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Torpoint Athletic 3rds 21/22

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Pre Season Results

Penryn 4-1 Torpoint (Westall.C) - Superb first half of football but 1-0 down at HT. Couldn't finish our dinner. Penryn's experience and disjointed 2nd half with 6 subs inc. many debuts for promising youngsters opened the game up. Penryn's keeper and No.18 up front were superb to win the game. A superb pitch and facilities at Penryn!

St Cleer 1 - 3 Torpoint (Cotter, Charman, Eversfield) - A wet surface against our ECPL comrades and wasn't a brilliant game. Slimmer squads than usual for both sides, but a welcome run out. First goals in men's football for both Matty Cotter and young Korey Eversfield. Birra Moretti on tap at The Cheesewring top notch but £5/pint is London prices not Minions!

Torpoint 4ths - Torpoint 3rds - Lost our opposition the day before due to the damn Rona so we had an in house friendly with our 4th team. Hopefully a benefit to both.

Millbrook 2nds 0 - 2 Torpoint (Hussey pen, WestallC) - A superb derby win on a good surface at Mud City. Some familiar faces on the opposition side and a good day with both a great mindset and scoreline.

Penzance 2nds 0 - 8 Torpoint (Easterbrook2, Bartolini2, WestallC2, Charman, Hussey) - A dominant display from start to finish, with 4 goals in each half. Another great pitch at Pz and a great club house. The train home was just as good as the game!

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Torpoint 0 - 1 Gunnislake

Lineup: WestallM, Quintrell, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Robbins, Cotter, Bartolini, Charman, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Blair, Payn, Macleod. Subs unused: Bays, Carter.

A disappointing start to the league with our own expectations high for our return to The Mill after a long long wait. 

Despite the pitch being scattered with clearly good players for both sides, the first half lacked the quality. A lack of patience or poor decision making resulted in the ball spending less time on the grass than everyone would've liked. Few saves were required from either keeper, barr a few set pieces which were claimed comfortably by both. The main event of the first half was a strong challenge by Billy "get to know" Cotton on Cotter resulting in a free kick. But the kick out after was uncalled for and seen by the majority. The referee decided a talking to was enough when the tackle could've warranted a yellow and the afters maybe a red. He survives.

The next person to survive was the referee himself. Sam White of all people lined up one of his familiar thunderbolts from 30yds, but the referee took the blow and he hit the deck. A few minutes later play resumed but I think that was him done and noone could blame the poor buy.

Late in the half Gunnislake were awarded a penalty following a corner, which was well despatched by no.10 Ashley Small.

The 2nd half had far more quality from both. Cotton and Small were knocking the ball about on occasion and building attacks into McAllion. Likewise, Cotter and Robbins grew into the game and were edging closer to the Gunni backline. 2-3 crosses from the right by Charman and Quintrell were whipped in after building good attacks, but the goalkeeper was too good and confident enough to squash quickly. He might take some beating. Late in the game with young blood on the pitch, Josh Payn broke through the defence but again the keeper was superb at his feet on the edge of the box to make a huge save at that stage of the game. One of the last incidents was another sour one, with Gunni's tricky winger fouled after good work down the left. But after that a melee broke out and a booking was shown to a player from each, neither involved in the initial foul. Possibility the fouler got away with one but I'd need to ask the Gunni bench whose reaction was similar to my own in the first half incident.

Gunni will definitely surprise a few teams after coming up from the Duchy League, and a strong core through the centre of their side will dominant some games.

We must move on from this and quickly as we entertain Marjons Reserves on Weds, again at The Mill. 

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Torpoint 2 - 3 Plymouth Marjons Res

Goals from Easterbrook and Blair.

Lineup: WestallM, Bays, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Blair, Robbins, Bartolini, Payn, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Tate, King, Quintrell, Macleod.

Double disappointing. Saturday was our first home defeat since Sept 2019. And now we've had 2 in a week. I'm usually quick to write these within 24hrs, but yesterday was a non-football day to forget about it. I found that harder to do than my failed "clearance" mentioned below.

Started off very poor, with first touches worse than Gylfi Sigurdsson's and a real lack of quality. The surface was wet and the ball would not stick to anyone in gold. Marjons sensed this early, with both fitness and endeavour being the foundations to them getting on top and dominating the pressure. No.9 out left was quick to allsorts and 2nd balls all over the pitch were won or fell to blue, no accident. But against the run of play, Robbins played an almost no-look switch out left to Easterbrook, who finished well, low to the keeper's left.

For a brief period this buoyed Torpoint, but it didn't deter Marjons for too long. A ball in behind the Torpoint defence paired our 2 centre halves against each other, resulting in a rare blue moon occurrence from the pair, and a Marjons player collected the ball and finished well under Westall for the equaliser. Marjons' 2nd was another calamity. A cross from the right was touched on by WhiteJ, wrong-footing Bays at the back post. Unable to move his feet quick enough for the change in flight, the ball spun through the air for what felt like an age, and I think it went in 3 times while Westall tried to no avail to claw it out. Despite the poor half, a free header from WhiteJ wide of the post from a corner and Westall firing straight at the keeper when through were big chances on reflection, and though undeserved on play, could've been enough to change our luck. 2-1 HT. 

It wasn't an immediate reaction, but eventually Torpoint began to grow into the game and assert some pressure on the Marjons' goal. Around the hour mark, Adam Blair equalised inside the box after a goalmouth melee. With Torpoint in the ascendency, Tate and King came on. King's pace and drive down the right caused problems for Marjons, but the left back was holding his own during an impressive performance, as was the big centre half. A few blocks from Marjons and a lack of ideas going forward to do something different followed before Marjons scored a cracker from the edge of the box. the forward cut in from the left and struck the ball cleanly into the 'Point net. 

Two days on I'm not sure if much happened after that, or if I missed any key points at all. But afterwards, the dressing room was a place of silence and frustration. Thoroughly unenjoyable on nights like that and I think all the lads were hurting. A weekend off now with one of the lads getting married and many of us attending. Drown some sorrows, do some terrible dancing and move onto next Weds where we travel to Looe in our pink kit! 

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7 hours ago, Foul Throw 3 said:

Torpoint 2 - 3 Plymouth Marjons Res

Goals from Easterbrook and Blair.

Lineup: WestallM, Bays, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Blair, Robbins, Bartolini, Payn, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Tate, King, Quintrell, Macleod.

Double disappointing. Saturday was our first home defeat since Sept 2019. And now we've had 2 in a week. I'm usually quick to write these within 24hrs, but yesterday was a non-football day to forget about it. I found that harder to do than my failed "clearance" mentioned below.

Started off very poor, with first touches worse than Gylfi Sigurdsson's and a real lack of quality. The surface was wet and the ball would not stick to anyone in gold. Marjons sensed this early, with both fitness and endeavour being the foundations to them getting on top and dominating the pressure. No.9 out left was quick to allsorts and 2nd balls all over the pitch were won or fell to blue, no accident. But against the run of play, Robbins played an almost no-look switch out left to Easterbrook, who finished well, low to the keeper's left.

For a brief period this buoyed Torpoint, but it didn't deter Marjons for too long. A ball in behind the Torpoint defence paired our 2 centre halves against each other, resulting in a rare blue moon occurrence from the pair, and a Marjons player collected the ball and finished well under Westall for the equaliser. Marjons' 2nd was another calamity. A cross from the right was touched on by WhiteJ, wrong-footing Bays at the back post. Unable to move his feet quick enough for the change in flight, the ball spun through the air for what felt like an age, and I think it went in 3 times while Westall tried to no avail to claw it out. Despite the poor half, a free header from WhiteJ wide of the post from a corner and Westall firing straight at the keeper when through were big chances on reflection, and though undeserved on play, could've been enough to change our luck. 2-1 HT. 

It wasn't an immediate reaction, but eventually Torpoint began to grow into the game and assert some pressure on the Marjons' goal. Around the hour mark, Adam Blair equalised inside the box after a goalmouth melee. With Torpoint in the ascendency, Tate and King came on. King's pace and drive down the right caused problems for Marjons, but the left back was holding his own during an impressive performance, as was the big centre half. A few blocks from Marjons and a lack of ideas going forward to do something different followed before Marjons scored a cracker from the edge of the box. the forward cut in from the left and struck the ball cleanly into the 'Point net. 

Two days on I'm not sure if much happened after that, or if I missed any key points at all. But afterwards, the dressing room was a place of silence and frustration. Thoroughly unenjoyable on nights like that and I think all the lads were hurting. A weekend off now with one of the lads getting married and many of us attending. Drown some sorrows, do some terrible dancing and move onto next Weds where we travel to Looe in our pink kit! 

Very good and fair write up, well done both teams.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Torpoint 4 -0 St Blazey Res

Goals from Easterbrook2, Robbins (pen) & WestallC.

Lineup: WestallM, Bays, Rogers, WhiteS, Quintrell, Rowe, Robbins, Bartolini, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Brayson, Rosevear, Payn, Eversfield, Macleod.


14 days of valuable downtime since the defeat vs Marjons Res was probably good for the group as everyone was refreshed and had moved on. Although, we had "beaten" Looe last week without playing a minute. Unusual circumstances and perhaps a little harsh for a club going through similar difficulties as the rest of the county, particularly following Boardmasters. But I digress...

A few words on my mind before the game were togetherness, unity and positivity. We got all of that right from the word go, and St Blazey were under pressure all over the pitch. WestallC and Blair in particular pressed with intent and intelligence from the front right hand side, with the rest of the team right behind them. This cause Blazey issues and Torpoint chances. A number of crosses into the box from Blair, Robbins and Bays were knocking on the door. Before eventually, another turnover in possession allowed Robbins to find the space to put a low ball into the box for a calm finish at the back post for Easterbrook for 1-0. Deserved.

Apart from good defensive work, Torpoint showed some quality on the ball also. Robbins fed into the front three a number of times, with all three getting opportunities to attack. Also, it always helps having the 4-iron of Sam White to go back to front quickly to get defenders turning where they don't want to go. Late in the half following one of many set pieces, a penalty was awarded for a supposed push on skipper WestallC. A barrage of abuse from anyone in green to the official, I thought it was deserved but my eyesight is so poor who was I to agree/disagree. The guilty party certainly looked it though and that tells the story. Robbins despatched well enough for Charman to catch on video from his back garden 200m away. HT a deserved 2-0 scoreline.

The tempo dropped a little in the 2nd half, with players tiring in the evening sun and after the hour, 5 substitutions, which always changes the flow. But Torpoint scored a 3rd relatively early on, which was something we spoke about in detail at HT, to get the important 3rd. WestallC was put through down the inside right and unselfishly gave Easterbrook a low ball, which he controlled and finished with ease. All 5 subs hit the ground running in terms of effort and repeating what they'd seen from the side. A young bench meant 2nd balls were swept up and the pressure continued. Late in the game, Payn found time and space to slide WestallC in on goal, with a smart low drive to the keepers right wrapping the game up. Always nice to get 2x Torpoint u18s on the pitch for valuable minutes too!

A word for the official. I thought he dealt with the evening very well with a calm approach, as always from Allen. I thought Blazey gave away a lot of fouls, but nothing I would consider dirty. The yellow card in the first half was definitely a booking, the rest was dealt with. 2nd half the same, with Blazey's frustrations resulting in a yellow AND a sin bin for the same player for separate incidents. But a lesser ref would've got his cards out more, for a relatively timid game. Fair play.

Onto Saturday for the trip to St Minver, always a tough trip against a strong team and good club.


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St Minver 3 - 2 Torpoint

Goals from Blair & WestallC.

Lineup: Brown, Bays, Quintrell, WhiteS, Hussey, Rowe, Robbins, Brayson, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Carter, Payn. Unused: Rosevear.

A hot summer's afternoon at Trewint Lane soured by a 30min spell of ruthlessness from St Minver.

