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FINAL SCORE: Helston Athletic 1 Porthleven 2
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- Helston need to bounce back after a disappointing draw against Dobwalls, while Port come into the game off the back of a good win against Holsworthy. They'll look to cause another upset this afternoon.
- Port have struggled to find the net this season, scoring only 31 goals. In contrast, Helston have scored 107.
- It's a busy few days for the Blues, who go on to play Bodmin Town in the Cornwall Senior Cup final on Monday. Will Sid Taylor rest players?
So Helston go into Monday's Senior Cup final on the back of two defeats - if I'm not wrong that's the first time they've lost two on the bounce this season. Doesn't augur well for Sid Taylor's Blues.
That's surely the end of Helston's division one west title hopes? Porthleven were superb in the first half, and defended like men possessed in the second despite Helston throwing the kitchen sink at them.
Jowan Shainberg opened the scoring for Port with a low drive from 25 yards out, and Jordan Annear added the second with a sublime free kick.
Helston were better after the break, creating a whole host of chances to get themselves back in the game, but the Blues lacked their usual fluency in attack, and despite Mark Goldsworthy scoring that late goal to give them a glimmer of hope, Port were well worth the win. What a performance from Dennis Annear's team!
GAME OVER! PORTHLEVEN WIN 2-1!
Eddy overcoooks a through ball for Jenkin and that could be it!
We're deep into stoppage time here at Kellaway Parc, with Helston trailing by two goals to one. Ball pumped into the Porthleven box again, and Tom Russell goes down under a challege. Calls for a penalty! Not given!
Goldsworthy fires in from an acute angle to give Helston hope. surely it's too late?!
Seconds of normal time left. HELSTON 0 PORTHLEVEN 2
Howlett with a throw deep in Porthleven's half. The ball's flicked on for Eddy who has a pop from distance, but it's easy for Dennis Annear.
HELSTON SUBSTITUTION: Steve Jenkin replaces Kirk Davies. Sid Taylor with a last desperate throw of the dice.
But Jamie Thomson's delivery drifts long and straight out for a goal kick. Porthleven heading for victory as we enter the last few minutes.
Dan Stidwell wins a corner. Helston need a goal and quick
CLOSE HELSTON!: A high clearance lands at the feet of Tom Russell, who slices a cross across the six yard box where it drops to Dan Stidwell. He tries to place it into the net with Dennis Annear stranded, but McCardie clears it off the line!
Gaps appearing at the back for Helston as they push forward looking for an equaliser. Eddy's caught marginally offside and he's booked for complaining about it. Silly booking, but there are some desperate men in blue shirts out there. This could be the end of Helston's title challenge.
Into the last ten minutes, with Porthleven still leading by two goals to nil as Shainberg comes forward with the ball.
Rain lashing down now, as Helston break quickly but again, their final ball is poor and Port clear. A bit of frustration creeping into the Blues' play now. They've been the better side this half, but Porthleven have defended brilliantly when they've needed to.
HELSTON SUBSTITUTION: Jordan Adlard on for Charlie Young
And that wasn't it. Thomson takes it, but it's comfortably cleared by Porthleven.
Ben Stidwell wins a Helston corner. They need something to happen, and soon.
Well, it would be if Steve Allen and Dennis Annear weren't playing!
I say youngster like he's the only one - this Port side's average age has to be in the low 20s.
Tarrant can't continue. He's replaced by highly-rated youngster Luke Hunter.
Eddy dinks a great cross into the six yard box for Goldsworthy, but he's beaten to it by Dan Tarrant, who injures himself a making what was a vital clearance.
It's Jowan Shainberg, but he looks fine to go on.
Kirk Davies clashes with an as-yet unknown Porthleven player who goes down clutching his head. Trainer on.
Icy rain lashing down here. Miserable conditions and, if it stays like this, a miserable result if you're a Helston fan.
