Preview: Falmouth Town v Wadebridge Town

Falmouth Town boss Andrew Westgarth is keen for his side to build on last week’s excellent win at title rivals Liskeard Athletic when they welcome Wadebridge Town to Bickland Park on Saturday.

Goals from James Ward, Luke Barner and David Broglino saw west division leaders Town come back from a goal down to win 3-1 in the clash between the last two remaining unbeaten South West Peninsula League sides at Lux Park.

The win extended Town’s advantage over Liskeard to ten points, and Westgarth, who will be absent from the touchline on Saturday, is keen for his side to put in a similar performance this weekend and not let last week’s hard work in east Cornwall go to waste.

Speaking ahead of the game he said: “With the confidence we’re in and the form we’re in, games can’t come quite enough and Wadebridge is one I’m looking forward to. They’ve had a bit of success over us over the last couple of seasons at home, so we’ll be hoping to put a few wrongs right there.”

He added: “We definitely don’t want it to be after the Lord Mayor’s show. We all knew the significance of Liskeard and it’s important that we don’t take our eye off the ball and drop silly points, because we don’t want to undo all the hard work we’ve done up to this point and more so at Liskeard. If anything, this game is just as important.”

Saturday’s game will mark the end of a four-week lay-off for Wadebridge, who have not played since defeating Dobwalls at home on November 20 due to postponements and earlier cup exits. Kyle Flew, Jacob Smale and Lewis Webber were the scorers that day as Paul Rowe’s men ran out 3-2 winners at Bodieve Park.

Their inactivity in recent weeks has seen them slip to seventh in the division on 27 points, behind St Blazey and Wendron United only on goal difference.

Matt Lloyd is the Bridgers’ top goal scorer so far this season, having netted 11 times in 14 appearances in all competitions, with ten of those coming in as many league games.

One of those came in the reverse league fixture with Town at their Bodieve Park home on September 4. Lloyd’s goal that day was the first that Westgarth’s side had conceded this season, but it was ultimately in vain as Town strolled to a resounding 7-2 win. Tim Nixon came off the bench to score twice for the visitors, with Luke Barner, Luke Brabyn, Olly Walker, James Ward and Alex Wharton also finding the net. 

Town also enjoyed another convincing 6-1 win at Wadebridge in the curtailed 2020/21 season, but it has been a rather different story in recent meetings at Bickland Park, with Rowe’s side running out 3-2 winners last term after triumphing by the odd goal in seven the year before.

“Rower [Bridgers boss Paul Rowe] always loves coming down to Bickland Park,” Westgarth said. “They always bring a load of supporters down and I’m sure their players, like most players, when they come down to Bickland Park they see it as a good day out and a good place to play football, so they all up their game and we’re expecting no different on Saturday.”

Town will enjoy a few extra options over the festive period with Jack Webber and Olly Walker due to return from university, while forward Marcello Jones, who made his latest return from the bench against Liskeard last week, is available for selection for the next couple of months.

“It just goes to show the strength of the squad, when Nixon came off injured last week [he was replaced by Alex Wharton], and with him being out we’re lucky enough to replace him with the likes of Marcello, Olly Walker and Jack Webber,” Westgarth added.

Last five games: Falmouth Town

Dec 4: Liskeard Athletic 1-3 Falmouth Town (SWPL)
Nov 27: Falmouth Town 4-2 Camelford (SWPL)
Nov 20: Buckland Athletic 3-1 Falmouth Town (FA Vase)
Nov 12: Falmouth Town 5-2 Wendron United (SWPL)
Nov 6: Bodmin Town 3-5 Falmouth Town (Senior Cup)

Last five games: Wadebridge Town

Nov 20: Wadebridge Town 3-2 Dobwalls (SWPL)
Nov 13: St Dennis 2-3 Wadebridge Town (SWPL)
Oct 30: Wadebridge Town 3-0 Sticker (SWPL)
Oct 27: Callington Town 4-1 Wadebridge Town (SWPL)
Oct 23: Penryn Athletic 1-0 Wadebridge Town (SWPL)