Torpoint started the brightest in the game, working hard and creating a few shooting opportunities. Around the 10th minute, the ball broke free in the box after an attack down the left to Adam Blair who struck cleanly for his 2nd of the season. This didn't deter St Minver for too long though, who went on to capitalise on a number of defensive errors, of which each encouraged them more to put their foot on the gas. Their first was both a huge miss by the referee but justice for St Minver. A forward was brought down in the box by WhiteS, only for a free kick to be given? The foul was clearly inside the box and unsure how it was missed, or why there wasn't a bigger challenge to the decision from the home team. But St Minver got their rewards from the free kick. WhiteS redeemed himself for 0.1seconds as he made a superb goal line clearance, only for it to hit Bays in the shin and fly back in the direction it came and into the net. The second began with Torpoint pressing high and the ball being rolled back to Hurst in goal. But as we've seen before, this is a position of strength for the home side. A huge boot up field wasn't dealt with by Hussey in the left back position and the wide man darted in providing a perfect cut back to the penalty spot for an onrushing forward to side foot high into the net for the lead. St Minver's third was another avoidable error, with Quintrell and WhiteS causing a mix up and the home striker found himself one on one on the edge of the box. A scuffed shot gave me brief relief but the bounce found it's way past stand in goalkeeper Brown.

Apart from the first 15mins, Torpoint's half was full of mistakes and a bad reaction to them all, accumulating as the half wore on. I was glad to get to HT only 3-1 down and an opportunity to lower heart rates and reinstall calm and belief.

The second half was a huge improvement. A change in approach saw less overplaying in vulnerable areas and more of a mind-set to do as St Minver do so well. The pitch was hard and bobbly (no fault of the home club) in desperate need of some rainfall. It would also deter the emmets and send some home from the county! A back to front approach was adopted quickly and with immediate effect, into WestallC to hold and link up play or start an attack on his own. For a lengthy period, Torpoint built attacks into the front three of WestallC and the wide men Blair and Easterbrook. But all shooting opportunities came from the edge of the box for comfortable saves for Hurst. Until WestallC found his way forward down the right. A superb cross into the box was met by Easterbrook's head who glanced wide. But a glimmer of hope and belief was there.It wasn't until approx 75mins that Torpoint pulled one back. A throw in from Hussey was nodded on by Robbins into the path of WestallC on the edge of the box, who chested the ball down well to volley into the corner with a great strike. A deserved goal for the captain who didn't deserve to be on a losing side on the day. For the remainder of the game, Torpoint had wind in their sales but to no avail. The biggest chance fell again to WestallC after a superb cross. But a volley on the stretch could not be kept down and the effort rattled the crossbar to safety. IMO an equaliser would've been deserved with a huge improvement in the 2nd half. But ultimately, St Minver punished us for our mistakes and are a strong strong side. The core of their squad has been the same for years and are smart in their play and gamesmanship.

Another loss to make it 3 in 4 games played, all by a single goal, with so many goals conceded down to mistakes to end August struggling. Unusual for what I believe is a strong squad. But I'm more than confident we'll turn the corner, and with availability improving soon with injuries returning and a few from holiday, we must show what we're capable of!

Next week, ECPL League Cup away at St Blazey. One of the finest pitches in the county, so what more motivation do we need?!

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St Blazey 1 - 3 Torpoint

Goals from Easterbrook, Charman & Hussey (pen)

Lineup: WestallM, Quintrell, Carter, WestallC, Hussey, Cotter, Tate, Payn, Blair, Charman, Easterbrook.

Subs: Bartolini, Eversfield, Rowe, Brayson. 

An excellent day, on an even better surface. 

A brilliant start for Torpoint in the first minute. A slip/mistake in the Bears defence allowed Tate to break through on goal. He was shut down as he entered the box, but a switch out to Easterbrook on the left was brought down with finesse inside the closing full back and put away for an early lead. Ryan's 4th of the season, 3rd vs Blazey. A positive start and it gave Torpoint some confidence to pounce on errors and a slow start for the hosts. The back pairing of 17yr old Carter and skipper WestallC showed composure throughout and their passing between themselves was tiring out the lone reputable striker Liam Eddy. His intention was always to press but his team mates showed little intent to back him up for the majority of the game. This allowed Torpoint time on the ball to build up and pass into the midfield, Cotter in particular. Blazey's main threat in the first half was the pace and willing of the Grealish wide man. Trethewey in midfield clearly got ability too. The remainder of the first half from the visitor's POV was good build up, up until the final third. A lack of decisiveness or tame movement off the ball to create the space and opportunities to get chances inside the box was a talking point at HT, with Charman having an excellent game linking up. 0-1 HT. Two penalty shouts for Torpoint in the first half, but on both occasions the official's positioning and closeness to the incident couldn't have been better. No arguments from me on the halfway. 

2nd half started the same as the 1st with Torpoint scoring early. Easterbrook dazzled the full back and crossed low for Charman inside the 6yd box to tuck away in the 47th minute. A great start to the half and a cushion to build on. A deserved goal for Charman who had a good first half. There was plenty more possession for the Torpoint midfield, with a slower tempo and pace to the game. Tate, Cotter and Payn were superb moving the ball around a tiring home side. But Blazey grew into the game with the introductions of McAvoy and Loughton (I think?) to join the impressive Trethewey in midfield. With tomorrow's Plymouth Half Marathon in mind, Skipper WestallC was withdrawn around the 70th for unfamiliar centre half Bartolini, who impressed in his "win your headers, clear your lines approach. All I asked of him. More subs entered the play, including the electric 17yr old Eversfield on the left for goalscorer Easterbrook. Charman found himself through one on one with the keeper, to place a tame lefty at the keeper. He later had chance to redeem himself as a fine cross from the right was possibly too high which Charmino headed over. Not long after that I think he gave up and subbed himself off with "cramp", poor lad. Very late, Blazey pulled one back after a couple of set pieces. Eddy clearly fouling WestallM in goal but a green/black stripe put the ball in the net. A reluctance to give the ball back for ko resulted in a telling off from the referee. A few mins after that Eddy at the heart of it again, only this time not the innocent, receiving a booking for something with Bartolini. At 2-1 it was a tough call to put skipper back on, or shore up, but something inside me told me not to worry and that Blazey had little energy or time left for a comeback. The energy showed as a Blazey attack was cleared out to Blair in the right back area, who played Eversfield in down the right who galloped 50yds+ into the area to square to WestallC who had returned on for another cramper. A fluffed first touch resulted in the goalkeeper clattering him, somehow again, the referee had kept up with the pacey Eversfield and was on the money to give the penalty. Despatched with aplomb by Hussey to seal the win in time added on. 

An impressive win and a very happy gaffer tonight as I rest up before the Half tomorrow. A word for the referee who I've mentioned a few times above. Very fit, and clearly an asset as he was always near the play. Be interested to see what distance he covered. He was being assessed today, and as you'd expect/want he was consistent with no clear or obvious errors. Not sure how the assessments work but from my only viewing of him, I assume it was for a possible promotion. Thanks Tom Roper.

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Roche 0 - 4 Torpoint

Goals from Blair, Easterbrook, Payn & WestallC.

Lineup: Piper, Carter, Monk, Rogers, Hussey, Payn, Robbins, Rowe, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Macleod, Eversfield, Ferguson, Brayson. 

Pre-match I'd have taken the result, but I feel underwhelmed with the final score considering the amount of chances missed. Would've rather not have had the lengthy traffic delays too, especially captain and goalkeeper arriving 15mins before KO.

Luckily, the delays didn't effect us too much, with a strong start resulting in Adam Blair scoring in the 9th minute. This gave us confidence to put our stamp on the game and not long after Robbins scored a 2nd from the edge of the box with a drive into the bottom left after a lay off from WestallC. The goal was chalked off by the referee due to Robbins' "set me" communications!!! The first of many bizarre shouts. One thing we did lack in the first half was isolating Easterbrook in 1v1 situations where he's dangerous. I only recall two times in the whole half we managed this, one resulting in him smashing the crossbar from 20yds+ with a thunderous drive. There were shouts of it crossing the line as the ball came down but I was unsure myself. The 2nd time Easterbrook found himself against the full back was 2-0 on 40minutes. A bit of skill, cut inside and a low drive took a big deflection to wrong foot the keeper. But deserved on play. The 3rd came quickly on 42mins from a superb team goal led by Payn who had the ball numerous times with pass and move which he finished himself for a HT 3-0 scoreline. Aside from these chances, set pieces were a threat throughout the half, with Rowe or WestallC having an effort well blocked but over the line not given. The opposite happened to us last week so swings and roundabouts. Other bizarre decisions by the official in the first half were freekicks given for shouts of "time", "switch it" "step over it" among others. Very confident the Laws do not cover good communication as an offence. However, these examples were for both sides so he was consistently wrong at least. 

2nd half was a lacklustre affair for Torpoint and one I was disappointed with really. HT was discussing putting a marker down, be ruthless, don't think it's over, etc. But the intensity and desire was not there. WestallC was played through one on one, reluctant to shoot on his left, turned inside the defender to lay back to Rowe, but as ever leaned back and the shot flew over the bar from inside the box. A big chance to put new wind in the sails. Early changes gave a young bench more experience and some added drive at least. 17yr olds Macleod and Eversfield were keen to impress and both were energetic and showed their potential. Robbins looked confused for a minute when he again said "set me" to a team mate, for the ref to ignore this time?! The majority of the 2nd half was played in eerie silence as no one knew what was allowed in this alien rule. Ferguson entered the field for his 2nd debut after a brief hiatus at Mud City Reserves, and a superb cross from the right put him in on goal near the penalty spot, but his left foot half-volley was hit wide of the post to ruin a warm return for the forward. Eversfield in particular showed endeavour and wasn't content with the 3-0 score line. He found himself past the full back again and again and was honest about not wanting to keep chasing him. A superb cross from Eversfield to the back post late in the game was met by a textbook downward header from skipper WestallC for 4-0. Another game where he got the goal his all round game deserved. 

Other positives to take were that we won (obviously), despite missing 8 players, most of whom are regular starters. 2x 2nd teamers helped out inc 18yr old Monk at centre half and the experienced Martin Piper having a rest from managerial duties for the weekend, again showing the club ethos works. The biggest positive for me though was finishing the game with 3x 17yr olds on the pitch and 2x 18s inc MOTM for me Josh Payn. Much better from the team the last few weeks. No game for the 3rds now until October. Time for a few injuries to heal and festivals to bugger off! Between now and then I know a few will help the club out in any games required.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Torpoint 9 - 1 Newquay Academy

Goals from WestallC3, Easterbrook2, Payn2, WhiteJ, Hussey.

Lineup: Brown, Carter, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Payn, Robbins, Cotter, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Quintrell, Bartolini, Northcott, Rowe. 

An empathic victory!

Both teams began well and played the ball around nicely on the slick surface at The Mill. A Robbins corner on 9mins was met by the whippet Jake White darting in at the near post and heading into the net for 1-0. It was another corner which resulted in the 2nd goal, this time for Newquay to equalise on 15mins. The 3rd goal on 23mins was yet another corner, with Matty Cotter swinging an air shot worth of a fine, but the ball fell to Payn who side footed superbly into the top corner to again take the lead. This didn't deter Newquay too much and for the next 15mins both teams continued to play the ball around well. Torpoint though looked the more threatening going forward, with Hussey cracking the woodwork and Robbins driving a powerful effort wide when positioned way outside the box. With 5mins remaining of the first half, WestallC got his first of the game with a good individual goal. I screamed for him to play in Easterbrook to his left in a 2v1, but the situation gave the defender bambi legs and Skip drove past him and fired low into the corner. Moments before HT, it was WestallC again who bagged for a 4-1 lead.

