Helston Athletic's manager Matt Cusack rued a 'mad 15 minute spell' in the first half as their first game of the season ended in a 4-0 home loss to Bridgwater United at Kellaway Park on Saturday.

Helston were 3-0 down by half time as Tom Llewellyn's opener was followed by a Reece Shanley own goal, before Jake Bown fired in late in the first half to provide Athletic with a mighty uphill battle after the break.

The Blues failed to get on the scoresheet though as Llewellyn added a second and the visitor's fourth from the penalty spot after a hand ball from Isaac Burdon which the linesman awarded.

Speaking to the Packet Helston's manager Matt Cusack said: "We started pretty well. I thought in the first 15 minutes we were on the front foot without really creating many chances. But territorially we were dominant at that point. Then we were just a bit naive where we should have used some gamesmanship should I say in and around their box.

"One of our lads went down, instead of clutching his head, he clutched his thigh and the ref played on. Our boys felt that the referee should have stopped it, then we gave away in a silly free-kick in a wide area as a result of that as they hit us in the transition and they scored directly from it.

"Then we had a mad 15 minute spell, they had a corner which we headed into our own net, then we lost the ball in our own flank, they hit us in a transition with a low cross and tap in for 3-0.

"It was a case of can we make it to half time to regroup? We tried to change shape and affect the game. We changed shape three times in the game and made all five subs to try and affect the game but it was to no avail, to make matters worse we conceded a penalty in the second half. One of our boys Isaac Burdon slid in to try and block a low cross.

"It was one of those where it hit his trailing arm, it is one of those you see them given or not given. The referee actually waved it away but the linesman kept flagging and then he reversed the decision to give them the penalty and that was 4-0. We made personnel changes, we changed the system but to no avail on the day. It wasn't a 4-0 thumping it's just they were quite ruthless and the punished us for poor errors.

"It wasn't like we were backs to the wall, neither keeper was that busy. We were just a bit naive and lacked that bit of nouse on the pitch that was frustrating."

Helston were without centre back Aaron Bentley and midfielder Tom Payne who are seeing out suspensions which are running over from last season. The pair will miss Athletic's next match, an away tie to Street before returning for the Millbrook game on Tuesday, August 9.

Athletic gave a debut to Rubin Wilson whose transfer to Helston was made late in the day on Friday.

The forward, who featured previously for Plymouth Argyle and Saltash United, impressed Cusack on his debut with the manager crediting the forward as Helston's best player on the day, he said: "He came late in the day on Friday, I had been looking for a number nine all pre-season. Rubin fits the bill.

"I thought he was our best player on the day, it was a thought shared by the rest of the team and Dan the assistant manager.

Helston's next match is away to Street in the FA Cup on Saturday, August 6. They will play the winner of Falmouth Town vs Saltash in the next round.