Newquay manager Craig Ainslie declared skipper Ross Fallens’ leveller in their 2-1 victory at Wadebridge Town an ‘absolutely world-class goal’, writes Matt Friday.
Jacob Smale’s strike gave the hosts a half-time lead, but Fallens responded shortly after the hour in just about the best way possible, plucking Dan Magee’s cross out of the sky and volleying it into the top corner with his left foot from the left-hand side of the box.
Newquay went on to grab all three points in the final minute thanks to Josh Marcelis’ finish, with a jubilant Ainslie heaping praise on his captain’s strike at the end of the game.
“I think ‘wow’ is all I could manage from the dugout when he hit it,” Ainslie told Cornwall Sports Media. “We know Ross is a very talented player. You have to factor in that he’s not left-footed either!
“It wasn’t a fast cross either so he had plenty of time to think about it, it was up there for a while, and to have the technical ability to control it – he didn’t lash at it, he just put enough on it – and the ‘keeper had no chance, no ‘keeper saves that.
“When it hit the side netting, as the angle is not so great from the dugout when you’re watching, I was in absolute disbelief. It was an absolutely world-class goal and hopefully we’ll be able to get the footage of that from the Veo [camera] that Wadebridge were using on the day.”
The win secured a rare ‘treble’ over Wadebridge, having beaten them in the reverse league fixture and in the FA Vase, and lifted the Peppermints up to sixth in the South West Peninsula League Premier West table.
They didn’t have it all their own way and Wadebridge deservedly led at the break, but Ainslie was delighted with his side’s response in the second stanza.
“The first half wasn’t really good enough by our standards,” he said. “I didn’t need to say too much at half-time, the lads knew the issues and how to solve it. It was a different performance in the second half, we applied a little bit of control to the game.
“We didn’t create loads of chances, but obviously a wonder strike from Ross [Fallens], that’s one for the record for him, and a really good opportunistic finish from Josh [Marcelis] at the end to get us the three points.
“It was a tight game and I don’t think either team would have argued that the draw wasn’t a fair result, so we’re delighted that this time it’s us that’s managed to nick it at the end.”
Fallens’ super strike got Newquay back on terms, but it was the turn of a super sub, Josh Marcelis, to complete the comeback in the final minute of the game, and Ainslie lauded both his and his fellow substitutes’ contributions.
“I’m really pleased for him,” Ainslie said. “He’s not managed to be fully fit this season and had a couple of injuries, but he’s stuck at it and been persistent.
“Not just him either, I think all three substitutes really contributed to the game and that’s fantastic for me as a manager to be have to have good, game-changing options off the bench. I thought Jack Piper was great when he came on for Cam Turner. He calmed the game down and helped us get a bit of control of the ball in that frantic last ten minutes.
“Equally, Dan Magee came on at right-back at half-time after Scott Flannigan picked up a knock and played well in the second half, especially down the right-hand side with Jacob Grange and Carney [Dan Carne] switching sides. He created some good opportunities, so all three substitutes were fantastic, a real positive for me.”
Magee’s introduction at the start of the second half was his first appearance for the Peppermints after signing from Bodmin Town earlier in the week.
He was not the only new face among the Newquay ranks, with left-back Bradley Leivers joining from Penryn Athletic, and he impressed his new manager with an assured 90-minute display, slotting into the full-back role with Ash Bradshaw moving over to cover the suspended Tom Whipp.
“I’m delighted with both of them,” Ainslie said. “They’re both really, really good lads as well. When we’re looking at bringing players in we do so on the basis of there being an established requirement.
“I’m not a fan of recruiting for the sake of it: if there’s a player available, do they fit the way we play, are they going to fit in the dressing room, and equally, do we actually need that player?
“I thought Bradley in particular was exceptional yesterday [Saturday]. He’s everything we need at left-back in terms of the way we play: strong defensively, good in the air but equally very, very good going forward as well and we saw plenty of that yesterday.
“It was a fantastic performance from him, especially as he hasn’t trained [with us yet], it was the first time meeting a lot of the lads, so more to come from him I’m sure.”
Newquay are back in action on Saturday when they welcome Callington Town to Mount Wise (kick-off 3pm).
[Featured image: Matt Friday / Cornwall Sports Media]