At HT, it wasn't over as Newquay were clearly not a bad side and I didn't want anyone to take their foot off the gas. Maybe the lads are learning their lesson as they flew out the blocks again, and Easterbrook scored around the 50min mark with a neat low finish. I think this one was enough to kill any hope for a comeback. The 6th came soon after with Payn getting another deserved goal. Skip completed his hat trick on 70mins after a number of opportunities to get it through sheer perseverance. I'd seen enough and he was off. Hussey was next on the sheet with an inswinging corner whipped in low from the right. No one dealt with it except a feeble attempt which deflected in, some say OG, I say Hussey goal. But my eyesight is like Ray Charles' so who knows. Late in the game, Easterbrook was to add to his tally for the season with the team's 9th on the day and his 7th of the season, rounding the goalkeeper and placing into the net with defenders attempting to block.

A superb performance all round and it was a pleasure to watch the lads play so well. A big month ahead with no gimmies. Onto the next one, at Blaise Park for the 2nd time this season and hopefully a repeat result from the cup game.

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St Blazey Reserves 0-2 Torpoint AFC

Scorers: C.Westall, R.Easterbrook

Lineup: M.Westall, Carter, J.White, S.White, Hussey, Payn, Robbins, Cotter, Blair, C.Westall, Easterbrook.

Subs: Quintrell, Bartolini, Northcott, Rowe

Sub not used: Ferguson

With the gaffa away running a half marathon this weekend, I had the pleasure of returning to a dugout. 

Luckily, the instructions for the team were clear and the lads already well drilled keen to impress once again after last week's victory. An almost identical XI with only M.Westall running after running 3hrs 40min at the London Marathon last week. 

From the warm up I could see that the lads were ready and how can't you be, the Blazey pitch and all around set up isn't beaten by many in local football (maybe aside from Torpoint...). We began knocking the ball around early, with the midfield 3 of Payn, Robbins and Cotter setting the tempo. Easterbrook was finding joy down the left hand side and an early change for the hosts didn't help with disruption within the back line. With the game 12mins old, Easterbrook exposed his defender, then one or two more, before laying one on the plate for his captain who duly obliged by slotting home. This wasn't the only chance of the first half for the skipper, a cute chipped ball from Robbins found Westall with space and more time than he initially anticipated as a slightly rushed shot edge inches wide. With Torpoint maintaining the pressure in the opening 30mins, a corner evaded 6 heads and found itself at the feet of J.White only for the centre half to lean back at knock it over the bar. From the 35min mark, Torpoint sloppiness coupled with Blazey no.8 finding himslef in pockets of space, the game began to become much more even. The energetic wing back, no.11, found himself in behind the visiting defence an a couple of occasions but never bringing the keeper into any difficultly. HT 0-1.

The 2nd period started much like the first ended, Torpoint were unable to string the basics together and continued to give the ball away cheaply. Just prior to the 60min mark, changes were made to freshen things up and a chance for the subs to make a difference. The added energy of Bartolini and Northcott allowed us to get back on the front foot and in behind the Blazey full back. This added pressure down the right hand side gave more room for Easterbrook to influence and how he did. A wide ranging pass bounced just inside the area for Easterbrook to unleash a wicked left footed half volley rocking past a stagnant keeper. Rightfully, this settled us more and allowed for a slightly more free-flowing end to the game. Chances for Payn, Northcott and Easterbrook were all put over the bar and we failed to add to the scoreline. 

MoM: Robbins

That's Blazey done and dusted for the season. Played 3, won 3. A side that will be difficult on their day so happy with the 6 points. Gaffa, leader, legend away again next week so I'll be back on for a St Teath trip who've recently knocked our 2nds out of the Cup, so we're expecting another tough fixture. 

An important note for travelling teams. Food, 10/10. Beautiful chilli, cheese and jacket potato (also beans if you're weird enough) all served at 6000 degrees so take your time. Friendly bunch. 

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St Teath 1-2 Torpoint AFC

Scorers: Easterbrook, Gibbons

Line up: Westall, Carter, J.White, S.White, Quintrell, Brayson, Robbins, Rowe, Eversfield, Easterbrook, Payn

Subs: Macleod, Richardson, Gibbons

Back to back games for me on the sideline and a first trip to St Teath in what seems a lifetime. Must admit, I was happy to see the pitch in such great condition.

We entered the game knowing the danger that St Teath could be on their day with some positive results over the last month. Starting brightly, we regularly found the front 3 of Easterbrook, Payn and Eversfield in behind the hosts defence but as of last week, the final ball or the required run was lacking. With both keepers not having to make a save of note in the opening period, the highlight of the half was S.White toe poking one from 20 yards for it hit the bar. As it dropped to Payn, in a position to take a touch (or 6), his first time effort was fired over the bar. For all our possession on the ball, we were unable to find that final bit of quality. Teath looked like their danger could come from set pieces and more importantly their No.9, more on him later, who didn't lose a header all game. HT 0-0. Fans not bouncing.

A very typical HT team talk in a 0-0 game, can we test the keeper? Can we improve our quality in the final 3rd? Eversfield carrying a knock came off and fellow U18 Macleod took his place. Both questions certainly weren't answered by either side in the opening 20mins of the half as the game turned scrappy. Brayson, wiped out by his team mate, was soon replaced by Richardson. His forward impact was felt immediately has he found himself off the left hand side only to put his shot over the bar. Still no saves for the keeper... I had confidence in our ability to defend but was worried about the aforementioned set pieces or a individual mistake. Fortunately, the No.9 had been removed, cramp from all that jumping. Teath's new main threat was coming from their left hand side, No.11. His direct nature often picking up useful free kicks that were claimed well by Westall. With the game at 75mins and still 0-0, Richardson was done, feeling the effects of returning from COVID and a possible hangover. With 2 knocks already subbed I brought myself on to the delight of the opposition bench. Some unkind words, possibly banter and "it became personal with me". I hoped that we'd could press 10 yards higher up the pitch. "A few moments later", a routine throw in was dropped back to the hosts CB, who had arguably been player of the game, as we pressed he lost his footing. Easterbrook picked the ball up and with the keeper out of position, found the bottom corner. Within minutes, one became two as a beautiful lofted ball from Robbins found an onrushing Easterbrook and Gibbons. Our top scorer heard the shout and left it to the much lesser player to lift in over the keeper from outside the area. Fans nearly bouncing... Good celebrations, scorer sub-subbed, Brayson back on. Most actioned packed 7mins since the birth of my daughter... Basic information, stay tight and narrow. The pesky No.11 hadn't read the script. 2 more direct runs had us at sixes and sevens, with one run finding himslef in the area to be brought down. Up stepped the ever green No.8 to place home with Westall getting a hand to it. FT 1-2.

MoM: Carter

Performances need to improve for the 90mins, great again in patches. Great to catch up with Will, the soul of St Teath, a good bunch who we'll welcome for a Cup game at The Mill next month. Good to leave with 3 points and the villages supply of cocktail sausages. See you in another 12 years. 

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St Stephen 0 - 4 Torpoint

Goals from Robbins, Cotter, Easterbrook, Hussey(pen).

Lineup: WestallM, Quintrell, Carter, WhiteS, Hussey, Payn, Robbins, Rowe, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Cotter, Northcott, Eversfield, Bartolini, Bays.

Near to full availability this week after a vital bare bones victory last week at St Teath. Also nice to wake up to an email confirming we had a referee for the game after all 5 ECPL fixtures yesterday had no appointed officials due to the Vase and Junior Cup games around the county taking priority. For the 2nd time this season, we had Tom Roper as our man in the middle and again he gave us a good performance. Firm but fair and happy to talk about decisions if you ask him politely enough. A good ref!

 Torpoint started strongly but lacked the quality with big scoring chances missed. Easterbrook firing high and wide with time and space, Robbins smashing an effort wide when placed centrally inside the box, and a few others not taken advantage of. 15mins in Robbins did open the scoring though, and his first from open play this season, with a salmon like leap and superb header from a good Easterbrook cross. Nice to score early, but from then on I was disappointed. Maybe we thought the flood gates would open without applying ourselves. St Stephen did attack on occasion and show a glimpse of a threat with a few corners. But WestallM and the defence dealt with them well. The remainder of the half was Torpoint attacking in 3rd gear and creating opportunities without the bite. Easterbrook in particular had the host's right back on toast, but once in the box, like his team mates as well, shots were off target, saved or blocked. Unsure on whose shot it was, but one goal bound shot late in the half was superbly blocked on the line with the goalkeeper beaten to keep it at 1-0 at HT.

Despite winning, it was a bit of a negative HT team talk as I felt we didn't have our foot on the gas enough. We can reach far higher levels of performance than our 1st half and I wanted more. The 2nd half didn't exactly light up, until a few changes were made. WestallC probed all half but ran into cul-de-sacs and Rowe missed an open goal from the edge of the box with the keeper stranded out wide. Cue lean back and the shot going wildly over. It wasn't until approx the 70th min that Torpoint got their 2nd, with substitute Cotter placing into the corner with the keeper getting a hand to it. With 3 subs on at this point, followed by a 4th and 5th, there was a little more impetus in our play, with Cotter and Northcott in particular getting possession and trying to drive the play forwards. This resulted in Northcott setting up top scorer Easterbrook to finally get his goal with his 10th of the season. Minutes later Easterbrook again was in on goal, but was hauled down in the box. With the ref as always positioned well it was an easy decision. Hussey despatched from the spot into the top corner. That was enough of Easterbrook for the day though and I dragged him off for myself! I'd watched him torment the defence for 80mins and I fancied having a go myself. The first time I was played in a lack of decisiveness to shoot/cross led me to trip over my own feet and a mild embarrassment. But the space in behind was clear so I did it again. This time Hussey threw the ball over the defence to shouts of "He's offside!" (From a throw-in!) and I raced in on goal. Cutting inside the centre half didn't open up the goal as planned, so cut back again and opened my body Thierry-style and placed it for what I thought was my first goal in a long long time. To my anger and disbelief the keeper tipped it round the post at full stretch. That was the last action of the game aside from WhiteS getting a rightful sin bin for a Marine sized tantrum. 

A 4-0 victory but in hindsight I'm a little disappointed with not being more ruthless in front of goal when the opposition were there for the taking. But 3pts and our 7th win in 8 games. Nothing to get excited about though as we're still making amends for a poor start to the league in August. Some big games coming up with SNE away next Saturday then the Cup 1/4 final on Tuesday the 2nd at The Mill.

Also, kudos to The Queen's Head pub for the grub after, best spread so far this season. But at £4.85 a pint standards should be high!

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SNE 0 - 4 Torpoint 

Goals from Chris westall, Ryan Easterbrook, Jake white and Sam white. 

lineup: Matt westall, Oscar quintrell, Jake white, sam white, jay hussey, Byron robbins, Matt cotter, josh payn, Chris westall, Ryan Easterbrook, Adam blair. 

subs: Aidan Northcott, jacob carter, Korey eversfield, Tom rowe, Sam Rosevear. 

Please bare with me as neither bays or Gibbo were able to make the game this week for awful reasons. a game of 2 half’s essentially and not much quality because of the wind so whoever defended the latter would take 3 points. The home side had the wind in the first half but couldn’t find a way to trouble the torpoint keeper westall with a number of over hit crosses and set pieces from silly free kicks ending up going for a goal kick! We found ourselves 1 nill up from a lovely through ball by Easterbrook which found skipper and MOTM Chris westall 1 on 1 with the home sides keeper, a nice left footed shot stung the hands of the falling keeper but it wasn’t enough to keep it out of the home sides net! 0-1 to the away side and I must admit against the run of play. After 20 mins we managed to find abit of quality and due to the defending from the back 4 we found ourselves 0-2 up, another decent pass this time from LB jay hussey who put Ryan Easterbrook in against the left back who was being tormented everytime by torpoint’s number 11, Easterbrook managed to beat his man and then a second before heading to the byline, somehow he got his shot off near post which beat the home sides GK perhaps abit easily. More impressive defending seen us go into the break 0-2 up.  

