Early treble sends Town towards victory at St Dennis

Alex Wharton and Jack Bray-Evans scored two goals apiece as Falmouth Town recorded a comfortable 4-1 victory at St Dennis on Tuesday night.

Bray-Evans’ brace was split by Wharton’s first strike as a rampant Town cruised to a three-goal lead after just 18 minutes at Boscawen Park, before Jacob Rowe pulled one back for the South West Peninsula League Premier West’s bottom side just before the half-hour mark.

With the damage done in that first quarter of the game the second period was a much quieter affair, with Wharton restoring his side’s three-goal cushion with his second of the night midway through the half as Town closed out their 24th win of the league campaign.

It means Andrew Westgarth’s side are potentially just three wins away from securing the west division crown and promotion to the Western League, with victories in their next three games against Sticker, St Blazey and Liskeard Athletic enough to seal the title with four games to spare.

Town immediately set their sights on the St Dennis goal with Bray-Evans denied by a last-ditch tackle in the second minute before the hosts, who earned their first win of the season at the 23rd attempt against Penzance two weeks earlier, came close at the other end through Rowe.

But the runaway league leaders soon got their noses in front when David Broglino’s effort from distance was parried by home custodian Ryan Holland, with Bray-Evans gleefully rifling in the rebound from close range to secure Town’s 100th league goal of the season.

Bray-Evans tested Holland again shortly after before Wharton, making his first start since January 15, doubled the visitors’ advantage, racing into the box to collect a through ball before planting it into the far corner.

Two became three in the blink of an eye with Town finding the back of the net again in virtually their next attack. It was Luke Barner this time who forced a save out of Holland from distance, but it was Bray-Evans once again who made no mistake with the rebound to score his sixth goal in his last three games.

At this point it felt like the score could end up being anything, but a mixture of determined defending and wayward shooting meant the St Dennis net would be breached only once more in the remaining 72 minutes.

Indeed it was the hosts who were next to score just before the half-hour mark, with good work in the corner by Tyler Trudgeon allowing the Saints man space to cross to Rowe, who spun in the box and drove the ball past Ryan Barnes.

The remainder of the half saw Town attempt to add to their tally to no avail, with Holland making saves from Wharton and James Ward either side of wayward efforts from midfield duo Andreas Calleja-Stayne and Broglino.

It was Holland to the rescue again shortly after the turnaround when the Saints stopper was called upon to deny Luke Brabyn with his feet, with the goalkeeper making a routine stop from Ade Thompson’s angled strike a few minutes later.

Broglino nearly found a way through when his looping strike almost dropped underneath the crossbar, while Ward passed up a golden chance to add to his 12 goals this season when he nodded wide at the back post.

Westgarth’s men finally got their deserved fourth goal in the 66th minute and it was worth the wait. Barner made an enterprising run through Saints territory before rolling the ball through to Wharton, who lifted it over Holland and into the net for his fifth of the campaign.

Not content to rest on their laurels, Town went in search of more with Holland making a superb stop to tip Ward’s header behind before doing the same with Brabyn’s effort.

Trudgeon flashed a shot wide following a rare Saints attack at the other end before Broglino missed a gilt-edged opportunity to cap the game off with a fifth goal late on. The midfielder met Thompson’s inch-perfect cross but contrived to send the ball wide from six yards out, although it mattered little as Town closed out their 31st win of the season in all competitions.

St Dennis: R Holland, M Davies, T Trudgeon, A Taylor, D Rickard, L Nicholls (L Rickard 55), M Sleeman (A Floyd 72), A Beresford, J Rowe, S Brown, M Rowe. Subs (unused): E O’Brien.

Falmouth: R Barnes, A Thompson, T Moxham (J Turner 80), A Calleja-Stayne, T Annear, J Ward (K Davies 71), L Brabyn, D Broglino, J Bray-Evans (T Clark 51), L Barner, A Wharton. Subs (unused): S Kellow, T Nixon.