Falmouth Town manager Andrew Westgarth believes his side’s victory over Liskeard Athletic in tricky conditions on Saturday gives them the psychological edge over the rest of their South West Peninsula League rivals.
League leaders Town came back from going a goal down after just one minute at Lux Park to see off second-placed Liskeard and record their 15th league win of the season from as many games.
Both sides also had to contend with a slow, heavy pitch and intermittent rain and hail showers throughout, and Westgarth feels the qualities his team showed in digging deep in difficult conditions to come away with another win will have sent a big message to their rivals.
“Not only is it great for us to get the three points, but psychologically, every team that’s come up against us now we’ve not just beaten, we’ve blown away,” Westgarth said at full-time.
“All we can do is take each game as it comes – it is just another game that we’ve ticked off, but I think we’ve sent that message that whatever people throw at us, we can deal with it; whether it’s a sunny day or teams running at us, whether it’s a boggy pitch or whether it’s going behind, I think we’ve got all the tools at the minute to go and win games.”
Town could hardly have got off to a worse start as James Rowe fired the hosts in front after little over 60 seconds.
Liskeard enjoyed the better of the first 45 minutes but Town grew into the game as the half wore on, with skipper James Ward grabbing a crucial equaliser eight minutes before the break.
“There’s never a great time to concede a goal but in a way it probably helped us as it gave us a kick up the backside,” Westgarth said. “I thought we were poor [in the] first half for our standards, we got a lifeline with Wardy scoring a goal, a great set piece and an unbelievable header, and then we go back in at half-time and re-group.”
Westgarth revealed that he challenged his players to dig deep and come out fighting after the break, and he was not left disappointed as Luke Barner put Town in front within four minutes of the restart before David Broglino’s sublime free-kick six minutes later gave the visitors breathing space.
Westgarth said: “I said to the boys [at half-time]: ‘We’re great when the weather’s nice and we’re great with the ball, but can we show that other side of our game? Can we go in the trenches and can we win 50-50s, can we win battles, can we be streetwise?’ – and what a reaction after half-time.”
A crucial moment in the match came in the 69th minute, when Town, leading 3-1 at the time, were denied a free-kick at one end before almost instantly conceding a penalty at the other as James Lorenz fell to the turf under Ryan Barnes’ challenge.
At 3-2, the game could have taken another direction had the penalty been converted, but Barnes did brilliantly to palm Lorenz’s spot-kick away before the rebound was put wide.
“His penalty record is unbelievable,” Westgarth said of his stopper. “It’s hard to tell if it was a penalty, but I thought the referee was pretty good to be fair to him. It was a great save but I think the guy missed a bigger chance with the rebound, we got a few lifelines there.”