After pointing out some faults at HT we started the second half flying out the blocks and with the wind With us this half i was positive it would continue, and I was right. The midfield battles were being won much better by cotter, robbins and payn who would admit themselves that the first half performances from all three wasn’t good enough. SNE had a decent spell 15 mins into the second half and looked dangerous on a number of occasions especially their number 9 I think and number 6 (left footed) who could clearly play football. A few wayward shots and good corners was as good as it got for the home side and after a mistake from a Jake white cross the Keeper managed to throw the ball into his own net, 0-3. The game fizzled out for the last 20 mins and with a number of changes from either side chances were few and far between. Around the 89th min Chris westall was through on goal and to be fair to the SNE CB I think he didn’t have the legs to catch the torpoint skipper and brought him down just outside the box, a captains performance from westall and with that the final assist. The resulting free kick was dispatched in some style from marine sam white into the right corner of the SNE Goal, 0-4. 

Another solid defensive performance from us, another clean sheet and 4 goals. Up to top of league and a cup 1/4 on Tuesday. A word  for SNE  who will definitely take points off anyone in this league. Great bunch of lads and a 10/10 playing surface, always enjoy travelling down. food was superb (best we’ve had all season) but at £6 a pint it should be!! All the best.  
apologises for the grammar, blame it on the blue moons if you wish. 


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Torpoint 2 - 1 St Teath

Goals from WestallC x2.

Lineup: WestallM, Quintrell, Carter, WhiteS, WhiteJ, Robbins, Cotter, Northcott, Eversfield, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Hussey, Payn, Blair, Bays.

A strong squad including 8 teenagers took to The Mill once more for the Cup 1/4 final against a robust St Teath side.

Torpoint started on the front foot, with multiple crosses from poor areas filling the Teath box but dealt with well. A free kick wide on the left was taken by specialist Robbins and the ball smashed against the woodwork on the far side when it looked in. Struck superbly it couldn't have been more than millimetres from being 1-0.

The game came alive in the 15th min, when a poor challenge from Treverton resulted in a red card. From my viewpoint it looked the right decision, aided by the reaction of both sets of players. Robbins also received a booking for his charge at the referee who couldn't react quick enough to tell BR0 he was going to do as demanded anyway. Additional £12 to the CCFA, easy. I'm glad to say, this was the only tackle during the game that I believe warranted a card, and no more followed. The St Teath gaffer got booked for his reaction to the incident and a sub entering the field of play later on got a card (schoolboy), but that was it. Mr McCulloch is a good official and the game was uneventful after the red card due to his firm dealing of the situation. 

Torpoint took the lead in the 24th min, with the home side making their way down the wings with ease due to a now narrow 4-3-2 from the visitors. Robbins had the time to deliver a Beckham-like cross and it was met with quality by the movement and good header of Skipper WestallC. But this did not deter St Teath. Down to 10, they were buoyed and worked their socks off to turn the tide. And they did. In the 30th minute Barrett twisted inside the box and struck the ball into the net for the equaliser. A shell shock for the man advantage. Torpoint did regain the lead in the 41st after strong forward play from WestallC again to lead 2-1 at the break. But this was only maintained by a superb block by WhiteS after initially being turned inside out. 

A disappointing first half despite the lead, considering time and space on the ball out wide and being outworked against a numerical disadvantage. I lost count of how many shots were taken from 25-30yds when the ball could've been worked out wide to create better opportunities, or poor crosses into the box from deep when 2v1 up against an isolated full back.

Two changes at the break with Hussey on at full back and Payn into midfield. But no more goals in the second half. Numerous big chances went begging. The goal hungry Easterbrook and WestallC could've and should've added to their season tallies to put the game to bed. But off target efforts, simple saves or blocked shots were the theme of the half for the whole side. It was a little frantic in the last part of the game, but fortunately the impressive Edwards couldn't carve a clear cut opportunity for himself or his team. His one memorable effort from 20yds was side footed whiskers wide after a good turn. 

Thankful to progress in the end despite the chances created. Imagine if St Teath had travelled with a stronger squad and had the options of substitutes they could've asserted more energy into their fight back. But maybe their efforts were only so high after the red card, who knows? A good bunch really. Not a dirty side despite the red card and the manager was apologetic too. Doesn't happen a lot so respect where it's due. Far from the worst side in the league and will not be in trouble with Edwards causing any defence an issue. Don't be fooled by the veteran, he can play.

Onto Saturday, a must not lose for both sides with the joint top clash away vs Altarnun.

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Fair report and good luck in the semi finals.

With regards to the sending off maybe if the ref had picked up on the first challenge, which he said himself was a slight push in the back on the St Teath player, he then wouldn't have lost control of the ball and the second challenge and sending off would not have occurred?

Probably not helped by the ref having his assessor say to him before hand 'big game for you tonight', or players running 30 yards to get a player sent off? Common sense may have  been used instead and yellow given. 

Pitch was excellent as was the aftermatch food. 

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33 minutes ago, claret&blue said:

Fair report and good luck in the semi finals.

With regards to the sending off maybe if the ref had picked up on the first challenge, which he said himself was a slight push in the back on the St Teath player, he then wouldn't have lost control of the ball and the second challenge and sending off would not have occurred?

Probably not helped by the ref having his assessor say to him before hand 'big game for you tonight', or players running 30 yards to get a player sent off? Common sense may have  been used instead and yellow given. 

Pitch was excellent as was the aftermatch food. 

Yeah that's fair. But a "slight push" given once means they have to be given again and again. It is a contact sport after all. Go up the levels and watch some SWL games or higher and with greater ability slight nudges are every 2 seconds and is normal. That's the level we're at if we're honest? And of course it was a big game for the ref being assessed, it was a big game for us two as well. It was a 1/4 final. I find him firm but fair and I'd take that all day.

Can't defend the player sprinting towards the incident. But he was rightly booked. It's the fastest I've seen Baz move in years so I'll harness that motivation in a good way if I can! Common sense comes into it of course, but the ref said to me he thought the player had left the ground and to me that's out of control so justified. But we have our opinions, you have yours and I respect it. But only one man had the whistle and he's the boss!

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Yes fair comments again but if that slight push results in the player stumbling and losing control of the ball then I would deem it more than slight! 

As you say everyones opinion will be different, having spoken with the player he was gutted as he genuinely didn't believe he had left the ground in the tackle and also thought he could win the ball back fairly, obviously now it was the wrong decision!. 

Only ones happy with the outcome will be the CCFA with the small boost to there coffers😁


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Altarnun 3 - 0 Torpoint

Lineup: WestallM, Quintrell, WhiteS, WhiteJ, Hussey, Robbins, Cotter, Rowe, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Payn, Northcott, Carter, Brayson.

A lacklustre and disappointing display, to say the least.

8Ws from 8 games vs 8Ws in a row in a top of the table clash should have been a tight affair. But Altarnun dominated the game in a performance where they scored 3 goals in the last 10min of the first half ensuring the 3 points stayed with the home side. 

The opening half an hour was fairly uneventful, with both teams slow out of the blocks. But it was Altarnun who were on the front foot, with Smith getting willing runners up with him and the right winger being allowed time and space numerous times to cross the ball. Any Torpoint possession was poor and severely lacking in our usual quality. Overhit long balls, passes wide of an isolated WestallC and Easterbrook was doubled up on almost every time by a hard working and stubborn Altarnun defence. This game included, they have only conceded 4 in 9 games and throughout the game you could see why. To a man they outworked us all over the park and were relentless in their defensive work. The 2 centre halves didn't give WestallC a sniff and our midfield were rarely in time and space to put any passes together.

After 35mins, top scorer Smith worked his way to a crossing position on the right and produced a good ball hung up to the back post where it was met by a good volley by Hancock to open the scoring. Not satisfied Altarnun scored a 2nd only minutes later. A free kick in their own half was lumped into the box and we simply didn't deal with it. Altarnun were strong aerially all game and the ball was looped over keeper WestallM again by Hancock for his 2nd. Torpoint tried to rally but mins before the HT whistle, what I saw as good defending by WhiteS resulted in a free kick 25yds out in a good position to the left. A superb free kick by Bailey smashed into the top corner hitting the underside of the bar as it went in for a resounding 3-0 HT lead. WestallM did get a slight hand to it but it was struck too well for the unfortunate keeper to keep it out. 

HT was a rallying call. A disappointed and frustrated dressing room asked for a significant change. We lacked quality all over and only Quintrell was keeping his opposite number at bay. WestallM could do nothing about either goal but had no other save of note to make. But we produced nothing ourselves and deserved the deficit.

The 2nd half petered out and Altarnun continued to show a robustness and resilience to win their battles and retake the top spot. I'd not question them if they wondered how we'd won 8 in a row based on this performance alone. Difficult to admit but I doubt any of us would say it wasn't the truth. A sour note and sour grapes from myself with an Altarnun sub trash talking 3 of my lads from their dugout. Lacked class and respect and not something I'd tolerate. 

A welcome break of 3 weeks without a game for us now, before we face Altarnun again at The Mill in December for the reverse fixture. By that time I expect they'll have opened a gap at the top with their games in hand and the likes of Gunni and St Minver to leapfrog us too. We do have Cawsand away booked in for a team bonding session which I hope is well timed to rebuild some squad morale. A crushing blow yesterday, but not one that will change my faith in this young squad. Taught a lesson by a good side that has been together for years, one used to winning, and hopefully one we can emulate. 

Another game with a good official. Allen is experienced and well like by all I imagine. A nice bloke and it's good to see he's fit again after an achilles injury. 

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  • 1 month later...

Newquay Academy 0 - 4 Torpoint

Lineup: WestallM, Carter, WhiteS, WhiteJ, Quintrell, Robbins, Cotter, Payn, Bays, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Ferguson, Blair, Macleod, Hussey.

After a lengthy break it was good to be back on the grass. After the disappointment against Altarnun it was probably a good thing to have a few weeks off, but certainly not 6. 
Torpoint began the game strongly. The opening to the game saw them on the attack right away, with a bouncing ball on the edge of the box being smashed towards the top corner by Bays, only for the keeper to make a diving save to push the ball out for a corner. Fuming! 
Torpoint’s midfield 3 were on top very early, and balls down the sides of the Newquay full backs on both wings were beginning to bare fruit. The first goal came from Bays getting past the full back to the byline and providing a low cross back into the box, with an onrushing Payn finishing well to take the lead. The second goal came 5mins later. A good pass in behind the defence for the diagonal run of Bays found him one on one with a defender, who he sent for a hot dog. But as he was preparing to fire a left footed cleat rocket into the stanchion, a 2nd defender made the recovery and knicked in. Bays’ left foot ended up hitting the bottom of the defenders boot and resulted in both agony and a penalty. A pathetic scream maybe convinced the referee. From the spot Robbins sent the keeper the wrong way but still powered the ball into the top corner for 2-0 on 20mins. 
Around the half hour mark Torpoint scored their 3rd with the best move of the game, maybe even the season. A passing move that started from the back went from Carter to Bays to WestallC flying into the right hand side of the box, who whipped a low ball in for Easterbrook to side foot past the keeper and into the net. 3-0 HT which was well deserved. Many chances created and a happy dressing room. Main talk was to not complacent. 
The second half was less eventful. Early on Bays again down the right hand side should’ve won his second penalty of the game after crossing the ball into the box and receiving a late tackle. This time the referee disagreed and gave a corner. 5mins later the referee did say to me that he’d made a mistake not giving it and I appreciate the honesty to admit that. We are all human. And frankly the first penalty shouldn’t have been given, so I guess it’s balanced itself out. 
Far fewer chances in the half, but the work rate and commitment to keeping the clean sheet continued, which was pleasing. 
The 4th goal came late on, from substitute Hussey’s first touch of the ball. Subbed on with the team having a corner, the set piece specialist whipped in a great ball for Easterbrook to head home for his 2nd of the match. 
A clean game and the hosts were excellent. The referee on the day was good I thought, a good communicator and was more than happy to tell players why he made certain decisions. I like the transparency. Even if you disagree at least you know what he’s seen from his angle. 
Best of luck to Newquay for the rest of their season. Looking forward to seeing the footage of the game. 

