Godolphin Atlantic joint manager Adam Paterson admitted it was ‘hard to explain’ his side’s 7-1 loss at Falmouth Town on Saturday, which saw the G hold the South West Peninsula League leaders for an hour before shipping six in a remarkable second-half turnaround at Bickland Park, writes Matt Friday.
Godolphin put in what Paterson felt was their best display of the season as they matched league leaders Falmouth for the first 45 minutes, with Luke Barner’s early effort for Town being cancelled out by debutant Archie Ward’s strike as Paterson and Josh Stockdale’s side ensured they went into the break on terms with the table toppers.
Town had to wait until the 63rd minute to restore their lead, with Tim Nixon’s deflected strike kicking off a sensational final third of the game. Luke Brabyn swiftly made it 3-1 from the spot barely two minutes later before James Ward nodded in a fourth with virtually the next attack.
Alex Wharton came off the bench to add a fifth on 71 minutes, completing a nine-minute spell in which Town had scored four times, before Jack Bray-Evans’ late brace – a fantastic free-kick and a powerful header – to cap off a rampant second stanza.
“From what we saw in the first half, the second half was an incredible difference,” Paterson told Cornwall Sports Media. “From our perspective. maybe it shows why Falmouth are doing so well and why they are where they are and it was more on them than us where it went wrong in that second half.
“They had a little spell of ten minutes where they sniffed a bit of blood and they just went for it and we didn’t have the answers to that at that moment in time.
“Looking at the first half, I think it was probably the best we’ve played all season and we really did take the game to them and you wouldn’t have been knocked at half-time to think we might have got something out of the game.”
It really was the proverbial game of two halves at Bickland Park, with Godolphin deservedly on level terms with the league leaders for the majority of the first hour of the game.
Few would have predicted what happened next, with Town scoring six times in a devastating final 27 minutes to run out 7-1 winners – something that would have seemed absurd an hour into the game.
“It’s hard to explain it really because that first half was exactly what we’re trying to get out of the boys in what we’re trying to build and the way we’re playing football,” Paterson said. “Every time we were in possession of the ball we got into shape well and we looked to play through them, play around them and find the young lads out wide and try and get forward as early as possible and take the game to them and not sit on the back foot.
“The one thing we said before the game was we didn’t want to go down there and sit back, we wanted to go out and attack them and have a bit of fun while we’re playing as well. At the end of the day we never want to go anywhere and sit behind the ball and let them attack us because that’s not really football for us, that’s not how we want to do it.
“We want to go out and get at teams, it doesn’t matter who it is, and I think that shocked Falmouth a little bit. I don’t think they expected us to be quite like that. They weren’t at their best but that’s helped when we put in such a good performance to nullify their threats as well.”
He added: “There was so much positive feedback from spectators at the game. On the way out we were being stopped by everyone saying, ‘You didn’t deserve that,’ but at the end of the day we’ve conceded seven goals so we did deserve it. You can’t have it both ways. You can play really well but we still conceded those goals.
“We’ve got to find a way of nullifying that ten-minute spell now because that seems to be the recurring theme for us at the moment: playing really well and having that little blip, conceding the goals and we don’t get the points.”
One big positive from Saturday’s defeat was that of 17-year-old Ward, who scored the visitors’ equaliser on his debut. The youngster, who has scored nine goals in 15 outings for St Piran League side Perranporth and scored a whopping 19 in seven for Perran’s under-18s team in the Kernow Youth League this season, got on the end of Matty Walker’s near-post cross and fired it past Town goalkeeper Ryan Barnes midway through the half, and Paterson was delighted with his new man’s impact.
“I’m really happy,” he said. “We’ve kept him monitored for most of the season… so getting him to come over and scoring on his debut [was excellent]. He played really well, especially in that [first] 60 minutes, and with the front three of Archie, Francis Pengelly and Matty [Walker], we’ve now got three young, exciting talents and hopefully in time they’re going to be on a hell a of a front three to try and deal with.
“Even Matty in the build-up to the goal for Archie, he’s picked the ball up inside our own half, run the length of the pitch, gone through two people and set it up for Archie. There are lots of positives, we can be down about the result at the end, but there are certainly positives to take from the game. It’s a good building block for us.”
Godolphin Atlantic face their fourth consecutive away trip this weekend, with the G set for an important match against 16th-placed Penzance at Penlee Park (kick-off 3.00pm).
[Featured image: Matt Friday / Cornwall Sports Media]