PREVIEW: FALMOUTH TOWN V SHEPTON MALLET
By Max Goodman
8th Oct 2022 | Local Sport
Words provided by Matt Friday - Falmouth Town FC
Falmouth Town will be searching for a much-needed three points on Saturday when they welcome Shepton Mallet to Bickland Park in their latest Western League encounter (kick-off 3pm).
Andrew Westgarth's side defeated Bude Town 2-1 a Bickland Park on Wednesday night to get their Cornwall Senior Cup defence off to a good start, and Town will now be hoping to end a seven-game winless run in the Western League against a Shepton Mallet side that currently sit third in the division.
Somerset outfit Shepton Mallet are led by Craig Loxton and John Durbin, who guided their side to a sixth-place finish – the joint-highest finish since they were promoted into the division in 2014, and indeed the joint-highest finish in the club's history.
After reforming in 1986 following the demise of Shepton Mallet Town, the Somerset side rose through the county leagues in the late 90s before joining the Western League in 2001, spending 13 years in Division 1 before winning promotion to the Premier Division in 2013/14. The Mallet recorded a sixth-place finish in 2017/18, which was their highest finish ever before that was equalled last season.
The Mallet enjoyed a stunning start to the 2022/23 campaign, winning each of their first eight league games – scoring 18 and conceding just two along the way – and defeating Liskeard Athletic, Brixham, and Blackfield & Langley in the FA Cup before bowing out with a very respectable single-goal defeat at Southern League Premier South leaders Weston-super-Mare.
But the Somerset outfit's winning league run came to a surprise end at previously winless Torpoint Athletic last weekend, with Curtis Damerell scoring twice for the Point, before Loxton and Durbin's side suffered another loss at Weston-super-Mare on Tuesday night, this time in the Somerset Premier Cup.
The Mallet have scored 32 goals in all competitions this season, with Joseph Morgan leading the way with nine strikes, while Aaron Seviour has netted five times.
Town have never faced Shepton Mallet in a league match, with their only previous competitive meeting resulting in a 1-0 victory for Town in an FA Cup extra preliminary round tie in 2003.
"It's great winning in these cup competitions because it does keep your season alive, but we've got to turn those into wins in the league and there's no better chance to do it than Shepton Mallet.
"It's going to be a tough game and they're on the back of a couple of defeats themselves so I'm sure they'll be looking to put it right, but it's a great opportunity for us.
"The squad's looking good now, there's competition for places and the boys should be itching to get back to it on Saturday. It should be a good game."
Last five games – Falmouth Town:
Oct 5: Falmouth Town 2-1 Bude Town (Cornwall Senior Cup)
Oct 1: Ilfracombe Town 2-2 Falmouth Town (League)
Sep 28: Falmouth Town 0-2 Mousehole (League)
Sep 24: Falmouth Town 5-0 Launceston (FA Vase)
Sep 17: Keynsham Town 1-1 Falmouth Town (League)
Last five games – Shepton Mallet:
Oct 4: Weston-super-Mare 3-1 Shepton Mallet (Somerset Premier Cup)
Oct 1: Torpoint Athletic 2-1 Shepton Mallet (League)
Sep 27: Shepton Mallet 2-0 Keynsham Town (League)
Sep 24: Bridgwater United 1-1 Ilfracombe Town (FA Vase)
Sep 21: Clevedon Town 1-3 Shepton Mallet (League)
Bickland Park, Bickland Water Road, Falmouth TR11 4PB
We advise that supporters arrive in plenty of time to avoid queues at the gate shortly before kick-off.
Limited copies of our matchday programme will be available on entry to the ground for £1.
A collection for the 50:50 draw will be made during the first half, with the winning ticket announced over the PA system at half-time. Each entry to the draw costs £1.
Refreshments and facilities
Once inside Bickland Park, food and beverages can be purchased from the serving hatch immediately to your left upon entering the ground.
Toilets can be found inside the clubhouse and in the hut at the far end of the ground.
Seating is available in the grandstand, with disabled access provided via a separate entrance at the top of the steps alongside the back row.