-4 victory at Bickland Park last month.

Opposition view

Barnstaple, who are managed by Craig Laird, are playing their first Western League campaign since 2016 after the Devonians finished bottom of the Southern League Division 1 South last term.

Their promotion in 2015/16, which was their second successive promotion after winning the Western League Division 1 the season before, ended a run of 67 consecutive campaigns in the Western League.

Barum then played four full seasons – plus two curtailed campaigns owing to covid – in the Southern League before their stay at Step 4 came to an end last term.

Laird’s men come into the game having won all four of their Western League games since their 5-4 defeat at Bickland Park on December 10.

Barnstaple have scored 60 goals in all competitions this season, with Callum Laird leading the way with 13 strikes in 21 games, while Tor Swann is next with 11 goals this term.

Westy’s words

Last five games – Falmouth Town:
Jan 28: Falmouth Town 1-0 Ilfracombe Town (League)
Jan 21: Barnstaple Town 3-2 Falmouth Town (League)
Jan 2: Falmouth Town 4-1 Bridgwater United (League)
Dec 26: Saltash United 1-3 Falmouth Town (League)
Dec 10: Falmouth Town 5-4 Barnstaple Town (League)

Last five games – Barnstaple Town:
Jan 28: Sherborne Town 0-1 Barnstaple Town (League)
Jan 21: Barnstaple Town 3-2 Falmouth Town (League)
Jan 2: Barnstaple Town 2-0 Saltash United (League)
Dec 26: Ilfracombe Town 0-3 Barnstaple Town (League)
Dec 10: Falmouth Town 5-4 Barnstaple Town (League)