Scott Kellow’s first goal of the season gave Falmouth Town a 1-0 win over Western League high-flyers Shepton Mallet at Bickland Park on Saturday.
Right-back Kellow, who returned to the side following a one-match suspension, headed home the only goal of the game from a Tom Annear cross in the 52nd minute to give Town their second home win in three days.
Shepton Mallet, who had won all but one of their nine league games prior to kick-off, threw everything at Town in the dying minutes but the hosts held on to record their third league victory of the season and end a run of seven league games without a win.
Town remain 14th in the Western League Premier Division despite the victory, but Andrew Westgarth’s side are now just three points off the top seven.
There was very little to separate the sides in the first 45 minutes at Bickland Park, with neither goalkeeper called in action particularly often with the battle being fought largely in the middle third of the pitch.
Oliver Pickup, making his first Western League start, came close for Town when he weaved past one defender before seeing his low effort saved by Mallet custodian Sam Borthwick, who also did well to deny Luke Barner when the Falmouth midfielder beat the defence and looked set to find the back of the net.
The Somerset outfit enjoyed more of the ball as the half went on, with Josh Williams having one effort before Ryan Barnes had to be at full stretch to tip Declan Cornish’s strike past his post.
But Town regained the initiative at the start of the second half and grabbed what would be the decisive goal seven minutes after the turnaround. A corner was cleared as far as Barner who laid the ball back to skipper Annear, whose cross was brilliantly nodded into the bottom corner by Kellow from 15 yards.
Keen to press home their advantage, Town continued to go forward in search of a killer second goal, with Tim Nixon volleying wide from a cross before Jack Bray-Evans fired into the wall from a free-kick on the edge of the box, with Pickup’s effort clearing the crossbar shortly afterwards.
Shepton Mallet soon began to push forward with Barnes having to be at his best to block Callum Gould’s powerful strike with his legs before Jacob Sloggett fired over at the end of a marauding run into Town territory.
The visitors continued to push but Town, who gave up a two-goal lead at Ilfracombe seven days earlier, were not to be denied this time, with Barnes racing out to deny substitute Joseph Alangel before Andreas Calleja-Stayne blocked Gould’s venomous shot as Town stood firm to clinch all three points.
Falmouth: R Barnes, S Kellow, T Moxham, J Webber, T Annear, K Gordon-Dunn, O Pickup (A Wharton 90+2), A Calleja-Stayne, J Bray-Evans (90+5), L Barner (C Hutchison (89), T Nixon (J Swan 72).
Shepton Mallet: S Borthwick, J Sisson, C Ball, D Constable, M Wood, C Gould, F Haines (J Alangel 58), C Peck, J Williams (A Seviour 60), D Cornish (N Legge 60), J Sloggett. Subs (unused): C Loxton.