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  • 1 month later...

Gunnislake 4 - 1 Torpoint

Lineup: WestallM, Quintrell, Carter, WhiteJ, Hussey, Cotter, Payn, Pacey, Ferguson, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Northcott, WhiteS, Blair. Unused: Bartolini, Rowe.

Scorer: Hussey (pen)

Another lengthy break between fixtures for us but it wasn't visible on the day from our performance, just not the scoreline. My first visit to Gunnislake in years and their new pitch is far better than the one in the valley. A big pitch which yesterday was slick throughout.

The game didn't take long for meaningful action. Torpoint moved the ball well in the early stages, but on 15mins an indirect free kick was excellently smashed into the top corner by Kev McAllion for a Gunni lead. Torpoint weren't disheartened and equalised around 10mins later. The lively Ferguson found himself in good possession inside the box and was brought down when trying to beat his man. Easy decision and Hussey put into the bottom corner. The next goal was again for the home side, with a quick passing move found the forward inside the box who finished very well low into the left corner. A great finish and team move.

Torpoint pushed forward again looking for the equaliser. Cotter and Pacey in particular looked confident in possession and WestallC did everything he could to get us into better positions. It was skipper WestallC who was instigator of the next event. He bundled through two defenders and was brought down inside the box. The official waved no offence to the away side's surprise. From my view it was a stone waller but I'm not the opinion that matters. Within 30secs there was a penalty, for Gunnislake. A huge swing against us which hurt even more when Ash Small scored his 2nd pen against us in 2 games to make it 3-1. I thought it was a penalty, but after the game McAllion was outspoken multiple times in his admittance that he'd dived. Our linesman/sub was warned for trying to "assist" in the decision but I respect that it's not the place of a team provided volunteer. 3-1 HT.

HT was a positive changing room despite the score line. We could only control our own mindset and performance and not let negativity or frustration take over. But despite lots of good possession in the middle 1/3 of the pitch, we huffed and puffed in terms of creating chances. Late on, it was all Torpoint, but robust defending from both Gunni centre halves were both brave and impressive in the timing of their tackles and last ditch blocks. The keeper also made two good saves in the last 5 to prevent us from any hope, one in particular making himself big, low to the ground to save. Against the momentum, Gunni secured victory. A counter down the right ended up in the net with WestallM wrong-footed. Didn't see why but have to assume the cross took a big deflection.

Credit to Gunni, they're a strong side, with their core of keeper, Southcott, centre half? Coton and McAllion good players. Coton was handled well yesterday though, being outshone by 2 players on the losing side. Apart from my difference of opinion on two monumental key decisions from the official, his handling of the game as a whole was very good. Calm throughout and the game didn't have a single bad tackle or look close to ever boiling over, which it did in the previous fixture in August. Though playing well and still losing hurts more than most losses, it sets up the Semi Final in March for an interesting one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

St Cleer 1 - 3 Torpoint

Scorers: Easterbrook2, WestallC.

Lineup: WestallM, Quintrell, Carter, WhiteJ, Hussey, Cotter, Rowe, Northcott, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Payn, Ferguson, Cullerton. Unused: Bays.

Our 4th game in 14 weeks just about survived the forecast. If the wet came in 2hours earlier it would've been off.

Torpoint started brightly and in the opening stages began to probe. Cotter found time and space in the right hand channel to bend a ball out to the left to find Easterbrook, who profited from a defender miscue/slip to find himself through on goal and fired a fierced drive through the keeper. Attacking down the slope, Torpoint were in the ascendency and 10mins later they were 2-0 up. A good pass down the right found Blair, who could've driven on but picked out a good cross to WestallC who finished well.

Later in the half, Quintrell thought he had his 1st of the season and Torpoint's 3rd after a keeper spillage, but the cruel linesman said otherwise. 2-0 HT.

Defending the slope on a worsening surface in the 2nd half, Torpoint were under a little more pressure. Bunkum and Bartlett doing their best to stamp their authority on the game. Bartlett in particular drove his team forwards, but White and Carter did their best to limit his opportunities. The Torpoint midfield, Blair in particular, continued to work hard and when opportunities arose tried to free their forwards. A volleyed pass from Blair over the home right back set Easterbrook through on goal for his 2nd of the day after showing great composure to round the onrushing goalkeeper. WestallC and Easterbrook in particular had multiple chances to add to their 25 goals but St Cleer kept the ball out of the net and hadn't given up quite yet. A big opportunity fell in the box for WestallM to superbly parry the ball over for a corner. Then Chapman had too much time and space in the latter part of the match to curl a great finish into the corner from 25yds to WestallM's disgust at losing a cleano. But with the threats of Bunkum and Bartlett now off the pitch St Cleer didn't press on as I feared. The pitch at this stage was a mud bath and a groundsman's worst nightmare, so quality in possession did waiver a little.

Overall I'm happy to get a key 3pts against a team that is usually a close scoreline, but it could've and should've been more. But we move on to next week against Roche with renewed confidence. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Foxhole 0 - 2 Torpoint

Scorers: Easterbrook, WestallC.

Lineup: Jackson, Quintrell, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Cotter, Rowe, Northcott, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Payn, Ferguson, Carter, Macleod. Unused: Bays.

Yet another gap between fixtures. But from the performance you wouldn't tell. And from here til mid May we have a real run of fixtures which we're really looking forward to. 

Torpoint started the brighter and early on both Blair and WestallC caused Foxhole's left hand side some trouble. It was in this area where WestallC found himself time to weigh up the defender and get to the byline. Composed and patient, WestallC waited for the movement of Easterbrook to slide the ball across for the latter to finish for 1-0 in the opening 10mins. Shooting down the slope Foxhole tried to release the league's top scorer Cheshire a number of times. Passes were either too long or he was doubled up on to nullify his threat. Foxhole's midfield grew into the game with the Boardman's and Dingle good on the ball. But Torpoint defended intensely with numbers willing to defend Jackson's goal. The one time Cheshire found himself 1v1 he beat Quintrell to his left but dragged his low effort narrowly wide. A bit of a let off, but the only real chance Foxhole created all game, apart from some well taken corner kicks. Late in the half, a pitching wedge pass from Quintrell into the same channel again found WestallC who drove inside his man to get his shot well blocked/saved, only for the ball to come back to him and was put into the net on the slide to be first to the loose ball. 2-0 at approx 43mins and remained 2-0 for the rest of the game.

Early in the 2nd half Torpoint played a little longer down the slope but to no effect at first. A dangerous freekick around the 25yd box for Foxhole was well struck by a Boardman which clipped the bottom of the post and wide. Another slice of luck but a wake up call and probably the last worry I had in the game. A few changes for Foxhole weakened them a little, with a Boardman off injured, and less squad depth. Hussey got himself on the ball far more and was influential in finding Easterbrook and WestallC, as well as making the right decisions of when to keep the ball or play for %s. Cotter too began to enjoy himself too much with a nutmeg and backheel late on to the displeasure of the home followers. Easterbrook had two more chances to add to his impressive season tally but one was smashed over the bar from 12yds after beating his full back and another shot wide with very little time to choose where it was going. The other big chance of the half in open play was a low cross into WestallC around 6yds out but was sent into Row Z! Late on again Easterbrook was causing problems for the Foxhole defence and was brought down in the box. The usually reliable Hussey took the pen which was well saved. With a minute remaining it wasn't an issue and the referee blew for FT not long after. 

The referee on the day let the game flow with real ease and was talkative and joyous throughout. A breath of fresh air to let the game go via advantages or accepting some contact is normal in football (often forgotten), lots of strong but fair tackles that never looked like boiling over, in what is usually a heated affair. Well done the man in the middle.

Next week is the biggest one of our season so far, with Gunnislake away in the Semi Final.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Torpoint 8 - 0 Roche

Scorers: Easterbrook2, WestallC2, Ferguson2, Hussey, Payn.

Lineup: WestallM, Quintrell, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Cotter, Rowe, Northcott, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Payn, Ferguson, Carter, Macleod, Bays. 

The main takeaway from our previous fixture was the work ethic and positive attitude. Prior to last night's KO this was pretty much the majority of the team talk being drummed into the lads. From the off we came out of the blocks firing. For the opening 30mins we won every single duel, whether that be 1st, 2nd or 3rd ball. We always seemed to come out with clean possession, more often than not high up the pitch due to the intensity of the front 3 and the midfield supporting them. This led to multiple chances in this opening spell but only resulting in 2 goals despite the dominance. Easterbrook had the early chances on goal with two strikes off each foot off target and well saved after being well found by Northcott. On 9mins Hussey broke the deadlock with a wonderful free kick from 20yds. The 2nd came on 19mins from WestallC for Northcott's first assist of three.

After 30mins though our intensity dropped and Roche found their way into the game with a little more time on the ball, but sweeper keeper WestallM and the back four dealt with the threat. Late in the half we scored our 3rd with Easterbrook deservedly getting on the score sheet. The first half in particular the opposition right back was tied up in knots by his usual bullying. 3-0HT, but hitting the woodwork, a good save or two and more efforts than I'd like off target, it could and should have been more.

We began the 2nd half with rejuvenated energy and our 2nd wind was great to see. Ferguson off the bench at the break had an early shot sting the palms of the keeper, but this stirred him on more. A low ball across the box from Easterbrook found Ferguson whose first touch teed up his left to fire into the top left hand corner for his first goal of the season after a mix of bad luck with a prolonged injury and our infrequent fixtures. It was only a  matter of time. This 4th opened the floodgates where we scored 5 in a 20min spell. All 5 subs had been introduced during this spell too, so to maintain the momentum despite the changes couldn't have gone any better. The 5th and 6th were from in form forwards Easterbrook and WestallC. Ferguson got his 2nd and our 7th with a low drive from 18yds into the bottom corner. Then to wrap it up Payn rifled in a thunderous shot from 20yds following a set piece clearance. Luckily the net stopped the ball as it would've ended up in Devon. You don't stop those!

Roche didn't give up though and showed plenty of endeavour. A few breaks caused our defence and keeper to earn their clean sheet. A late attack was rudely thwarted by Rowe who took one for the team bringing down the attacker on the edge of the box, for what Man City viewers see Rodri and Fernandinho do every week and escape caution. Rower did too but I think he's definitely lucky to be £12 to the good. The free kick didn't come to anything luckily, because WestallM was baying for blood at anyone trying to stop working for his/our cleano. 

A ruthless display, but one that has been coming against a few sides we've played. I've seen us take our foot off the gas in these scenarios too often, but last night we did the opposite and punished our visitors. A big confidence booster before Saturday as we have the rescheduled Semi Final against our new rivals Gunnislake. 

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Gunnislake 1 - 2 Torpoint

Scorers: Easterbrook, Hussey (pen)

Lineup: WestallM, Quintrell, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Cotter, Rowe, Northcott, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Payn, Ferguson, Carter.

 A blustery afternoon at Gunnislake with a place in the Cup Final at stake, against a side who've beaten us twice in the league. The hour leading up to kick off was quiet, myself included, as you could feel the nerves. Conceding in the 3rd minute was a huge wake up call though and from there on I can't express how proud I was. Gunni's goal came from a free kick launched into our box from inside their own half, guided in with a brilliant glancing header. A sloppy freekick to give away having discussed needless freekicks with the wind against us in the opening 45, but good old Rower likes to kick players not in gold and black. He continued to do so for the next 45minutes, as well as getting skinned by Ricky Coton a number of times.

