By Kevin Marriott at Underlane


FALMOUTH Town ended a successful season on an incredible high and condemned St Austell to a heartbreaking finish by scoring twice in the final minutes of extra time to clinch the Cornwall Senior Cup.

The Lillywhites could almost feel the prestigious trophy in their hands as the final entered the 120th minute with them leading 2-1.

Suddenly mayhem broke out among the Falmouth supporters in the 1,004 crowd as wing-back James Swan smashed a loose ball into the net from close range.

Thoughts of a penalty shootout were quickly swept from the mind as Falmouth launched a final attack in the second minute of time added on at the end of extra time.

There was chaos in the penalty area as St Austell desperately tried to clear but the ball fell to Luke Barner, who forced it over the line to spark incredible scenes.

As the St Austell players slumped to the ground – many of them probably wishing it would swallow them up – Falmouth’s players, officials, substitutes and their supporters celebrated an astonishing comeback.

It has to go down as one of the most dramatic finishes to a Senior Cup final in the competition’s 131-year history.

For Andy Westgarth’s Falmouth side it was the icing on the cake after clinching promotion to the Southern League through the Western League play-offs.

For Chris Knight’s St Austell, it was a hurt which will drag on for a while, but the Lillywhites will emerge next season as a Western League club for the first time in their history, having won the South West Peninsula League Premier West title a fortnight ago.

Because of the dramatic finish to the game, few will care to remember that most of the final was a cagey, relatively dull affair with only a handful of chances.

It was a lively start, though, with Falmouth pouring forward and going close twice inside the first eight minutes with efforts from Luke Brabyn and Cam Hutchison.

But from their first attack St Austell took the lead after 13 minutes with classy midfield man Henry Wilson curling a 20-yard right foot shot into the left corner of the net.

Their advantage lasted only nine minutes as former Camelford favourite Hutchison was in the right place to finish off after Luke Barner’s close range shot was blocked by keeper Andy Collings.

The first half developed into a tight battle and the pattern continued after the break.

So to extra time and within five minutes St Austell found a goal from nowhere as prolific striker Adam Carter, who had hardly featured, held off a defender and thundered a right foot shot into the net off the underside of the bar.

Having played with an injury concern, Carter was then replaced by Liam Eddy, who kept the Falmouth back line occupied with his darting runs.

The final seemed to be meandering towards penalties when, very much out of the blue, it exploded into action. And the rest is history.

FALMOUTH TOWN: Morgan Coxhead; James Swan, James Ward (capt), Tom Annear, Brad Leivers; Andreas Calleja-Steyne, Andrew Elcock (Jack Webber, 76); Jared Sims, Cam Hutchison (Kian Thomas, 73), Luke Barner; Luke Brabyn (Charlie Edney, 80). Subs not used: Max Everall, Tom Fisher.

ST AUSTELL: Andy Collings; Jake Shaw, Ollie Brokenshire, Tom Whipp, Martyn Duff (Tom Guest, 112); Henry Wilson, Neil Slateford (capt), Matt Searle (Noah Teagle, 101); George Marris (Kieron Bishop, 78), Adam Carter (Liam Eddy, 96), Jake Miller. Sub not used: Harvey Hann.

Men of the match: Falmouth Town – Luke Barner; St Austell – Henry Wilson.