Preview: Buckland Athletic v Falmouth Town

Falmouth Town will be hoping to record back-to-back away wins for the first time this season when they visit Buckland Athletic in the Western League Premier Division on Tuesday night (kick-off 7.30pm).

Andrew Westgarth’s side have won six of their last seven games in all competitions and have lost just one of their last 11 in the league, with last month’s 3-2 defeat at Barnstaple Town their only blemish since the end of September.

This match was due to be played in December but fell foul of the cold snap across the region, and in an unusual quirk of fixture rescheduling, the teams will meet again in the reverse fixture at Bickland Park this weekend.

Town sit two places and eight points below Buckland but with two games in hand on the Devon side. A draw or better on Tuesday would see Town rise above Helston Athletic and into seventh, while Buckland can go up to fifth if they better Barnstaple Town’s result at leaders Saltash.

Opposition view

Buckland, who are managed by Dan Hart, have been in the Western League since 2012 after the Devon outfit won promotion from the South West Peninsula League Premier.

In their eight completed campaigns in the Western League the Bucks have never finished below 11th, having done so on two occasions including last season.

This time around the Devonians sit sixth – two places and eight points above Town – with 41 points to their name from 23 matches, and also enjoyed a good run to the fourth round proper of the FA Vase before being eliminated by Ascot United ten days ago.

Buckland have scored 60 goals in all competitions this season, with Ryan Bush leading the way with 14 strikes in 27 games, with Josh Webber one behind on 13 goals from the same number of games.

Westy’s words

“The one sour note is the fact we’re playing two games in a row which is really bad fixturing and the league should really look at and swap a couple of games around because it’s not good for the integrity of the league in my opinion.

“That being said, you’d have to say it’s a mini six-pointer for us because you don’t want to be losing ground on them because we want to be looking up and not over our shoulder. If we lose it, we’ll find ourselves further away from them which is not ideal, but it’s a tough place to go and Dan’s done a great job there in his first year in the Western League. 

“There’s great people there who were really welcoming when we went there last year in the Vase and the setup is fantastic. These are the nights and games you want to be involved in and I’m really looking forward to it.

“There’s definitely an air of optimism in the group but we are fully aware that you’re never far away from a bad run of games or results because this league is so tough and there’s no tougher place to go than Buckland away. They’ve got great support so it should be a great atmosphere but we’re taking our supporters up there and hopefully we can get a positive result.”

Last five games – Falmouth Town:
Feb 4: Clevedon Town 0-3 Falmouth Town (League)
Feb 1: Falmouth Town 3-1 Barnstaple Town (Les Phillips Cup)
Jan 28: Falmouth Town 1-0 Ilfracombe Town (League)
Jan 21: Barnstaple Town 3-2 Falmouth Town (League)

Jan 2: Falmouth Town 4-1 Bridgwater United (League)

Last five games – Buckland Athletic:
Feb 4: Buckland Athletic 3-1 Ashton & Backwell United (League)
Jan 31: Buckland Athletic 2-0 Mousehole (Les Phillips Cup)
Jan 28: Buckland Athletic 1-3 Ascot United (FA Vase)
Jan 7: Buckland Athletic 3-1 Sherborne Town (League)

Jan 2: Torpoint Athletic 4-2 Buckland Athletic (League)