CLOSE!: Dan Stidwell bursts down the right before playing a cross into the six yard box. Dennis Annear slaps it back out, the ball drops to Ben Stidwell who attempts a scissor kick - it's blocked. The ball drops to Goldsworthy who volleys it, but that's blocked too! Great defending by Porthleven. All Helston at the moment.
Thomson bends it around the wall, but Annear gathers comfortably at his near post.
Goldsworthy played in, but Annear makes the stop at his feet. Ball comes back out to Thomson, who's fouled on the edge of the box. Helston free kick in a good position.
SUBSTITUTION: Hugh Howlet comes on for Matt Fox.
Poor clearance from Dan Tarrant allows the ball to drop to Dan Stidwell, who thumps a low cross into the box for Goldsworthy, but Tom Annear gets a foot to it and clears. Great tackle.
And still no goal for Helston. The Blues have been livelier this second half, but they're yet to really test Annear in the Porthleven goal. When the veteran stopper was called upon at the end of the first half, he was more than equal to it.
Lovely exchange of passes for Helston results in the ball falling to Charlie Young on the edge of the box, who hits a low shot at goal. But it's straight at Annear, who gathers comfortably.
Tom Annear skins two Helston defnders before finding brother Jordan on the edge of the box, but he snatches at his shot and pokes it just wide of Robertson's post. Another let-off for Helston, despite them having the better of this half so far.
It's just not happening for Helston at the moment. They break quickly with Dan Stidwell, who hits a flat, low through ball which drifts harmlessly through to Annear. Stidwell holds his hand up as if to say 'where were you' to Eddy. Eddy shrugs. Just about sums it up for Helston at the moment.
Jamie Thomson does brilliantly to get to the byline, riding a couple of challenges on the way, but his cross is way too strong. He holds his hand up to apologise, a pained look on his face. That was a good chance for Helston, who had three in the box to Port's two.
Ten minutes in to this second half and Helston still trail by two goals to nil as Matt Fox goes for goal from 30 yds out only to see his shot whistle over with Dennis Annear rooted to the spot.
Dan Stidwell stabs a low cross into the box. First Thomson leaves it, then Fox, then Eddy tries to use his body to shield the ball, but Shainberg's having none of it. He punts clear.
Who'd be a keeper on a day like this? It's not so bad if you're charging about, but Dennis Annear must be freezing his proverbials off as icy rain starts to fall. Port still leading 0-2.
Eddy bursts clear of the Port defense. Shainberg busts a gut to catch up and is rewarded for his efforts when he manages to deflect a cross for Goldsworthy out for a corner. Port clear it thanks to Annear's punch.
Ball over the top from Thomson looking for Goldsworthy, but he's offside. Tight decision with Goldsworthy clean through.
Charlie Young bundled over by Steve Allen. Helston win an early free kick, but it comes to nothing.
And we're off! HELSTON 0 PORTHELVEN 2
Bit of a hold up while the ref fetches the ball. He dribbles it back to the centre circle like a pro...kind of.
Both sides coming out for the second half. No changes made by either manager. Helston in blue shooting away from the clubhouse. Port wearing their amber and black stripes.
Both sets of subs out keeping warm during the break. Good luck to them I say. It's hardly the weather to be sat on a cold bench wearing shorts.
Chris Strike's got the right idea: he's gone for the full tracksuit. Hugh Howlett decked out in a bobble hat and scarf on top, but shorts down below. Madness I tell you!
What does Sid Taylor say to rally his troops in the second half? Helston are far from out of this, expect them to start strongly and look for an early goal.
If Port can keep them quiet and frustrate them then who knows? The longer Helston go without scoring the more frustrated they'll get, and the more Port will grow in confidence. We might have a real upset on the cards here.
Helston have a mountain to climb if they're to avoid defeat and a potentially fatal blow to their title chances. One eye on the cup, perhaps? Maybe. Probably, in fact, but that's not really a sollid enough excuse for how poor they've been this first half.
Porthleven, on the other hand, have played some excellent stuff. We already know they're a good footballing side, but today they've added the goals they've so often lacked this season.
