Falmouth Town begin the defence of their Cornwall Senior Cup crown on Wednesday night as they welcome South West Peninsula League high-flyers Bude Town to Bickland Park in their first round tie (kick-off 7.30pm).
Andrew Westgarth’s side defeated St Dennis, Bodmin Town, Newquay, Dobwalls and Wendron United on their way to Senior Cup glory last season, completing the successful defence of the title they won when the competition was last completed in 2019.
SWPL Premier West pacesetters Bude are led by Josh Allen and Ben Potter, who guided the Seasiders to promotion from the St Piran League East at the end of last season, ending a three-year spell away from the SWPL. After leaving the old SWPL Division 1 West to become founder members of the new St Piran League in 2019, the north Cornwall side had hoped to rejoin the SWPL in 2021, only to fail the ground grading inspection.
But they dusted themselves down and went again last season and got the job done at the second time of asking, with the Seasiders recording a fourth-place finish – meeting the minimum promotion requirement of a top-five finish – and passing the ground grading to ensure promotion to Step 6 for the first time.
There was plenty of optimism around Bude before the 2022/23 season began but few would have predicted it would have gone quite so well thus far, with the Seasiders currently occupying top spot in the SWPL Premier West. The north Cornwall side have taken the division by storm, having won eight and drawn one of their 11 games so far to enjoy a single-point advantage over second-placed St Blazey.
Allen and Potter’s side will be coming into the game with plenty of confidence, having triumphed 1-0 at third-placed Wadebridge Town in a tight game at Bodieve Park on Saturday, with Tornado Bello scoring the only goal of the game.
The Seasiders have scored 30 goals in all competitions this season, with Bello leading the way with nine strikes, while Billy Hopcroft has netted five times.
“It’s going to be a tough game, they’re top of their league and we know what confidence can do for other teams. When you’re top of the league below you’re fearless and you think you can beat anybody. It’s going to be a challenge, we know that, and we’ve got a couple of suspensions we need to deal with – Scotty [Kellow] is suspended and [Luke] Brabyn is suspended so we’ve got to deal with that.
“That being said, we’ve got the personnel now. It’s great to have Olly Walker back, he’s given us another dimension and now and was a real handful on Saturday. There shouldn’t be any fear factor there and obviously we’ll respect Bude for what they’re about, but at home I’d fancy us to do well.
“We’re the holders of the cup and they’re top of the league below so it’s got an upset written all over it. They’ve got some good players: they’ve got Tornado [Bello], they’ve got the boy [Billy] Hopcroft, he’s played at a decent level and scores goals for fun. They’ve got that momentum, they’ve got confidence and it should be a tough game.”
Last five games – Falmouth Town:
Oct 1: Ilfracombe Town 2-2 Falmouth Town (League)
Sep 28: Falmouth Town 0-2 Mousehole (League)
Sep 24: Falmouth Town 5-0 Launceston (FA Vase)
Sep 17: Keynsham Town 1-1 Falmouth Town (League)
Sep 7: Falmouth Town 0-0 Helston Athletic (League)
Last five games – Bude Town:
Oct 1: Wadebridge Town 0-1 Bude Town (League)
Sep 28: St Austell 1-0 Bude Town (League)
Sep 24: Bude Town 6-2 Penzance (League)
Sep 17: Sticker 1-2 Bude Town (League)
Sep 6: Torridgeside 4-2 Bude Town (Walter C Parson League Cup)
Bickland Park, Bickland Water Road, Falmouth TR11 4PB
We advise that supporters arrive in plenty of time to avoid queues at the gate shortly before kick-off.
Limited copies of our matchday programme will be available on entry to the ground for £1.
A collection for the 50:50 draw will be made during the first half, with the winning ticket announced over the PA system at half-time. Each entry to the draw costs £1.
Refreshments and facilities
Once inside Bickland Park, food and beverages can be purchased from the serving hatch immediately to your left upon entering the ground.
Toilets can be found inside the clubhouse and in the hut at the far end of the ground.
Seating is available in the grandstand, with disabled access provided via a separate entrance at the top of the steps alongside the back row.
We look forward to seeing you at Bickland Park on Wednesday and hope you enjoy your evening.
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