Preview: Liskeard Athletic v Falmouth Town

Falmouth Town face perhaps their biggest game of the South West Peninsula League season so far on Saturday when they make the trip to title-rivals Liskeard Athletic.

It is a case of first versus second with west division leaders Town currently seven points clear of the Blues, although the east Cornwall side do have a game in hand.

It is also a meeting of the only two remaining unbeaten records in either SWPL division: Town have won all 14 of their matches while Liskeard have won 11 and drawn two of their 13 games, dropping points only to Callington Town and Camelford.

Town got back to winning ways last weekend as a brace from Jack Bray-Evans and goals from Luke Brabyn and Andreas Calleja-Stayne sealed a 4-2 triumph at home to third-placed Camelford.

Falmouth went into that game off the back of their sole defeat of the season thus far – an FA Vase loss at Buckland Athletic seven days prior – and manager Andrew Westgarth is relieved to be heading into this weekend’s crucial game with confidence still high within his squad.

“I think Saturday was vitally important for us in that we got a positive result,” he said. “We didn’t want to go into the Liskeard game off the back of two bad results.

“Every month seems to be a big month, there’s always stand-out games and this one now has come around. Falmouth versus Liskeard, both unbeaten, it’s set up for a great game and you never know, one side’s unbeaten record could be broken on Saturday.

“We’re going into it quite confident really. The Buckland game, I don’t think we deserved to get anything from it but we looked good and it didn’t really knock our confidence much.

“That was evident on Saturday in the first 20 minutes against Camelford. We looked really strong and didn’t see any ill effects or hangover from the Buckland game, so confidence is high and the squad’s looking as strong as it’s always looked.”

Like Town, Liskeard’s only losses this season have come in cup ties, with Martin Hodge and Lee Mann’s charges coming into Saturday’s game off the back of an FA Vase second round proper defeat to Western League Keynsham Town two weeks ago, with goals from Ben Holter and Macauley Thorp bookending a 3-2 defeat to the Somerset side on home soil.

James Lorenz is the Blues’ top-scorer, having plundered 13 goals in 15 outings so far this term.

The two teams last met on September 21, 2019, when a hat-trick from Jack Bowyer and goals from Luke Barner, Luke Brabyn and Matt Buchan secured a 6-2 win for Andrew Westgarth’s side at Bickland Park.

It is likely to be a lot closer this weekend with Liskeard enjoying a superb campaign so far, and while Westgarth is eager to remind people that there is a lot of football still to be played this season, he recognises that the outcome of this Saturday’s game could be significant.

“People have been saying that the title’s ours already and it couldn’t be further from the truth because there’s so much football still to be played,” Westgarth said. “You look at the east division, Torpoint and Brixham were running away with it to start with, and then all of sudden [they’ve been pegged back].

“It only takes one bad week and before you know, you’ve lost two and drawn one. The season can change so quickly. We’ve still got to play Liskeard twice, we’ve still got to play St Blazey twice, we’ve still got to play Bodmin.

“I think Saturday will be a big marker for us, Liskeard and the league. I know it’s still very early but it could be significant in the title race.”

Last five games: Falmouth Town

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)
Oct 23: Falmouth Town 2-1 Bradford Town (FA Vase)

Last five games: Liskeard Athletic

Nov 20: Liskeard Athletic 2-3 Keynsham Town (FA Vase)
Nov 13: Newquay 0-4 Liskeard Athletic (SWPL)
Nov 6: Helston Athletic 3-2 Liskeard Athletic (Senior Cup)
Oct 30: Liskeard Athletic 7-1 St Austell (SWPL)
Oct 26: Launceston 1-2 Liskeard Athletic (SWPL)

Travel information

Follow A39, A30 and A38 to New Rd in Liskeard. Take the exit towards Liskeard/B3254 from Dobwalls Bypass/A38.
Continue along New Rd and Dean St before turning left at the roundabout onto Barras St.
Turn left at the monument and then take the first right onto Barras Pl, then follow the signs to Lux Park Leisure Centre, which will be on the right-hand side.