Preview: Keynsham Town v Falmouth Town

Falmouth Town are hoping to record their first away win of the season when they visit Keynsham Town in the Western League on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

A goalless draw at home to Helston Athletic last time out extended Town’s unbeaten start to the season at Bickland Park to six games in all competitions (four wins, two draws), with Andrew Westgarth’s side now heading to Somerset as their search for that elusive first point on their travels continues.

That stalemate against Helston came the night before the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday, which led to the entire British football calendar last weekend being postponed by the Football Association.

That enforced break in play has allowed Town time to reflect on the first six weeks of their 2022/23 campaign, which has seen them win two and draw two of their first eight league games on their return to the Western League Premier Division and secure progression to the next round of the FA Vase.

They resume their season on Saturday with a first trip to Crown Field, now known as the AJN Stadium and complete with 3G surface, since their previous stint in the Western League in the 80s, and Westgarth is hoping they can return home with three points for the first time this term.

“I’m looking forward to going somewhere new,” Westgarth said ahead of Saturday’s match. “It’s a ground I’ve never been to and I don’t think I’ve ever played against Keynsham. It’s a game that we’re looking to do well in and obviously we’re not doing too great on our away form. These are the games you want to do well in, against teams that are around you [in the table] and we want to kickstart our season with a win.”

He continued: “Playing on a 3G [pitch] will be a challenge in itself, from our previous experience of playing Hamworthy [United in the FA Vase in 2018]. We’ve not got too much experience of playing on astro week in, week out, put it that way.”

On his side’s search for a first away win, Westgarth added: “In the Millbrook game we were way off it and deserved to lose; we were naive to lose at Helston after getting back to 1-1; the Ashton & Backwell game was a painful one to take when they had one shot on target [and scored the winner]; and in the Mousehole game we could have scored the winner and we’ve lost 3-2. 

“The away games have been tough lessons for us this year. It shows the fine margins when we haven’t got the F-Troop behind us as such. We’ve got to learn from that but it’s a game the boys are looking forward to. We’ve got them and then Launceston [in the Vase] and Mousehole so it’s an important period for us.”

Keynsham come into Saturday’s game off the back of two successive wins, with the Ks showing signs of revival after a tough start to the 2022/23 campaign.

The Somerset outfit, who finished tenth last season, began the campaign with seven losses in their first eight games in all competitions, with heavy defeats against Bridgwater United (8-1), Saltash United (6-1) and Cadbury Heath (5-0) included in that run.

But the Ks landed their first win of the season in style on August 29, with Jemar Thomas (2), Henry Sady and Owen Brain scoring in a 4-0 hammering of Wellington, before Thomas’ injury-time goal sealed a 1-0 triumph at Sherborne Town last time out.

Keynsham now have seven points to their name and sit one point and three places behind Town in the Western League table.

Last five games – Falmouth Town:
Sep 7: Falmouth Town 0-0 Helston Athletic (League)
Sep 3: Mousehole 3-2 Falmouth Town (League)
Aug 29: Ashton & Backwell United 1-0 Falmouth Town (League)
Aug 27: Falmouth Town 3-1 St Austell (FA Vase)
Aug 23: Helston Athletic 2-1 Falmouth Town (League)

Last five games – Keynsham Town:
Sep 3: Sherborne Town 0-1 Keynsham Town (League)
Aug 29: Keynsham Town 4-0 Wellington (League)
Aug 27: Keynsham Town 1-2 Buckland Athletic (League)
Aug 20: Saltash United 6-1 Keynsham Town (League)
Aug 16: Keynsham Town 2-2 Welton Rovers (League)