Preview: St Blazey v Falmouth Town

Falmouth Town can move to within two wins of the South West Peninsula League Premier West title if they can overcome St Blazey on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Town head to Blaise Park for their penultimate away trip of the season in the knowledge that victory over Phil Lafferty’s side will put them within touching distance of their first title since their 1999/2000 South Western League triumph.

Andrew Westgarth’s side will have to be at their best to defeat the Green and Blacks, who are unbeaten in their last nine games and secured their place in the Walter C Parson League Cup final on Wednesday.

There is also an element of revenge for Town, who suffered their only defeat of the league season at the hands of St Blazey in the reverse fixture at Bickland Park in February.

Speaking ahead of the game, Town boss Andrew Westgarth said: “Blazey are going to be coming into the game full of confidence. They’ve really turned the corner since that Dobwalls defeat at home and since then they’ve gone on an unbeaten run. 

“They’ve obviously beaten us in that period, drawn with Liskeard, beaten Okehampton in the cup and now Ivybridge, so they’re on a good run at the minute.”

One of Westgarth and his defence’s main tasks will be to work out how to keep St Blazey striker Liam Eddy quiet. The former St Austell and Helston Athletic forward was the hero for his side in midweek, scoring two goals as the Green and Blacks defeated Ivybridge Town to reach the Walter C Parson League Cup final.

Those two strikes took his overall tally to 26 for the campaign, with a whopping 18 of those coming in his last ten matches, bagging three hat-tricks along the way.

“We’ve faced Liam a lot of times and know what he’s about, so there’s no shock factor in there,”  Westgarth said. 

“He’s a goalscorer and that’s what they do, they score goals. Whilst he’s in any team they’ve got a chance of winning, haven’t they? 

“I’d flip it on its head and say on the other hand we’ve got goals in our team, so I’m just as confident that we’ll score just as much as he’ll be a danger for them.”

Town will remember the teams’ previous meeting only too well, with Lafferty’s side inflicting Town’s only league defeat of the season thus far when they met at Bickland Park in February.

A brace from Luke Brabyn was not enough for the then-unbeaten hosts to take something from the game, with Eddy’s own brace and a header from returning former Falmouth skipper Joe Cooper condemning Westgarth’s side to their first league defeat of the season at the 21st attempt.

Although the team will undoubtedly be keen to settle the score, Westgarth insists he is purely focused on moving three points closer to the title, while his players will be eager to impress ahead of their Cornwall Senior Cup final against Wendron United.

“I suppose we don’t want to have a team do a double on us, but we’re just fixated on getting the three points and what that can do in our quest to win the league,” he said.

“[Avenging the defeat] doesn’t bother me that much, I’m just fixed on this result. We’re aware that if we can overcome this hurdle then that puts us in a very good position. 

“It’s good to keep the boys on their toes in the sense that they all want to be in that cup final side, so they know that they can’t slip up and take their eye off the ball in their performances because there’s someone who will be hungry for their shirt.

“It works really well for us as a team and me as a manager that the boys know they’ve got to be on it now. The next six league games are cup finals and obviously we have the cup final. There’s still a lot of football to go but we are in that final push now.”

Last five games: St Blazey

Mar 30: Ivybridge Town 1-2 St Blazey (League Cup)
Mar 26: St Dennis 0-4 St Blazey (SWPL)
Mar 23: Wadebridge Town 2-2 St Blazey (SWPL)
Mar 19: Liskeard Athletic 2-2 St Blazey (SWPL)
Mar 5: St Blazey 5-0 Penryn Athletic (SWPL)

Last five games: Falmouth Town

Mar 26: Sticker 1-3 Falmouth Town (SWPL)
Mar 22: St Dennis 1-4 Falmouth Town (SWPL)
Mar 19: St Austell 1-4 Falmouth Town (SWPL)
Mar 15: Falmouth Town 4-1 Dobwalls (Cornwall Senior Cup)
Mar 5: Newquay 0-3 Falmouth Town (SWPL)