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Falmouth Town 1 Ivybridge 2 - MATCH REPORT
John Dent's first game as Falmouth Town manager ended in a 2-1 defeat against in-form Ivybridge, but the new man in charge at Bickland Park can take plenty of positives away from the performance - Falmouth were on top until tiring badly in the second half.
Town started brightly, and deservedly took the lead in the fifth minute when Darren Friend's deep cross into the box was tapped in by striker Paul Cox at the back post.
A dream start then, but on the touch line Dent, stony faced, arms folded, was giving nothing away.
Town continued to press, and might have gone further ahead when captain Tom Whipp rounded Ivybridge keeper Josh Oak but lost control and the ball dribbled out for a goal kick.
Then on the stroke of half time, with their first real attack of the game Ivybridge were level. A cross into the box found Chris Maskell in a yard of space, and he powered a header past Danny Burrows from six yards out.
It was a body blow Town never recovered from.
After the restart Ivybridge were a different side, putting Falmouth under pressure as their superior fitness began to tell.
A string of close calls set the alarm bells ringing for Dent's side, and sure enough, the winner came just after the hour mark when a loose ball in the box was poked in by sub Andy Parker - the goal owed as much to tired Falmouth legs as anything else.
After that there were half chances for both sides - Town keeper Danny Burrows will be pleased to have seen the linesman's flag when he let the ball slip through his hands and over the line from a tame shot.
And Falmouth will themselves be aggrieved not to have had a fee kick from an obvious back pass.
But in the end the result was a fair one.
Dent and assistant Gary Pascoe have a two week break before returning to action in the league, and no doubt the Falmouth squad have some serious training sessions ahead of them.
A lack of fitness, unlike a lack of quality, is something they can fix.
Falmouth: Burrows, Webb, R Kellow (Hall 65), Cooper, S Kellow, Friend, Timmons, Harrison (C Elsdon 88), Cox (Gilbert 88), Whipp, Batchelor. Subs (not used): Fearne, Vallejo.
Ivybridge: Oak, Plackett (Hanrahan 62), Reed, Warren (Parker 46), Zimmerman, Bloomfield, Smallridge, Berry, Sutton, Neil, Maskell. Sub (not used): McClements.