The lads reacted positively though instead of beating themselves up. Against the wind it was going to be a tough half, but we equalised in the 19th minute. Adam Blair was found on the inside right with time to weigh up his options. Luckily he opted against my shouts of get at the full back with space behind him and looking like a carthorse, but Adz drove in an excellent low drive to Easterbrook who finished into the corner for his 18th of the season. This lifted the team and for the next 10mins we defended well and broke quickly, with Easterbrook in particular on a high. It was his skill and trickery that got us into the lead. Tying the Gunni defence in knots he was brought down inside the box, and the well positioned referee pointed to the spot. Hussey despatched to put us into the lead on 27mins. 

It was far from plain sailing though, with RCoton and McAllion in particular stamping their authority on the match. McAllion broke inside the box, beat one, and was upended by WhiteS but his pleas were waived away, not for the first time in the game. But his threat was evident. A number of set pieces were defended well and we did our best to break through the wind when we could. WestallM was enjoying himself in goal wasting more time than I've ever seen, with Gunni's frustrations only encouraging the rascal to increase his teasing. If I'm honest, Gunni were the better side in the first half as we lacked quality in possession. 2-1 up at HT was a welcomed score line. 

A HT rallying call asking for more quality, identifying Gunni's threats and now with the wind in our favour, it was an eventful 2nd half, not just because of the football. Gunni aren't a side to give up the fight, so they created some. BCoton was firey as usual and saw a straight red around the hour mark after a headbutt on WestallC, who had been at each other throughout. WestallC not an innocent party got booked later on after a foul chasing down the pacey no.2 out wide. It was the no.2 again the catalyst with his driving runs and direct play, was fouled by Cotter around 65mins. Both crashed to the ground, sparking a melee in front of the home dugout, with players and home manager/subs on the pitch, it was a chaotic 30seconds. The toughest situation for any referee to deal with, with only one pair of eyes. Even more so in a heated Semi Final whilst being assessed. Quintrell for Torpoint correctly saw red, making it 10 v 10 for the remaining 25. I think the only other card shown was for the Gunni gaffer for entering the pitch. The resulting free kick was then offside and the whole situation calmed quite quickly. With spaces appearing and tiring legs, chances increased. Easterbrook was played in behind with a lofted ball, but a trampoline touch saw the ball go further than any passes he makes and the chance was gone. Ferguson was subbed on and after his brace on Weds night he was fired up and causing issues out on the right. The game should've been wrapped up with Torpoint's 3rd, as a well timed run from substitute Payn was put through on goal with enough time for a boiling cup of tea to go cold. Too much time to overthink things he fluffed it and the chance was gone. Luckily this didn't spur Gunnislake into action and the 3 forwards in Easterbrook, Ferguson and WestallC on the break weren't content. A silly amount of minutes were wasted by two of them with corners and free kicks won. A late chance for Ferguson went close, after carving through the box following a short corner intended to waste more time. It was the last meaningful event and the referee blew the final whistle to end my worry. 

A real tough encounter for the official who I thought was strong minded throughout. The toughest job in football but he didn't buckle and it's good to see him back himself throughout the game. Hopefully his assessment was positive.

Gunnislake are a good side and no surprise it was a close game. They bombarded us at times but the team defended well on the whole, with WhiteJ in particular colossal at the heart of our defence. Immensely proud of a young team digging deep and being solid both mentally and physically in a stern test. Next week we're back at The Mill to meet our opposition for the Cup Final in Foxhole. A chance for an early blow.

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Torpoint 2 - 1 Foxhole

Scorers: Northcott, WestallC. 

Lineup: WestallM, Carter, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Cotter, Rowe, Northcott, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Payn, Ferguson, Bartolini, Jackson.

A relief to pick up the 3pts yesterday after a poor performance. Having played both good football and showing a lot of heart in our previous 3 games, yesterday was a lacklustre display. I feared complacency going into the game and a hard pitch made it difficult to play football. But the lack of attempt to try and play was what was most disappointing. We can also count ourselves fortunate that Foxhole travelled light, with the league's top scorer Tyler Cheshire a notable absence.

The opening half an hour was mostly Torpoint but fewer chances than we'd normally create. The two times we had good shooting positions Easterbrook had one off target and another well saved after a curling effort from the edge of the box. A number of wasted corners were not capitalised on, with Northcott's deliveries deserving better with no one being at the back post. Our quality on the ball decreased as the game wore on and Foxhole's midfield in particular were strong, winning more duels than I'd have liked. This buoyed them a little and around half an hour in, it was obvious they were growing into the game having not caused us any alarms in our third. But they didn't need to, as the opening goal was from further out than that. A bouncing ball had no Torpoint player near enough to pressurise Boardman, who smashed a volley over the stranded WestallM from a long way out to give the away side the lead.

Conceding first did rally us a little, but decision making in possession was poor by our standards. A lack of support to WestallC or balls into Easterbrook's feet in particular were a negative source of frustration for me. At 43mins we equalised from a Northcott free kick and a huge slice of fortune. It was well struck, up and over the wall, but the keeper has made an absolute howler to drop it between his own legs and over the line. An undeserved equaliser but HT 1-1. However, it didn't really change the pending team talk.

Two changes at HT and a demand for better. Cotter got on the ball a little more and Payn's introduction helped. But we still lacked a cutting edge as we struggled to create clear opportunities. Ferguson got in behind early in the half but other than that I don't recall us being much of a threat. The eventual winner came from another free kick. The effort found it's way to both Easterbrook and WestallC, with the latter firing the ball past the keeper to put us into the lead. Foxhole didn't really have much in the tank to respond, as it was evident they were carrying injuries on the pitch and their bench, luckily for us. One of the only things that pleased me was our management of the game after taking the lead. WestallC lead the line and carried the team towards victory with his experience and know how. 

Another win and a welcome 3pts. Onto Weds where we welcome St Newlyn East to The Mill. 

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Torpoint 4 - 2 St Newlyn East

Scorers: WestallC2, Ferguson, OG. 

Lineup: WestallM, Bays, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Cotter, Payn, Northcott, Ferguson, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Bartolini, Rowe, Brown, Blair. Unused: Carter.

3 changes, with Payn and Ferguson earning a start through patience and bright spells in previous fixtures.

Torpoint started brightly with an early goal around 5mins with Hussey playing a diagonal into WestallC to finish well. Our visitors weren't put off by an early goal conceded though, and equalised not long after. Owen London tucked one low into the corner to equalise from 16yds to leave WestallM rooted. Poor pressure on the ball from us in a dangerous area and we were punished for it. We took the lead again shortly after, with a Hussey set piece finding WestallC near the back post for a neat cushioned volley into the corner. The two goals aside, our patient approach at the back wasn't paying dividends going forwards with the majority of our final balls being under/overhit. However, a few found Ferguson down the right hand side and it was evident he was winning his 1v1 from the early stages. The first time didn't result in anything, but it was enough of a sign that there was a threat. From then on he had two low shots, one just wide and another saved, as well as winning a few corners from the now outworked left back. Ferguson got his goal later in the half when a lovely pass from Cotter on the left with the outside of his boot found Ferguson in the box to control, send his man for a hotdog and a sidefoot finish in off the post for 3-1.

The half wasn't done though, and again SNE were undeterred. Their first corner of the game came with a minute or two spare before HT, which was swung in and met well by a strong header. It was blocked by Hussey behind the line, prodded towards goal again and saved by WestallM, or the other way around, (it was a second of chaos) and we managed to clear with WhiteS running free from danger. Both efforts crossed the line but to our huge fortune a goal wasn't given. A harsh one on SNE and admittedly a tough one to call for any official without appointed linesman (Not sure if he even saw it) and with any referee they're positioned outside the box during a corner and virtually impossible to see, it would've been guesswork. On this occasion it was our luck. 3-1 HT and SNE rightly frustrated they weren't only a goal down.

Second half was similar, but Torpoint's quality began to lack in possession, with SNE working hard to pressurise and chase the next all important goal. Two subs around the hour mark helped, with Rowe robust as always in his defensive work and the White Wall stood firm. We eventually got ourselves 10-20yds higher up the pitch. The next goal wasn't til the 73rd min, with another wicked delivery from a Hussey set piece. The same SNE player who had his header over the line in the first half, finally notched. A strong header in the wrong direction flew into his net for 4-1. A few changes for both sides at this point. SNE responded quickly to pull another back, with a fierce drive into the top corner from the impressive Ross London from 18yds. But with Martyn Probert now off, SNE didn't have as much ability in the middle and the game petered out for us to get 3pts and our 5th league win on the spin.

SNE are a good side and I'm surprised they're only 7th at the moment, with a tough 4 remaining fixtures as well. Also, a word of appreciation as the gang down the club this morning were very thankful for their efforts in tidying up their changing room afterwards. Goes a long way IMO. Hopefully they can do us a favour in their two upcoming games vs Gunni. It's tight in the top 4 for the run in!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Torpoint 4 - 2 St Teath

Scorers: Easterbrook2, WestallC2. 

Lineup: WestallM, Bartolini, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Cotter, Rowe, Northcott, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Charman, Bays. Unused: Jackson.

Our 2nd 4-2 victory in 2 games, but could have been far more goals for, in particular the first half. A thinner squad than usual, but still a strong starting XI and no room for excuses.

We came out of the blocks quickly and raced into a 2-0 lead inside 13minutes. First, WestallC played in Easterbrook who shot low to the keeper's right, hitting the post before going in. Our 2nd was a carbon copy, this time Easterbrook putting WestallC through to finish from almost the same spot. The rest of the half was chance after chance with some lovely link up play from Northcott, Blair and WestallC in particular, with Easterbrook choosing to miss the target a few times. The keeper made two smart saves down low from 20yd efforts, but misses from inside 18yds could've and should've extended the lead. As the half grew on, St Teath did come into it a lot more and Edwards and another had rasping drives narrowly off target for a wake up call. Edwards and their no.7 clearly have ability, but we managed to go into HT 2-0 up.

Bit of a wake up call required and a demand to hit the target. 47th min, a Bartolini cross found Easterbrook to finish LOW into the bottom corner. I thought this would be enough to dampen any halftime rejuvenation from St Teath and the floodgates would open. But the next goal was a St Teath corner which went directly into the net. The corner shouldn't have been given as the forward pressuring the initial ball came back from miles offside, but the flag was ignored. No excuse to not be switched on to clear the corner that came in though. Our 4th was WestallC's turn to get the brace around the 70th min, again assisted by Easterbrook. From then on I'd say we were a little disappointing. The shape became disjointed and a decline in application lessened our control on the game. St Teath pulled another one back late on, with another corner finding the head of Edwards. 2 set piece goals conceded isn't really very pleasing either.

But another win on the board to make it 7 in a row since a January defeat. Lots of games coming up in April with a huge clash next week where we welcome St Minver, seeking to reverse the result at their place way way back in August. 6 cup finals left!


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Torpoint 3 - 0 St Minver

Scorers: Easterbrook2, WestallC. 

Lineup: WestallM, Bartolini, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Cotter, Rowe, Northcott, Blair, WestallC, Easterbrook.

Subs: Warren. Unused: Charman, Quintrell.

A hugely important fixture for both sides in the league table, with 4th vs 2nd prior to kick off, but only 4 points separating the top 4. You could feel the nerves in the warm up, mainly my own, but I could sense the importance was felt by all the lads, and a feeling of doubt in the Minver camp.

But the away side started brightly, with Callum Wilson through in goal in the opening moments only for the chance to be squandered. A bit of a wake up call, but the opening 30mins was lacking in quality all over. Up to the half hour mark the man of the match was Horson's bobble and frustrations began to bubble, particularly with the home side. Possession was given away, touches poor & passes adrift for both sides on a hard surface, but eventually a Negative Nancy beared fruit. A loose ball in the right back area of Torpoint's defence was raced onto by WhiteJ who spun a pass down the channel into WestallC's run. Wide on the right and 35yds from goal he drove inside, with the Minver defender backtracking rather than engaging, found himself square on inside the box, a silly mistake, when WestallC twisted him in and out, and in again onto his left to bend inside low into the corner for 1-0. 

