MUCH has been made of the new era at Helston Athletic this season, but one of the club's stalwarts is also having quite an impact.

Graham Blake, former club captain and current manager of the reserves, is two games away from making history, having reached the semi-finals of the Combination League Cup, a competition the club has never won.

"Steve has left me alone to get on with it really and that's enabled me to pick a similar squad each week, which is really paying off," said Blake.

"The main function of the reserves is to produce youngsters for the first team, so it is very difficult to win the league when you're up against other first teams such as Perranporth.

"But I trust my young players and we've just signed another one, Al Williams, the brother of Freddie who has only just turned 16," he said.

Despite a sporadic period in which the weather has largely been the winner, Blake's young guns have now won eight games in a row, the latest of which was an excellent 2-1 win at Pendeen in the quarter-finals of the League Cup on Saturday.

"At 1-0 down with half an hour to go at a place like Pendeen, it was going to be tough, but once Tomo (Jamie Thomson) scored the equaliser, we really took the game to them," said Blake.

"Tomo is great for us - he brings fantastic experience and can see things on the pitch which I may not be able to from the sidelines. His attitude is brilliant, he's Helston through and through."

The club has never won the Combination League Cup and Blake has tasted the disappointment more than most, having lost in two finals as a player.

Two years ago they were knocked out at the semi-final stage in a thriller against St Agnes at Hayle.

Blake is determined to go all the way this time around.

"If Falmouth and St Day win their games on Saturday, the teams making up the top four in the league will be in the semis, which I suppose is what you'd expect.

"I've got a great squad together now and I'd back us against anybody, but I'd really love to reach the final and play Perranporth," he added.

The frustrating stop-start period continues this weekend, as they are without a game because their scheduled opponents St Day are playing their postponed cup match against St Ives.

Helston's first team - whose games at Exmouth (Saturday) and Bodmin Town (tonight) have both been postponed - hope to return to action when they host Torpoint in SWPL Premier on Saturday (3pm).