Falmouth Town will be looking to begin the new year the way they ended the previous one when they welcome Dobwalls to Bickland Park this weekend for their first game of 2022.
The runaway South West Peninsula League Premier West leaders won all 18 of their matches before the turn of the year, and they will be keen to make it number 19 on Saturday against fifth-placed Dobwalls.
Town were due to begin the year with a trip to Devon to face Okehampton Argyle in the Walter C Parson League Cup third round on Bank Holiday Monday, but the tie was postponed following a covid outbreak at the West Devon outfit.
That means Town haven’t played since the record-breaking Boxing Day win at home to Penryn Athletic, but manager Andrew Westgarth has been able to use the enforced lay-off to spend some time with his squad on the training field.
“It hasn’t been too bad,” he said. “It’s not ideal having time off but we’ve managed to have three training sessions in that time so we’ve been ticking over.
“We had a good gym session and managed to train on Tuesday. It was disappointing the cup game was off but obviously it was out of our hands, there was nothing we could do about it.
“I’m looking forward to it [the Dobwalls game]. I always look forward to every game, the games can’t come quick enough and the boys are looking forward to it.”
Simon Westlake’s Dobwalls are nicely positioned in fifth spot in the west division with a handy record of 11 wins from their 18 games so far this term.
Kelvin Fyneboy is their leading marksman, with the lively forward’s 16 goals in 18 games placing him fourth in the division’s goalscoring charts, behind only Bodmin Town’s Dan Jennings and the Town duo of Luke Brabyn and Jack Bray-Evans.
Danny Zalick was the matchwinner in their most recent game, however, with his strike proving enough for Dobwalls to see off Sticker at home on December 18.
Town ran out 4-1 winners when the teams met in the reverse fixture at Lantoom Park in September. Brabyn bagged a brace for the visitors, with Luke Barner and James Ward also netting for Town, while Aaron Hulme replied for the home side.
“It’s always a tough game against Dobwalls,” Westgarth said. “They’re a very physical side and Kelvin [Fyneboy] up front, he’s always a threat and always got a goal in him. We always have a tough game against Dobwalls and I’m expecting no different on Saturday.”
Town may be eyeing a 19th successive league win this term, but they and the rest of the county will have the other eye on the weather forecast, with heavy rain set to wreak havoc with the sporting schedule across Cornwall this weekend.
With Town not having played since Boxing Day, Westgarth is keen for the game to go ahead to prevent a three-week spell on the sidelines ahead of their important Cornwall Senior Cup quarter-final at Newquay next weekend.
“The weather’s not looking too good is it?” he said. “When you look at the forecast for Wednesday onwards and you see that it’s raining Thursday, Friday and Saturday, you are fearing the worst. We’re quite lucky with Bickland in that it does hold water well, but all we can do is hope and pray.
“We don’t really want to be going into the Senior Cup quarter-final having not played for three weeks. I know everyone is sort of in the same boat, but we don’t really want to be doing that.”
Last five games – Falmouth Town:
Dec 26: Falmouth Town 5-0 Penryn Athletic (SWPL)
Dec 18: Launceston 0-3 Falmouth Town (SWPL)
Dec 11: Falmouth Town 4-2 Wadebridge Town (SWPL)
Dec 4: Liskeard Athletic 1-3 Falmouth Town (SWPL)
Nov 27: Falmouth Town 4-2 Camelford (SWPL)
Last five games: Dobwalls
Dec 18: Dobwalls 1-0 Sticker (SWPL)
Dec 4: Wendron United 3-2 Dobwalls (SWPL)
Nov 27: Dobwalls 4-1 Newquay (SWPL)
Nov 20: Wadebridge Town 3-2 Dobwalls (SWPL)
Nov 13: Dobwalls 1-0 Camelford (SWPL)