Up to this point I don't think either side deserved the lead, but the goal woke the home side into action and from then on we found some confidence. Some neat play found Easterbrook inside the box about to drive at goal, but the bobble said no. The ball pooped up to knee height before the shot was fired off and the chance went begging unfortunately. Next in line was a pinpoint diag from Hussey into the box, which the Minver no.2 completely misread, found WestallC with 2yds of space to chest into the air and hit a stinging volley at goal on the spin with the left back not close enough. A good save by Hurst in goal at comfortable height, but the technique deserved a goal. Not too dissimilar to what I witnessed at The Mill yesterday with Ryan Richards' overhead vs Elburton. HT 1-0.

Bit of a realistic approach to HT. A poor opening 30mins for both sides but one moment of quality sparked us into action. Would only have taken our visitors a similar opportunity to turn the game on it's head. So an eye opener for some that despite the lead, we were better than what we had shown, and a reminder at what was at stake.

The 2nd half began with a bit more confidence than the first, with the midfield showing better quality, and a little less nerves all over. But the first real opening fell to the Minver no.8 again, the same as the first half. A sure goal was thwarted inside 10yds with a last ditch tackle from WhiteS as I clenched my teeth envisioning an equaliser or a penalty. But no! A massive block denied Minver's Wilson and the ball was cleared. The missed opportunity again rejuvenated Torpoint but dampened Minver's spirits. With them now carrying a few knocks their changes lacked the umph and no.17 in particular gave away possession or free kicks at will. Though 1-0 is too close a scoreline I felt unnerved by this point. Our 2nd was coming, when WestallC found Easterbrook to increase the gap. 5mins later it was 3-0 with Matt Modric Cotter with his 2nd outside of the boot assist in recent games finding Easterbrook to head in a simple finish close to the goal. No Minver defender within yds of him thankfully. Easterbrook was unfortunate to not complete a hat trick in the 2nd half, with a familiar dribble inside the box and low drive very well saved from a sore Hurst in the Minver goal. 

From 3-0 the game petered out, with Minver out of steam and a mature 15mins from Torpoint doing the basics correctly. The confidence of being close to an 8th victory in a row. The win takes us up to 3rd, but a win on Wednesday vs Looe would take us top, having played 1 more than Altarnun. The league is in the home straight now, but no one is counting their chickens yet. A tough run in for all involved and no one willing to bend over for 3 points. An interesting few weeks ahead!


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Torpoint 5 - 2 Looe Town

Scorers: WestallC2, Hussey, Rowe, WhiteJ. 

Lineup: WestallM, Bartolini, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Cotter, Rowe, Northcott, Blair, WestallC, Warren.

Subs: Crump, Quintrell, Charman, Brown.

A poor performance in the first half, disappointing considering the run we've been on. Lucky to be 3-1 up at HT, with a much improved 2nd half to run out 5-2 winners. At this stage of the season, the most important thing is picking up the 3pts, so I'll take it. Top of the league, at least until 16:30 on Saturday when the other 4 sides in the top 5 clash and us without a fixture until next Wednesday.

The game didn't have much worth writing about in the opening half an hour. A lack of quality all over the pitch from Torpoint coupled with poor decision making saw our frustrations grow. To Looe's credit they were partially responsible for this too, and their energy and endeavour pushed us into the rocky opening spell. 

Torpoint didn't really create any openings until 20mins onwards, with WestallC and Northcott driving fierce efforts from distance wide of the goal. Rowe had half a chance to bag the game's opener but it wasn't to be, on this occasion. Half an hour played this buoyed us a little, and a WestallC cut back to Rowe was fired inside the far post for his long overdue first of the season. Only moments later though, Looe fought back with the best goal I've seen all season with a screamer. The ball bounced up 30yds from goal at just the height you want to smash top bins only to see it disappear into orbit. But not Barny Stephenson, and he duly obliged by burning a hole into the top corner of the net with no keeper in Cornwall saving it for the equaliser.

This did wake us up a little and we began to probe a little more. A few set pieces for Torpoint resulted in Looe having to defend and a very deep free kick crossed in by WhiteS was headed narrowly wide by WestallC. The skipper was then played through for his first 1v1 test of one of the centre halves. Initially standing him up, he pushed the ball past the flat footed defender and was in on goal to the left, only to be brought down. The official was well placed to make the easy decision, which Hussey despatched for his 7th spot kick of the season. Two minutes later another corner was header pinball and WhiteJ got the final most important connection to put us 3-1 up for HT.

A thankful score line, a critical HT team talk and two changes at the break stirred the home side into action, and were far better for the remainder of the game. The 4th goal was produced with good work by Adam Blair down the right who nudged the ball back to WestallC to fire into the net. Then 15mins later a superb cross from Hussey on the left was volleyed into the net for Westall's 22nd of the season and into a 5-1 lead. The no.9 would've been happy to extend our lead and a number of chances fell his way in the 2nd half from better play. Looe pulled one back moments after our 5th with a shambles at the back for us and a disappointing 2 goals against, given the league stats. 

Complacency possibly an issue playing against the team bottom of the league, but I was pleased with the HT reaction from the lads. The returning Quintrell and debutant Noah Crump in particular installed some composure and quality on the ball coming from the bench, with minutes shared among everyone else. Unusual for us to use the roll on/off but we did last night to keep lads fresh and it didn't disrupt our rhythm too much. 

No game for us on Saturday where we hope St Minver, Foxhole, Altarnun and Gunni all draw against each other. Probably get 11/1 odds on that so it's unlikely, but they can't all pick up 3pts in this tight 4 horse race for the league title.

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Torpoint 3 - 1 St Cleer

Scorers: Ferguson x2, Rowe. 

Lineup: WestallM, Bartolini, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Quintrell, Cotter, Rowe, Northcott, Blair, WestallC, Ferguson.

Subs: Crump, Payn, Warren, Carter, Robbins.

An electric start for the home side last night, with skipper and grumpy gills for the evening WestallC teeing up the returning Ferguson 20yds from goal, who fired a rasping drive into the bottom corner for 1-0 on 3mins. The 2nd goal came around 24mins, with Rower scoring his 2nd in 2 games having gone the season up til then on 0, banging one in from all of 1/2 a yard! He did his best to remain on 1 goal and fully leaned back to give me a heart attack, but it stayed under the bar for 2-0. The 3rd came not long after on half an hour, with Ferguson again firing on in low from 18ds after a strong WestallC tackle breaking to the scorer for his 5th in 5 games. Despite missing lengthy periods of the season through injury, this is just rewards from a forward we know can contribute to picking up results like this. 

St Cleer weren't dead and buried quite yet despite the 3-0 deficit, and Ben Collins pulled one back before HT. He was found wide left 1 v 1, played some neat football with two team mates and the return pass found him inside the box to smash past WestallM in goal to give hope to the visitors. A sweetly struck free kick from Chapman also rattled our crossbar after a WhiteS tackle was deemed a free kick approx 25yds out. A lucky escape for us. 3-1 HT. A thankful score line, with the crossbar being hit when easier to score for the home side, as well as other shots on goal not finding the corners.

A typical rallying call at HT, with an improvement in attitude and application required to match the score line. The back 4 remained resilient and I was impressed with their decision making throughout to nullify any St Cleer threat. It was evident they missed the willingness of Bartlett. Cotter in particular was playing well, and frankly embarrassed a few of his opponents with various ball mastery in the middle of the pitch. Brought down on a number of occasions, one rival did pick up a booking. A rare blow of the whistle, with obvious fouls for both sides missed all night. This led to frustration for both sides, with one St Cleer man given a 10minute cool down late on. The crucial 5th goal never came for either side, with a strong run down the left from Warren met with a good stop by the StC keeper to his left, and a WestallC 1v1 scooped over the keeper, and over the bar onto the top of the net. A Karel Poborsky throwback to those old enough to remember Euro 96! Despite it not going in it was some skill, only topped on the day by Cotter's gangly legs and a double step over by keeper WestallM in the first half when under zero pressure!

A relatively quiet 2nd half finished 0-0 and 3pts to the home side to take us back top of the league. Again, only until Saturday if WestallM's new friends beat St Teath. With St Minver losing last Saturday vs fellow contenders Gunnislake, the title race now becomes a 3 horse race. Was nice to see some of the Gunni boys at The Mill last night cheering us on! 

Onto Monday for the League Cup Final vs Foxhole. 15:00ko at St Blazey FC.

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Clive Rosevear Insurance League Cup Final

Torpoint 3 - 0 Foxhole

Scorers: Ferguson x2, WhiteS. 

Lineup: WestallM, Quintrell, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hussey, Cotter, Rowe, Northcott, Blair, WestallC, Ferguson.

Subs: Payn, Warren, Carter, Robbins, Bartolini.

A bit of a delay to my usual write up. Yesterday I was struggling to live so staring at a screen high on emotion and a headache was not on the agenda.

The opening spells had Foxhole on top, with Boardman, Dingle and Bould in particular winning their initial duels. It took a few lost 50/50s to wake us up a bit, but our tackling was poor and we gave away a number of sloppy free kicks in our own half for Boardman to test the back line. Luckily we dealt with them well and weather a small storm during these exchanges, as no clear cut chances were created and I was thankful WestallM didn't have to do much from the set piece threats. Despite the Foxes winning these early battles, they were majority hard clean tackles and I saw no issue with any of them, but I sensed a heightened adrenaline for the occasion could possible catch up with them. First half bookings for Torpoint's Cotter, and the Foxes' Boardman and Bould were the result of the referee sensing the same, and I feel the cards dished out were fair and good game management. However, JDingle didn't get the same message and another fair challenge between him and Cotter was followed by a kickout/stamp after the ball had gone. It wasn't overly aggressive but the incident was spotted by one of the officials, and after a brief chat between the main whistle blower and the 4th official, the young lad was shown a straight red around half an hour in. This resulted in Foxhole going to a 3-5-1, which resulted in league top scorer Cheshire having to do more in deeper areas, Bould a little isolated, which gave Torpoint's defence far more time on the ball. For the remaining 15mins Torpoint didn't really create much themselves with the numerical advantage, with almost all possession going forward too quickly with long direct balls having no angle on them and easy to deal with by Coates, Rickard and Wilkins or straight through to the keeper on a slippery surface. The only real attack of note was a driving run from skipper WestallC picking the ball out wide on the left, skipped past a challenge or two and had an effort on goal from 20yds. Promising signs but more patience was needed in the 2nd half to actually move the ball about and open Foxhole up with the ball on the deck. 0-0 HT.

The 2nd half was far better. With the defence more patient to draw Foxhole out, giving the full backs and wide players more time and composure on the ball we eventually began to ask the questions I wanted. Around 50mins right back Quintrell was in acres to progress and get his head up to pick out a great run by Ferguson, who drove into the box and hit a low strike into the corner for 1-0. Apart from the obvious jubilation, this gave us some relief as I imagine their HT was about being resilient being a man down and playing on the counter. The resulting calm allowed a little more football, but Rower decided to join in on the referee's good decision making and joined the growing list of players on a booking with one of his usual lunges. With this we introduced fresh legs in Payn whose passing style would suit the pitch. Another good chance was eventually created with WestallC inside the box unwilling to use his standing leg and was eventually shut down before getting a shot off. Good chance begging but was more signs of opportunity. Before the lead was extended though, Torpoint's Cotter received a tackle on the far side and reacted childishly to earn a 2nd yellow, with I think an hour gone. This forced us into a slight change into a narrower 4-3-2. Despite this setback the team continued to stay positive and pushed on. The 2nd goal was Ferguson again driving with the ball and an unfortunate slip by a Foxhole defender allowing him to side foot calmly into the other bottom corner this time for 2-0 and his 7th in 6 games. With Rickard subbed off around this point there was less experience at the back and introductions for Torpoint kept the tempo up. Ferguson was spent but his replacement in Warren is a willing runner down any channel he sees worth running in and Robbins' experience and decision making in the middle allowed us to play for %s with Warren and WestallC outworking a tiring backline. I was pleased to get all 5 subs on while feeling comfortable and they all fitted in seamlessly. A late Robbins inswinging corner was well met by the Foxes' keeper to punch well clear, but WhiteS from 25yds wrapped the game up with a well hit strike to squeeze under the keeper into the bottom corner. Late on Bould did get an effort on goal with an effort from 20yds, but WestallM was grateful it was quite central for a comfortable save to ensure he kept his cup final cleano. FT 3-0.

