Rampant Helston put Oak Villa to the sword: match report
Helston Athletic 10
Eddy (5), Goldsworthy (3), Young, A. Stidwell
There’s a case to be made that Helston Athletic are rapidly becoming Peninsula League division one west’s very own Bodmin Town.
And much like Darren Gilbert’s all-conquering Black and Ambers, there will no doubt be a barely-concealed sigh of relief from many of the league's clubs if the Blues are successful in winning promotion this season - not least of all from Vospers Oak Villa who were dismantled in brutal fashion at Kellaway Parc on Saturday.
There was nothing careful or considered about this Helston performance. Sid Taylor’s side were like a giant blue wrecking ball tearing relentlessly through what little defence Villa could muster.
Between them Liam Eddy and Mark Goldsworthy - a strike partnership so potent that the only realistic competition either player has for this season’s golden boot is the each other - helped themselves to eight goals in a manner more reminiscent of a trolley dash than a game of football.
“We totally blitzed them,” said Taylor, “they might have had a couple of shots here and there but nothing more than that. We just ripped them apart."
Even the most myopic of Villa fans would struggle to disagree.
The result capped off a superb week for Helston during which they put five past premier division Penzance to secure a spot in the quarter finals of the Throgmorton Cup, and made the most of their title rivals’ lack of a weekend fixture to move within four points of Godolphin at the top of the league.
Villa’s torrid afternoon began as early as the fifth minute when Tom Russell received the ball in midfield before feeding it out wide to Eddy. The Blues striker scampered down the wing, fashioned a yard of space and delivered a telling cross into the box for Goldsworthy, who controlled the ball before picking his spot form eight yards out.
Minutes later it was two when Russell’s midfield partner Charlie Young linked well with Ben Stidwell wide on the right before he played in the onrushing Eddy who took a touch before rounding the keeper and slotting home.
Two goals down, lacking cohesion, and seemingly stunned into immobility by the speed and directness of Helston’s football, Villa conceded a third barely two minutes later when Goldsworthy controlled a Tom Russell pass on his chest, before nonchalantly beating a defender and rifling his shot into the bottom corner.
Young completed a first half whitewash with a well taken fourth for Helston just before the break when he broke through the Villa defence, shimmied his way past the keeper and slotted in.
So easy did Helston find the first 45 minutes that it’s tempting to imagine Sid Taylor’s half-time team talk focussed more on planning the after-game celebrations than tactics for the second period.
But the Helston manager was keen for his side to make a statement.
"I challenged the lads at half time," said Taylor, "I said to them I wanted them to go out and do the same thing again.
"One of the lads said ‘will seven do?’"
As it happened, it would, and then some.
Russell, who had a superb afternoon at the heart of the Helston midfield, fed the ball to Dan Stidwell on the overlap. Stidwell poked the ball goal wards only to see it rebound off the post.
Goldsworthy was on hand to stab home his 28th goal of the season, and Helston’s fifth of the afternoon, to cap his second hat-trick in a week.
It was to be the striker’s last touch of ball as he made way for Matt Fox, returning after a spell out with injury.
Even with Goldsworthy off the pitch Helston had far too much in attack for Villa to handle.
Eddy notched up number six with a lob, and number seven with a powerfully struck effort, before rounding the keeper twice more to register Helston’s eighth and ninth.
It seemed only right after exploiting Villa’s defensive ineptitude so ruthlessly that Eddy sit back and allow someone else the chance to get their name on the score sheet.
Step up Ashley Stidwell, who rippled the back of the net with a towering header from a Helston corner minutes before the final whistle.
By this time the score had ceased to matter to Villa, but for Helston this was an opportunity to send out a clear message to their title rivals after an uncharacteristically sloppy display against Sticker the previous week saw the Blues squander a three goal lead.
"We played some absolutely brilliant football, the best I’ve seen us play" said an understandably delighted Sid Taylor.
"We threw away a three goal lead against Sticker last week in a bad 20 minute spell, but you’re not going to go through a season without a few disappointing results, but when we’ve got a full strength squad and we’re playing like that we can run riot."
Helston host Perranporth next week before making the short journey to local rivals Porthleven on Boxing Day.
Port manager Dennis Annear will be crossing his fingers that the only stuffing his side receives over Christmas is accompanied by turkey and sprouts.
But on this evidence that may be wishful thinking.