Pope injury intensifies Falmouth's search for new striker
Falmouth Town 0, St Blazey 1 (aet)
JOHN Dent will be stepping up his attempts to sign a striker this week after being dealt a double blow at the weekend.
The Falmouth Town boss discovered before Saturday's Throgmorton Cup tie that Matt Drummond had turned down the chance to rejoin the club in favour of returning to Alan Carey's Newquay from Bodmin Town. Drummond went on to score in the Peppermints' 4-2 defeat at Penzance.
And to add to Dent's woes, Ross Pope faces a spell on the sidelines after limping off with a hamstring injury in Saturday's extra-time defeat to St Blazey.
Buy one get one free on main course and specials excludes fillet steaks and beef wellingtons
Must book to qualify and present voucher on arrival 01209860332
Contact: 01209 700617
Valid until: Wednesday, December 11 2013
Pope's absence leaves Town seriously thin on the ground in the strikers department, with Andy Westgarth the only available forward ahead of Saturday's trip to Tavistock.
Pope was replaced by defender Steve Winnan at half-time after pulling up moments before the break, leaving Westgarth as Falmouth's only recognised striker in the second half.
And while Dent and Gary Pascoe could not fault the commitment of their players at the weekend, the performance did highlight their need for a bigger attacking presence.
Drummond, who enjoyed a couple of prolific seasons at Bickland Park, would have been the perfect addition. However, it's back to the drawing board for Dent and Pascoe as they look elsewhere for a proven goalscorer.
Pascoe said: "There wasn't a lot of quality out there from either side today. It was very competitive in the middle of the park with the ball changing hands quite a lot and very little chances.
"I always thought one goal was going to win it and to lose an influential player like Ross was a massive blow.
"We lack options in that final third and Westy (Westgarth) is probably our only recognised striker and he worked really hard as he always does.
"But we had nobody on the bench who was going to go on and get a goal for us. Going into extra-time it would have been nice to have a striker on the bench.
"To be honest we didn't create enough and neither did they to be fair and I think a little bit of tiredness crept in at the end when we didn't really defend a cross from deep."
On paper, this looked like one of the ties of the second round. In reality it was anything but as these premier division rivals fell woefully short when it came to conjuring up any real goalscoring opportunities.
In the end it was substitute Jordan Greatrex's header in extra-time which was the difference as St Blazey booked a third round tie with division one east side Teignmouth at Blaise Park on January 1.
Oaten introduced Greatrex in the 70th minute after making the precautionary decision to haul off striker Danny Zalick with the player already on a yellow card.
Zalick's frustrations continued off the field as he threw his shirt towards the dugout, before heading to the dressing room, where he continued to vent his anger as loud crashes and smashes were heard by supporters in the main stand.
Zalick later apologised to Falmouth, as well as his manager Oaten.
The striker's petulance, sadly, provided one of the few talking points of a forgettable cup tie.
It only really sprang to life towards the end of the first half after an angry exchange between several players following Dan Richardson's challenge on Paddy West, which led to Calron Hall and Zalick going into the referee's book following an altercation.
Town lost striker Ross Pope on the stroke of half-time after he picked up a hamstring injury and with no forwards on the bench they failed to trouble Dave Painter in the St Blazey goal.
Similarly, Oaten's decision to substitute Zalick in the 70th minute left the Green & Blacks short of ideas in attack.
And it wasn't until Greatrex's intervention in the second half of extra-time that the tie produced a goal.
With fatigue setting in on both sides, Greatrex lost his marker at the back post to head home George Swain's cross and send St Blazey through to the next round.