A long time coming for me and some of the longer serving players. And a sign of things to come for the rest of the young side with 8x u20, most of which haven't completed a whole season in men's football yet for obvious reasons. An additional reward is the Evely Cup Final this coming Sunday vs Helston 3rds, again at St Blazey 1500ko.

After that it's still a neck and neck 3 horse race for the title between us, Gunnislake and Altarnun. A slip up for either would be curtains with Gunnislake currently in pole position at the top. Regardless of how it turns out, I'm proud to have Monday's trophy in the club cabinet and I hope it's not the end of our success.


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Evely Cup Final

Torpoint 2 - 0 Helston

Scorers: Bartolini, Rowe. 

Lineup: WestallM, Carter, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Quintrell, Cotter, Bartolini, Payn, Blair, WestallC, Warren.

Subs: Rowe, Northcott, Robbins. Unused: Macleod, Jackson.

4 changes to the XI from the previous Monday's Cup Final meaning 15 lads started at least 1 of the Finals. I don't usually change a winning side but the whole squad have contributed all season and deserve a starting place every week. Extremely pleased to win another cup and the changes fully justified themselves with some really good performances. Bartolini in particular with an outstanding 1st goal of the season for him and was voted MOTM by our Coors fuelled clubhouse afterwards.

Prior to the game we knew nothing about Helston other than their seasons' successes and some social media posts. Not my usual due diligence so we couldn't really prepare for anything other than the usual cliche of "play your own game." But to their credit the lads did just that.

The game was fairly uneventful in the opening periods for both sides as we figured each other out a little. A few set pieces for Helston did worry me a little due to the notable height advantages they had forward to aim at. Luckily they were all dealt with well, with WestallM gathering a few with confidence and the rest cleared to safety. A couple of sloppy free kicks were within shooting distance but again we got away with them not being too much of a threat. As the half wore on, we did get our foot on the ball with a little more confidence and some passing moves opened up a few opportunities that didn't come to fruition but positive signs that we were capable of progressing up the pitch. WestallC isn't usually half a foot smaller than his opposite centre halves but he grew in confidence as he began to win his ground duels with ease and for once pace! Alongside this the aerial duels began to even up a little as he won a few of them or deterred clean contact for the men in blue. The right hand side of the Helston defence's severe lack of pace began to be a thorn in their own side as we found some areas to exploit, with Warren out on the left getting chances to drive 1v1 at the full back and WestallC working that channel well now too creating shots on goal from 18yds on a few occasions. One opportunity in particular saw him race clear in an MBappe foot race in comparison to his chasers, but the Blues keeper did very well and shut off most of his angles, an attempted scoop from WestallC the first real scoring opportunity. An inswinging corner from Warren was volleyed home for Carter's 1st of the season, but the referee chalked it off after some confusion due to a foul on the keeper by another player in Gold. Unfortunate but the goal was coming. Deep into the half a typical WhiteS 4-iron in behind the right hand side again was bettered by a probing run from Bartolini who produced a sublime finish lifting the bouncing ball over the closing keeper into the net from about 20yds out around 41mins. HT 1-0.

A positive 1st half and a real belief we could add to our lead was match in the 2nd half with more dominance on the ball, higher energy levels off it and far fewer mistakes that comes with playing with confidence. WestallC continued to drive the team forwards, often on his own with a few mazy runs followed by shots at goal. The introduction of Rower around 65mins only heightened the work rate again on a warm day when Helston began to tire. Cotter's short passing game in deep pockets sucked out what draining energy they had and Rower and now Northcott in midfield joined WestallC and co in attack. On 75mins Rower fired in our 2nd low into the corner from 20yds with his left foot (YES his left from 20yds!) after good work from Adam Blair to tee him up. Having gone all season without a goal and never scoring under my helm until 3 weeks ago, that was his 3rd in 4 games and all so vital in picking up our recent wins. The team's celebrations were a blend of having a 2 goal cushion in a final and the support that Rower has from everyone for all the off the ball work he gives us every second he's on the pitch. A deserved goal from a deserving player.

A depleted and tired Helston didn't threaten much after this and our possession % stayed high with fresher legs and confidence that we were close to another trophy. A pleasing win and our 4th win at Blaise Park this season, now our 2nd home. Was great to see the changes having good games, in particular Payn and Bartolini in midfield and Carter in defence who have given me a welcome headache when selecting the side for our upcoming home fixture vs St Stephen on Friday. Two more to go in the league to wrap up the season, still with a 3 horse race for the title. 12 Ws in a row. I'd love to make it 14!


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Torpoint 11 - 0 St Stephen

Scorers: WestallC x5, Ferguson x2, Blair, Rowe, Payn, Robbins. 

Lineup: WestallM, Bartolini, Carter, WhiteJ, Quintrell, Payn, Northcott, Rowe, Blair, WestallC, Ferguson.

Subs: Robbins, Rosevear, Warren. 

An emphatic win from a highly motivated squad which sees us get over 80 goals in 23 league games. With Altarnun winning as well on Saturday, the league will go down to the wire with the decider on Weds 18th at The Mill.

Torpoint raced out of the blocks and Ferguson was the fastest chasing onto a through ball from skipper WestallC on 4minutes to coolly place the ball past the keeper low into the corner. 15mins later it was WestallC the provider again, this time from the left hand side, lobbing a ball over the top for Blair to find himself in acres to weigh up the bouncing ball and the keeper and he smashed it low for 2-0. It was another 20mins before we got the 3rd with Rowe taking us into HT 3-0 up. Despite the quick start, I was quite disappointed as our standards dropped as the half went on, one touch too many, trying to over complicate the simple game and maybe being too cocky. Northcott's dangerous set pieces weren't capitalised on as his corners all found free headers for WestallC, Payn and Ferguson to not add to the tally. St Stephen were there for the taking and top sides would've been more ruthless. But the 2nd half was nothing short of cruel.

Ferguson again came out of the blocks firing and got his 9th in 7 games before Josh Payn went on a mazy dribble through the final third and a nice left footed strike from 18yds found the bottom corner for 5-0. WestallC finally got in on the act having set up 3 goals for team mates with the 6th when Aidan Northcott took a smart quick free kick to slide the skipper in to fire home. The 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th we all WestallC to takes his tally to 27 goals for the season. The 7th was well set up by Ryan Warren who found himself with time to slide in a perfectly weighted pass in behind. The 8th was a Jake White assist which skip again despatched and by this point was purring. As we added to our tally, St Stephen's frustrations boiled over as fouls were constant and was only a matter of time before cards were shown for recklessness or persistant fouling. Robbins' neat turns were regularly breaking ankles only for his own to then get snapped at not long after. A late tackle on him was shown a straight red late on, maybe a yellow would've sufficed but it was yellow/orange so not too critical of the decision. Right back for the evening Bartolini was unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet as his effort bounced back off the post, only to be mopped up by WestallC to tuck it away. A now sore Robbins had the last laugh with a superb free kick on 88 minutes to complete the scoring. 

A ruthless 2nd half from the side with 8 unanswered goals and 8 goal involvements for WestallC in the match. For years we've had the potential to reach these levels and this season we've shown proof with heavy defeats given out. 13 consecutive wins now with the next game vs Altarnun the most important league fixture since last winning a title in 2011. Regardless of the result it's been great to complete a season for the first time since 18/19 and 2 cup trophies to show for it. Win on Weds and it's a treble. Lose and it's opposition Altarnun's league title. Gunnislake will be praying for a draw so they win it. You couldn't write it. The pressure is well and truly on! 

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Torpoint 1 - 0 Altarnun

Scorer: Hird.  

Lineup: WestallM, Quintrell, WhiteJ, WhiteS, Hicks, Payn, Robbins, Pacey, Hird, WestallC, Ferguson.

Subs: Blair,, Warren, Northcott, Rowe.

It's been well reported across social media and the Podcast in the last fortnight how close the title run in was in the ECPL as last night's result would decide 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Not sure it'll ever be this close again with just one fixture remaining. And IMO a justified top 3 as Gunnislake and Altarnun are the best sides we've faced this season. 

I thought a game of this nature would be like a game of chess due to nerves and expectations. But it was more like a basketball match in the first half. Altarnun threatened from a number of corners which were thankfully dealt with, Sam Smith up top was leading the line well as usual and only a last min recovery from a Point defender stopped a Nun wide man from pulling the trigger from 15yds. At the other end Ferguson smashed the post from 16yds after a good advantage from the official, Hird hit the crossbar with a header from a Robbins corner, as well as Hird squaring unselfishly when in a good position to WestallC whose effort was straight at the keeper. Apart from the two woodwork efforts, we did create good shooting chances but every one was a blessing for the keeper and I think I'd have saved them. 0-0 HT.

HT was about reminding the lads to be patient and composed throughout. It was almost ruined inside the first minute of the restart as the clearest opening Altarnun had all game was dragged wide by Smith when through on goal. A huge relief but it woke us up. On 50mins Hird bamboozled his way past 2-3 defenders and slotted into the bottom corner. A great goal but unsurprising as his pace had been frightening the Nuns all game up til that point. Fortunately for the Nuns he only lasted another 15mins as a hamstring niggle ended the night for him, with 17yr old Warren coming on and playing well. The introduction of Blair also gave us additional energy as we saw the game out from a long way out. The best chance to wrap the game up came from Blair cutting in from the right in the middle third and releasing a superb weighted ball for a typical late run in behind from Payn to go through on goal, but at the last moment after taking a touch to set himself the surface caused him to slip and the chance disappeared. Altarnun continued to push, knowing they needed a win to win the title for themselves. The White Wall in Jake and Sam stood tall and Sam in particular had a man of the match performance for me. A poor opening 20mins of the game from him but from then on was faultless and a throwback to proper defending.

Half chances fell for both in a nervy finale, but Torpoint ate up as much pressure and time as our experience could handle, and with Rowe and Northcott on for the last 20 we were resolute in key areas to see it out. We played about 55mins in the 2nd half due to a guessed added time, but in the end it was irrelevant. One Nun player did get too frustrated despite the watch being stopped each time and saw a sin bin to give us a man advantage from about 75-85mins which was probably pivotal with the numerical advantage. FT 1-0 and Torpoint champions.

I've been trying to process last night and this season all day before writing this and it still hasn't sunk in. The team was formed in 2001 and in the 21 years we'd only won a league title once, The Duchy Prem in 2011 when I was a player. To take the team to our 2nd league title and along with it both cups to complete a treble gives me immense pride. To add to that the success of the 1st team winning a league and cup double in the same season is frankly ridiculous. The club is in great shape on and off the pitch and to contribute to that is amazing.

We lost 3 of our opening 4 games in August, before 8 consecutive wins helped us recover. On March 1st we were 5th and way off the pace of the top 3 at the time, but with games in hand. A huge ask. The Cup Semi Final win away vs Gunnislake was monumental for us. Reaching the Final gave us that relief and belief we could do something and it was the catalyst to a 14 game winning streak to win the lot. Where do we go from here? For the squad, I don't know yet. But what they have achieved can never be erased and I know every single one of them deserves it for sticking together during the incomplete seasons in Covid times and a poor start to the season. 

No match reports for a while now as I try and work out what the missus is called and earn some brownie points again as like many she's been 2nd fiddle to my 2nd home at The Mill recently. Time to get the hoover out. See you next season.

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