Photography: Laura Bailey
Falmouth and Exeter Union picked up their first win of the season last weekend in emphatic style at home against Porthleven FC. The hosts bounced back from their opening day defeat to Troon with a superb all round team performance that included 5 goals and a man of the match performance from new signing Marcus Knevett.
Union started the game very brightly and this culminated in Phil Doherty opening the scoring from a Jai Sadiwala corner, cleverly flicking in a drilled effort from Daniel Wilcox. Union continued to dominate the opening 45 and were unlucky to find themselves level again after the wind took a Porthleven corner out of the reach of Union goalkeeper Chris Cox and into the top corner.
Despite the disappointment of going into half time level, Union came out in the second half with just as much impetus and guile as they showed in the first 45 and it was no coincidence they soon retook the lead. Sam Johnson’s low corner was smartly flicked on by Wilcox at the front post to leave Marcus Knevett with an easy finish on his home debut. Player-manager Guill McIvor soon after brought himself on and within minutes was on the score-sheet after he broke through the Porthleven defence with ease to coolly slot home. Another fine performance by last week’s man of the match Mel de Cluzeau was capped off by a fine individual strike from 20 yards out which swerved beautifully into the top corner. The Union defence was marshalled brilliantly in the second half by captain Joe Crisp, and new defender Harry Baker put in a particularly fine performance at centre-back. Most noteworthy however, was Marcus Knevett, who played out from the back brilliantly to set up Union attacks and made countless interceptions and challenges to nullify the Porthleven threat.
Union continued to push for more goals and were rewarded near the end of the game when Wilcox finished with a looped effort over the Porthleven keeper from a George Barrell long throw. The Porthleven attack proved largely ineffective throughout the game and their frustration was evident as they went on to pick up 3 yellow cards. McIvor praised his team after the game, noting that “things threatened to get a bit heated out there, with the Porthleven players losing their cool and putting in some daft challenges, but the boys were a credit to the University – they didn’t rise to any of it and just carried on with the game”. The match ended 5-1 to Union, a crucial first victory of the season for the FXU boys and their performance will certainly give them confidence for the rest of the season.
McIvor commented after the game that it was “great to bounce back from last week’s disappointment and put in a strong display. We dominated from start to finish, and to have had six different scorers already this season is encouraging”. Union play Porthleven again this weekend at Gala Park and McIvor noted that the return fixture couldn’t come at a better time: “Porthleven’s pitch is one of the best in the county, and with the team’s confidence boosted by today’s resounding win we’ll aim to bring more of the same.”