An 89th-minute Rikki Shepherd header earned Helston Athletic a 1-1 draw at Kellaway Park in Matt Cusack's first home game in charge.

Shepherd was unmarked inside the area to latch on an inch-perfect delivery from Reece Shanley after Helston had gone behind to a first-half penalty from Liam Donohue.

  • You can read how the drama unfolded live here

Helston were without a few faces heading into the tie, with Isaac Burdon, Matthew Bye, and Tyler Elliot unavailable. While Tom Hands, Jamie Simmonds and Mike Searle had all been ruled out through injury.

Teignmouth got the match underway but the first glimmer of a goal came for the hosts after just eight minutes. Athletic broke with menace and a smart overlapping run from Shanley was well spotted by Rocco Hill who was making his maiden start for the first team.

Shanley collected the ball in his stride, but from a tight angle, his shot was well parried wide by the visiting keeper.

Falmouth Packet: Josh Storey led Helston out at Kellaway ParkJosh Storey led Helston out at Kellaway Park

Much of Helston's ventures came down the right flank with Shanley involved throughout. One of Helston's new boys Fred Walter sent Shanley scampering down the line after ten minutes but his cross was just too far in front of fellow blue and white shirts in the centre.

The South West Peninsula League East opponents grew in confidence after a slow start and forced Harvey into his first action of the game with a long-range strike which was well held by the home gloveman in the 21st minute.

After 26 minutes the visitors were handed a golden chance at taking the lead when Walter clipped his man in the area after getting the wrong side of the attacker, leaving whistleblower Kevin Knowles no choice but to point to the spot.

Up stepped Liam Donohue and Teign's number nine made no mistake with his finish, sending Harvey the wrong way and putting the away side in the ascendency.

The success down the right side continued for Helston with Shanley dispossessing his man before picking out Shepherd. The forward, making his home debut, drove at the defence before laying on to Kai Cornish. But the winger's drive was well left of the target after 33 minutes.

Helston's final ball continued to let them down throughout the half, with a number of crosses failing to beat the first man, or when they did they couldn't find the desired target.

Even when they did find the right coloured shirt the chances weren't being converted. Aaron Bentley's wayward header from a corner in the 43rd minute was the closest they came to a goal as the Blues headed into the interval a goal down.

The home side owed a lot to their goalkeeper Harvey early in the second half for keeping the deficit at just one. A deep cross was set back to Donohue who struck a low, clean half volley at goal which was instinctively turned round the post by the Helston number one.

It was a first of several away attacks which Helston had to weather, but they did so impressively with Aaron Bentley and newly elected captain for this season Josh Storey forming a reliable partnership at the back.

Shepherd was unfortunate not to open his account for Helston in the 69th minute. The number nine was expertly picked out by Steve Colwell with a floated ball. Shepherd's touch was ever so slightly heavy and as such invited the keeper to come off his line to narrow the angle and consequently block the striker's chipped shot.

Substitute Jude Tripconey was introduced to the pitch on 70 minutes. He looked lively from the off and was unfortunate not to see his cut inside and shot curl narrowly over the crossbar shortly after his arrival.

Nathaniel West was the next to go close in the 72nd minute but another teasing Tripconey delivery proved to be just too high for the former Bodmin striker to get on the end of.

Helston really should have levelled the game in the 78th minute when Aaron Bentley missed a golden opportunity just yards out from goal.

A dinked chip following a quickly taken throw found the defender at the back post, but somehow with the goal at his mercy, the ball ended up on the path behind the goal rather than in the back of the net.

Athletic continued to turn the screw in search of an equaliser as the minutes ticked down. Tripconey again showed impressive confidence for a youngster to beat a man and shoot but the deflection on the drive fell kindly into the hands of the visiting keeper on 86 minutes.

Eventually after a lot of huffing and puffing, Helston did stick the ball into the back of the net with just seconds left of the 90 through Shepherd.

Despite the lack of time remaining the hosts were patient in their build-up, a move which involved a number of blue shirts found its way to the feet of Shanley who this time wrapped his right peg around the ball to beat the covering defender.

The cross was a strikers delight, full of pace and accuracy as it landed on the head of the former Millbrook man who opened his account for Helston by burying his header past the goalkeeper at the far post to rescue a draw.

A hard-fought draw for Athletic at Kellaway Park just one week away from the start of the new campaign. Their last pre-season game is away to Liskeard Athletic on Tuesday evening at Lux Park.

Helston Athletic: C. Harvey, F. Walter, H. Jewell, A. Bentley, J. Storey, R.Hill, R. Shanley, K. Cornish, S. Colwell, S. Carter, R. Shepherd.

Subs: M. Jones, J. Tripconey, J. Bentley, S. Buckley, N. West, J. Copp.