Shainberg's opener may have taken a bit of a bobble before finding the corner, but it was a great strike nonetheless. And Annear's free kick...well, that was simply superb.
So Porthleven take a well-deserved two goal lead into the half time break thanks to a pair cracking goals, the first a Jowan Shainberg daisy-cutter from the edge of the box, the second a sublime free kick curled over the wall into the bottom corner from Jordan Annear.
Helston simply haven't turned up. Eddy and Goldsworthy have been quiet, their passing in midfield has been bitty and disjointed, and they've failed to create much in the way of chances.
HALF TIME: HELSTON 0 PORTHLEVEN 2 (Shainberg, J Annear)
Blues have a corner as a cross from Young skids across the face of goal. It's thumped into the box and Young fires in a volley that Dennis Annear does brilliantly to parry on to the bar and back out. Thomson can't connect wit the rebound! Superb stuff from the Porthleven manager!
Better from Helston as we head towards the break, but Dennis Annear's had one save to make this half. To say Helston look out of sorts would be a titanic understatement.
Helston looking for the whistle now. They need to clear their heads and regroup for the second half. Port have been the better side in the first 45 by a country mile.
CLOSE! Sid Taylor increasingly animated on the touchline, and no wonder! Williams is played in and only has Robertson to beat, but he shanks it wide of the post. Another let-off for Helston!
Port break quickly and Jordan Annear races to the byline before dinking a cross over Robertson for Williams. He's inches away from connecting with it with the goal at his mercy. So close for Porthleven!
Dennis Annear is called into making his first real save from a scuffed shot by Mark Goldsworthy. He gets down low and gathers. Goldsworthy didn't connect properly.
This has been a nightmare half for Helston. The Blues simply haven't turned up and Port have been ruthless in capitalising on their poor showing. Who said Porthleven couldn't score goals?
Now this is superb, really superb. Helston concede a free kick just outside the box, and after a...let's say 'conversation' with his brother Tom, up steps Jordan Annear to curl it over the wall and in to the bottom corner. Stunning strike from the Port front man. They lead Helston 0-2!
Shainberg opens the scoring for Porthleven with a low drive from the edge of the box that bounces over Robertson and buries itself in the corner of the net. It's been coming. Porthleven leading 0-1!
Davies breaks from the back and feeds the ball through to Goldsworthy, who goes down under a challenge from Dan Tarrant. Jamie Thomson delivers the free kick into the box, but Steve Allen gets up above Eddy to head clear.
Coming up to the half hour mark, and the first signs of rain. Port have had the better of the game up to now, but it remains goalless.
Helston playing a high line here, with Port looking to carve them open through the middle. It's not worked so far, but all it takes is either Davies or Aaron Collick to miss one of these interceptions...dangerous game they're playing at the moment, Helston.
Steve Allen with an up and under for Porthleven, but you're chancing it playing high balls in this wind. Sure enough it's blown all the way through to Robertson, who gathers easily.
Helston not really troubling Port at the back so far. Williams and Jordan Annear have been livelier than messrs Eddy and Goldsworthy, but how often have we seen the Helston pair have quiet games before popping up with crucial goals.
Kirk Davies having a good game at centre back for Helston. Made some crucial tackles. And there's another to stop Freddie Wiliams breaking down the wing.
Port break quickly with Williams, but he can't dig the ball out from under his feet and find Jordan Annear with the pass. Annear would have been clear on goal.
Still 0-0 here at Kellaway Parc.
Speculative ball into the box from Shainberg is punched over by Robertson for a corner. Wind really got hold of that one, and in the end it was a decent stop from the Blues keeper.
This Porthleven side can really play. Each of them look comfortable with the ball at their feet, but they lack that final ball, that killer pass.
Passes going astray from Helston, who haven't settled at all. Port enjoying more of the possession, but Helston break quickly and Dennis Annear is forced to race of his line and punch the ball clear with that man Eddy bearing down on him yet again. Good goalkeeping from Annear Sr.
But it doesn't beat the first man and Helston clear their lines.
