Falmouth Town stand just one game away from completing another remarkable story when they take on Saltash United in the Walter C Parson League Cup Final on Saturday.

Victory in Saturday’s showpiece at St Blazey (kick-off 2pm) will not only see them retain the title they won against Tavistock 12 months ago, but also seal an excellent and rare cup double after winning the Cornwall Senior Cup on Easter Monday, with both victories having come against Saltash.

But their League Cup defence was almost over before it really began, when they played host to Helston Athletic in the second round.

After enjoying a bye through the first round, Falmouth and local rivals Helston did battle at Bickland Park on a Friday night derby in October in front of 206 spectators - the highest attendance of any match in the opening two rounds and the third highest in this season’s competition.

The two largest attendances involved St Austell, with the semi-final between the Lillywhites and Town being watched by 246 people, but more on that later.

Any thoughts of another semi-final were quickly forgotten as Helston raced into an early lead through Phil Cattran.

But Town were handed a huge lifeline on the half-hour when Blues defender Hugh Howlett was given a straight red card for a foul on Tim Nixon.

That appeared to turn the tie in Town’s favour, only for Helston to break away from the resulting free-kick with Cattran putting the visitors two goals up and back in control.

Town were in trouble, but two strikes from David Broglino hauled them level at the break, with David Blizzard scoring the only goal of the second half to ensure that Falmouth survived a big opening test of their reign.

They did not have it all their own way when Division 1 East side Brixham pitched up at Bickland for their third-round tie in November.

Just ten minutes had elapsed when the lower division side edged in front through Carl Bradley.

Town were quick to respond, however, with Nixon thundering a shot in from outside the box to level matters ten minutes later.

Brixham, who have gone on to finish third in Div 1 East this term, frustrated their hosts until 20 minutes from time, when Jack Bowyer headed in from Luke Brabyn’s cross to seal the defending champions’ place in the quarter-finals.

A familiar foe lay in wait in the next round in January as Town played out the latest chapter of their recent rivalry with St Austell.

The teams had already met six times in 17 months by the time the teams met at the Lillywhites’ Poltair Park home, with Town enjoying three wins to their opponents’ two in that time.

But the home side were many people’s favourites for tie, having won five out of their last six games while Falmouth hadn’t won away from their Bickland Park home for more than three months.

But the form book went out of the window as Falmouth emerged 1-0 winners in a match as tight as the score suggested.

Neither side managed to fashion a huge number of opportunities and both sides missed at least one big chance, but in the end it was Jordan Annear’s second-half strike that settled the tie.

Town went on to beat At Austell again in a thrilling Cornwall Senior Cup semi-final, winning 4-1 at Newquay’s Mount Wise Stadium.

Their League Cup semi-final, however, was not so thrilling, but equally important.

Falmouth made the long trip to Saltash to face Cullompton Rangers, with both teams probably thanking their stars that the game was to be played at a neutral venue, sparing one of them a 228-mile round-trip.

In a funny twist of fate, everyone in attendance at Kimberley Stadium knew that the host club would be the next and final opponents for tonight’s winner, after Saltash had beaten Elburton Villa 5-1 in the other semi-final the night before.

That added knowledge of what was at stake may have carried itself onto the pitch, as the two teams played out a cagey, low quality affair.

The teams went in level at the break, but Town broke the deadlock with the only goal of the game just five minutes into the second half.

Some dithering in defence allowed Town’s cup connoisseur Luke Brabyn to nip in and net his 12th cup goal for Town since joining the club at the start of last season.

Four rounds negotiated, just one remains.

Can Town defend their title and seal that hallowed cup double in the process? Find out this Saturday…

  • Can’t make the game? Follow live text coverage of the match on the Packet website from 11am, with kick-off at 2pm.

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