As we enter into the New Year and the second half of the football season Packet Sport takes a look back at the season so far, and the major footballing headlines in the area of 2021.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and relevant restrictions the second half of the 2020/21 season was made null and void.

However promotions did still take place as Helston Athletic ascended to the Toolstation Western League along with neighbouring rivals Mousehole AFC, and Penryn Athletic were promoted to the South West Peninsula League (SWPL) for the first time.

Penryn got their hands on silverware at the end of May when they won the St Piran League Cup.

The trophy was hastily put together as restrictions eased and Athletic defeated AFC St Austell Reserves and Illogan RBL 3-1 on their way to the cup final.

Wendron United's home at Underlane was the venue for the day, and goals from Jack Rapsey and Ryan Reeve ensured Penryn lifted the trophy with a 2-0 win against Polperro.

Falmouth Packet: Penryn Athletic with the St Piran League Cup Picture: Cameron WeldonPenryn Athletic with the St Piran League Cup Picture: Cameron Weldon

The 2021/22 season began in August, Helston were the first to get their campaign underway and did so with a comfortable 7-1 away win at bottom-placed Bridport.

In their first campaign at that level Helston have matched the ambition of their Manager Steve Massey who has regularly said he aimed to be around the top at Christmas.

Falmouth Packet: Helston celebrate scoring against BridportHelston celebrate scoring against Bridport

As of writing Helston are fifth in the table losing on just two occasions in the league season. They also have games in hand on the sides around them in what is a closely contested league with just three points separating second from seventh.

The signing of Stu Bowker has proved to be a shrude piece of business from Massey, the top scorer has been an integral part of Helston's season.

The Blues however, are out of both the FA Cup and the FA Vase. They were beaten 3-1 when they faced rivals Mousehole in the FA Cup Preliminary Round in August, before being defeated in the Second Round of the FA Vase by Oldland Abbotonians on penalties.

They are still however in the quarter final of the Cornwall Senior Cup (CSC) and play fellow Western League side, Saltash in January.

The South West Peninsula League kicked off shortly after, and current leaders Falmouth Town got their first of 18 league wins in a row so far when they defeated local rivals Wendron 2-0 at Underlane thanks to a double from Tim Nixon.

Falmouth Packet: Falmouth celebrate taking the lead against WendronFalmouth celebrate taking the lead against Wendron

Falmouth have gone from strength to strength this season, fuelled by the vociferous F-Troop who have travelled in numbers this campaign, Town have broken their record for consecutive wins with a 3-0 win against Launceston securing their 22nd win in a row.

Their boxing day hammering of local rivals Penryn was viewed by 1,171 supporters which broke the SWPL record for attendance and was the largest crowd for a competitive match at Bickland Park since 1,526 flocked to the ground to watch FA Vase Quarter Final against St Helens Town in the 1986/87 season.

Town have been bolstered by the superb acquisition of Jack Bray-Evans who has blown everyone away by his goalscoring heroics in Town colours. The forward netted four against Penryn to overtake fellow Falmouth forward Luke Brabyn in the goal scoring charts with 22 bagged this season.

Town have tasted defeat just once and that was in the FA Vase. After defeating Bradford Town 2-1 at home they faced Buckland Athletic of the Western League in the following round but were defeated 3-1 on the day.

The rest of the season looks incredibly promising for Town now, with fans regularly chanting 'we're gonna win the league' Town will hope that they can carry on their winning, and unbeaten run to achieve that goal.

They are also in the Third Round of the Walter C Parson (WCP) Cup against leaders of the SWPL East Okehampton and have a CSC Quarter Final against Newquay to look forward to in January.

Wendron United have been a driving force in the SWPL this season. After having the last two seasons chalked off due to the pandemic it has been the sides first season at a (fairly) uninterrupted covid season.

Their foundations for the successful first half to the season have been formed on terrific home form, where in the league they have lost just three times at Underlane. Although disappointingly for them two of those defeats have come against local sides in Falmouth and Penryn.

However, just five defeats all season have the Dron flying third in the division and in winger and former Helston player Cam Wheat they have a man who is hot on form, netting 15 times in the league this season.

Falmouth Packet: Winger Cameron Wheat has 15 league goals for the season for WendronWinger Cameron Wheat has 15 league goals for the season for Wendron

The cup form has been a shining light to Wendron's season too. The FA Vase run will be fondly remembered in their first year in the competition. Wendron defeated Bishop Sutton and Bournemouth FC and were just seconds away from taking New Milton Town to extra time in the Second Round of the FA Vase, but three late strikes in stoppage time denied them a place in the next round.

Michael O'Neill has his side well disciplined and playing attractive attacking football and are still in the WCP Cup with an intriguing tie against Bodmin coming up before a home match against Sticker in the Quarter Final of the CSC.

Penryn Athletic are enjoying their first season in the SWPL under Manager Harry Pope. As of writing the side are currently 11th in the table, with inconsistency in results slightly letting the Kernick Road side down on occasions.

However, their commitment to playing easy on the eye football has rewarded them with a lot of goals this season. In fact, their loss to Falmouth Town on Boxing Day was the only time in the league Penryn had failed to hit the back of the net this season.

Pope has said that his side are still adapting to life at this level, but have come a long way since their loss to Launceston on the opening day of the season. Despite, being out of all the cups Penryn now have the opportunity to turn their focus purely to the league and attaining a high a position as possible. Their next match is at home to Newquay on Saturday, January 8.

Falmouth Packet: Striker Ryan Reeve bares down on goal for PenrynStriker Ryan Reeve bares down on goal for Penryn

Porthleven AFC, celebrating their 125th year, announced their immediate resignation from the SWPL in September, a statement at the time from League Secretary Phil Hiscox said: "Following several days of rumour and conjecture, I can confirm now that Porthleven AFC have informed the South West Peninsula League, in writing, that they are withdrawing from the Step Six Premier West Division with immediate effect.

"We have, with deep regret, accepted the resignation although the club accept that a financial penalty will be imposed under standardised FA Rules.

"Porthleven AFC have been long standing members of the NLS having played in the old South Western League and then being founder members of the SW Peninsula in 2007.

"It is a very sad day for all football followers in the South West and our thoughts are with the current and past stalwarts that maintained NLS football over so many years at Gala Parc."

A month later following an EGM Robert Hichens was elected as the new chairman of the club and in his opening statement he thanked his predecessors and explained the decision to withdraw from the league: "A few months back Porthleven had a troubled time off the pitch behind closed doors, I do not wish to bring this into the future of Gala Parc moving forward what I can say is the actions that created the news to come out that the first team had to be withdrawn from the South West Peninsula League has now allowed the club to have a great reset and to start again.

"I would like to say a big thank you from all at Gala Parc for all that Simon Bew the outgoing Chairman did for our club over the last three years, he was left with a club in some financial difficulties and worked very hard with his committee to leave us in a massively different position, making my job a lot easier in that respect."

Porthleven still have a side who play in the St Piran League West, they are tenth out of 16 sides with 15 points (following an adjustment) from their 14 games so far.