Another corner for Porthleven, who look really up for this. They've been the better side so far.
Wiliams twists and turns, foricing Matt Fox into a tackle that wins Port a corner. Batchelor takes it, and Robertson needs to be alert to punch it off the line after the wind catches it.
Helston break quickly, with Eddy and Goldsworthy linking up well to win a throw deep in the Port half. Comes to nothing as the Blues squander possession, and Port win a throw right up the other end.
Port have started the livelier here. Jordan Annear narrowly misses out on connecting with a good cross into the box, then Williams flaps at the second ball. Helston looking a bit scrappy at the back.
Charlie Young loses the ball in midfield and Port break quickly. But a ball lofted over Kirk Davies is easily cleared by left back Dan Stidwell.
Port passing the ball around nicely at the moment, but both sides struggling with the wind. Dan Stidwell skies a clearances that drifts back ten yards and goes out for a deep throw. Robertson gathers the cross under pressure.
Freddie Williams playing up front with Ben Gadson for Porthleven. Gadson has been excecllent since signing earlier in the season.
Dennis Annear rushes off his line to clear the ball with Eddy bearing down on him. Fairly even opening few minutes.
Liam Eddy scampers clear of Tom Annear and delivers a cross into the box that takes a wicked bounce off the frozen ground and goes over Dennis Annear. It's cleared for a corner that comes to nothing.
Early scare for Port!
And we're off!
Jamie Thomson and Dominic Batchelor calling the coin toss now. They both look freezing cold. The sides change ends. Porthelven shooting away from the clubhouse.
Teams lining up before kickoff for a shake of hands. This promises to be a cracker.
Right, minutes from kick off now. Final words being said in the dressing rooms before the game gets under way. From the look of it you'd think there was a poor turnout but everyone's huddled inside their cars with the heaters on. Can't blame them. It's positively Baltic here at Kellaway.
That's assuming I don't succumb to exposure or frostbite first.
Remember you can tweet your views to @packetsport and I'll try and respond.
For their part Porthleven have had a topsy-turvy season. Their league position certainly belies the quality of their football - Dennis Annear's side can really play - but too often they struggle to find the back of the net. Liam Eddy has scored more goals than the whole Porthleven team combined.
But Sid Taylor will no doubt demand more from his side. Godolphin's 2-0 win against Wadebridge this morning sees them extend their lead even further at the top of division one west. Anything other than a win for Helston today and the league title is surely theirs?
It remains to be seen just how much of an impact this swirling wind will have on the game. On paper Port are up against it this afternoon, but you never know. It's a local derby, and Helston may just have one eye on the Senior Cup. That seems to have been the case against Dobwalls last week.
Suspended Port keeper Brian Scoffin doing his best to punt some crosses into the box for Dennis Annear, but the wind's catching them and sending them out. He's given up. Both sides making their way back into the changing rooms.
Porthleven remain unchanged from the side that beat Holsworthy last week. That means for the second game running Port manager Dennis Annear starts in goal.
It's a real family affair today for Port, with Reese Allen, son of assistant manager Steve Allen, on the bench, alongside highly rated youngesters Luke Hunter and Chris Wormington.
PORTHLEVEN: D Annear; Tarrant, Shainberg, S Allen, T Annear; J Annear, Gadson, Cooke, McCardie; Williams, Batchelor (c)
On the bench for Port: R Allen, Hunter, Wormington
Team news just in, and there are some minor changes for the Blues with Hugh Howlett starting on the bench, along with Jordan Adlard. Kirk Davies starts at centre back alongside Aaron Collick. Dan Stidwell replaces Davies at left back.
HELSTON: Robertson; B Stidwell, D Stidwell, Collick, Davies; Thomson (c), Fox, Young, Russell; Goldsworthy, Eddy.
On the bench for Helston: Strike, Adlard, Howlett, Jenkin, Thwaites.
Afternoon everyone. I know I said we'd be getting underway at 2pm, but it's too cold to stand about doing nothing. Forecast is for snow. Not a day for shorts, that much is certain.
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