LUKE Barner scored twice as Falmouth Town continued their red-hot start to the season in front of goal with a confident five-goal win at home to Launceston.

Jack Bowyer opened the scoring inside three minutes but Town had to wait until the fourth minute of the second half for Tom Annear to double the advantage.

Barner soon extended the lead before David Broglino made it four, with Barner completing the rout with his tenth goal of the season in the final few minutes.

The win sees Town move up one place to fourth in the South West Peninsula League Premier West table, although they remain three points off leaders Mousehole.

Town got off to the best possible start with Bowyer springing into action in the third minute, racing past the defence to meet a through ball before rolling the ball past goalkeeper Ashley Clelland and into the far corner.

The home side could have been three goals up before the tenth minute with Bowyer striking the post before Clelland tipped Scott Kellow’s vicious shot over his crossbar.

But Town were dealt a blow in the loss of in-form winger Tim Nixon to a hamstring injury after just ten minutes, with Broglino’s rare shift on the bench lasting just ten minutes.

That appeared to dent Town’s rhythm as the home side controlled much of the remainder of the first half without making Clelland work too hard between the sticks, although Broglino did almost score with his first touch when he closed down the ‘keeper’s clearance and saw the ball drop inches wide of the empty net.

Annear, Bowyer and Kirk Davies all saw half-chances go begging as Town’s frustration grew, while Launceston threatened on occasion as Jay Hamley tested Ryan Barnes, who was making his 200th appearance in a Town shirt, before Jack Lee curled a shot high and wide.

The Clarets, who had won just once all season, were on top in the final minutes of the half with Barnes having to save Hamley’s shot before a nice one-two between Harry Dwelly and Areyo Loris-Opolyero almost ended with the latter turning the former’s cross in at the far post.

But, as has been the case so often in recent times, Town stepped it up after the break and needed just three second-half minutes to double their advantage. Barner’s high, hanging cross found Annear at the back post, who managed to squeeze the ball over the line from an extremely tight angle.

It was soon 3-0 as Barner bagged his ninth of the campaign at the end of a fine, flowing move, which saw Bowyer offload to Walter, who in turn found the in-form winger on the right of the box, who rifled the ball past Clelland.

He almost had his tenth of the season shortly after when his scissor kick was well saved by the ‘keeper, with Walter also being denied before centre-back Toby Clark saw his overhead kick attempt fly over the bar.

The fourth goal was a matter of time and it arrived in the 72nd minute as Broglino notched his own ninth of the campaign with a similar finish to the third goal. Luke Brabyn, who replaced Bowyer a few minutes earlier, slipped Broglino through on the right of the box, with the midfielder lashing the ball home from 12 yards.

Barner came close to another before Barnes was called into action at the other end, producing a fine save from Dwelly to keep his anniversary clean sheet intact.

New club captain James Ward saw a volley cleared off the line and a header saved as Town sniffed a fifth, which did come four minutes from time as Barner grabbed his milestone tenth goal of the 2020/21 season. TJ Walter’s strike from the edge of the box found its way through the bodies and into the net thanks to the deftest of flicks from Barner.

Town: R Barnes, K Davies, T Annear, R Martt (R Chinn 79), T Clark, J Ward, T Walter, S Kellow, J Bowyer (L Brabyn 64), L Barner, T Nixon (D Broglino 10). Subs (unused): O Moody.