FALMOUTH Town manager Andrew Westgarth declared Saltash United as 'best team that we've played' following his side's 2-0 defeat to the Ashes in the Cornwall Senior Cup.

Sam Hughes struck twice in the second half to end Town's reign as Cornwall Senior Cup winners, as Matt Cusack's Saltash side gained their revenge for their defeat to Town in last season's final.

Westgarth said: "Obviously disappointed as holders of the cup [to go out] and full credit to Saltash, they say that the league table never lies which is true.

"For all of the teams we've played this season I think we've lost to the best team that we've played. They're organised, disciplined, took their chances when they had to and saw the game out.

"We huffed and puffed but we didn't do enough to win today.

"I think they were the better team; I think they were hungrier, they won the tackle better than us. That's not to say we were poor, I thought we competed pretty well, but they were just that notch above us in every aspect of the game I thought."

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He added: "We started the second half so poor, really poor and that effectively killed us. I might be clutching at straws a little bit, I thought we had a stonewall penalty, but that's the way it goes and full credit to them, they saw the game out and deserved to win."

Westgarth rued his inability to consistently pick his strongest squad with more players unavailable for various reasons.

In-form midfielder Luke Johnson was unavailable, as was striker Matt Buchan and defender Ben Oliver, while right-back David Blizzard continued his lengthy spell away.

Westgarth also rued his lack of a goalscorer comparable to that of Hughes or Ryan Richards at Saltash, with strikers Buchan and Jack Bowyer, who has now joined St Austell, unavailable for several matches this season.

"The frustrating thing about all this is that we are where we are for a reason, and this is not digging out any individual player but we're not going to win anything when we've never got our team here," he said.

"It's so frustrating, we've pretty much done what we've done with no centre forward. Look at the bench, who can we bring on to win us a game of football?

"It's frustrating me, it's frustrating the lads, we need the commitment. You look at Saltash, look at the goalscorers they've got. Helston, look at the goalscorers they've got, St Austell have goalscorers. Unfortunately we just haven't got a goalscorer to go and win us the game which is the frustration.

HIGHLIGHTS: Falmouth Town 0-2 Saltash United

"That's the joys of amateur football isn't it. You can't have a go at the guys for going away and living lives because that is life, but they can't then moan to me that we aren't doing this and we aren't doing that. It works for training, it works for games.

"Jonno's [Johnson] been on absolute fire and he's not here. Bucks [Buchan] not here again, and it's frustrating. [Jack] Bowyer's obviously moved on but he was never here anyway, so it's really frustrating."

Westgarth also heaped praise on opposite number Cusack for the job he has done at Kimberley Stadium.

The Ashes are bidding to reach the Senior Cup final for the fourth successive season and are locked in an exciting SWPL Premier West title race with Helston Athletic.

Saltash are still fighting in the Walter C Parson League Cup and Cornwall Charity Cup as well, meaning a quadruple is a distinct possibility.

"I've got so much respect for Matty and for what he does because he's building, not buying," Westgarth said.

"You've got to remember that this team's been together for five years and since my time here we've had such a positive or negative effect on each other's seasons.

"I've got so much respect for what he's doing and how he plays. You can see he's got a system, they do things the right way, they play great football.

"Obviously we're not going to win the league and I'd love to see them win it just for the journey they've been on. It is their time I think and I wish them all the best."