Falmouth Town 2, Saltash United 1

JACK Bowyer scored twice as Falmouth Town beat ten-man Saltash United at Bickland Park on Saturday to end a run of six games without a win in the South West Peninsula League Premier.

Town’s last league victory had come some 66 days earlier when they beat Bodmin Town 1-0, but Bowyer’s brace ensures Town finish a memorable year on a good note.

Bowyer put Town in front inside ten minutes before Saltash’s Callum O’Brien was shown a second yellow card shortly before half-time.

Bowyer bagged his second of the game with four minutes to go, and despite Ashes sub Dave Trott pulling one back two minutes from time, Town recorded their first win in seven league games to return to fifth in the division.

The hosts enjoyed the ideal start with Luke Johnson teeing up Luke Brabyn whose shot went out for a corner, from which David Broglino sent a ball into the area for Bowyer to eventually prod home after a six-yard box scramble.

Johnson enjoyed a fine game for Town and had a chance to get on the scoresheet when he was put through by Bowyer, but sent his shot over the crossbar under pressure from an Ashes defender.

Town would have enjoyed a greater margin of victory had Saltash goalkeeper Ryan Rickard not been in such fine form, with the visiting ‘keeper denying Bowyer a first-half brace shortly before the break.

But O’Brien was to return to the changing rooms seven minutes earlier than his team-mates when referee James Gallagher showed the defender a second yellow card for a challenge on Johnson.

Town picked up where they left off after the break with Johnson’s shot being cleared away by the boot of Rickard.

Saltash were still able to threaten at the other end from time to time, and came close to levelling on 58 minutes when a header from a free-kick flashed across Ryan Barnes’ goal.

But Town, enjoying a numerical advantage, had the better of the rest of the game and should have doubled their lead on 74 minutes when Bowyer’s shot flew past Rickard, only for it to cannon off the angle of the post and crossbar.

Bowyer was in the thick of the action again two minutes later, receiving a pass from Broglino and shooting underneath Rickard, with his shot coming back off the post to substitute Marcello Jones who smashed his effort against Rickard’s boot.

But the hosts did have that crucial second four minutes from time when Johnson cut in and shot at Rickard, who managed to tip the effort away but only as far as Bowyer who tapped into the net from close range.

That should have been that but Saltash hit straight back when substitute Trott took the Town defence by surprise by opting to shoot when a pass was expected, instead firing past Barnes and into the corner.

But it was too little too late for the ten-man Ashes as Town saw out the final few minutes to claim their first league win for more than two months.

Falmouth: R Barnes, D Blizzard (J Richards 24), O Moody, R Martt (M Duff 78), J Cooper, J Ward, T Nixon (M Jones 76), D Broglino, J Bowyer, L Brabyn, L Johnson. Subs (unused): J Webber, S Pickup.

Saltash: R Rickard, L Russell, C O’Brien, R Maddison, R Richards, H Wilson, S Cleary, L Phillips, C Summerfield, R Thompson, T Clarke. Subs: D Trott, S Hughes, L Edwards, M Cusack.

  • Town’s first game of 2019 is a Cornwall Senior Cup third round tie at home to Polperro on Saturday, January 5 (kick-off 2pm).