Helston Athletic are now the only Cornish side remaining in the FA Cup as they defeated Torpoint Athletic 2-1 at The Mill.

The Blues opened the scoring midway through the first half when Tom Payne let fly from at least 30 yards out to catch the home keeper off guard.

Rikki Shepherd then doubled the advantage after he latched onto a through ball originally intended for an offside Rubin Wilson. Shepherd's quick thinking caught the home defence out as he rounded the keeper to make it 2-0.

Torpoint scored the games' final goal in first half stoppage time when Curtis Damerell headed in from a Paul Heveran centre.

The home side had the majority of the ball after the break but failed to break down a resilient Helston as they held on to earn a place in the Second Qualifying Round.

At an overcast east Cornwall venue Helston came the closest to scoring in the opening stages. Rikki Shepherd, returning from a three game suspension, latched onto the end of a Tom Payne free kick but flicked the header wide of the mark.

Disappointment from that miss turned to delight with 17 minutes played. Tom Payne had the ball more than 30 yards out, the former Millbrook midfielder strode forward and as the ball sat up nicely the number seven smashed an effort goalbound. The strike was hit so purely with power and precision as it wobbled all over the place on its way to finding the top corner to make it 1-0.

Falmouth Packet: The ball in the back of the net as Helston celebrate Payne's openerThe ball in the back of the net as Helston celebrate Payne's opener

One became two just four minutes later in a moment of controversy. It was neat build up play from Helston who eventually fed the ball toward Rubin Wilson.

The former Plymouth Argyle man was offside as the linesman flagged but intelligently let the ball roll to the onside Shepherd who rounded the keeper to knock home while the defence appealed a decision they weren't going to get to make it 2-0.

Torpoint players and coaching staff received bookings for their protestations but when the game resumed it was Helston who came again looking for a third but this time Payne could only send his effort high and over the bar.

Falmouth Packet: Shepherd celebrates the secodn goal despite the home side's protestsShepherd celebrates the secodn goal despite the home side's protests

The hosts were forced into an early sub when John Heveran was forced off with a knock and replaced by Gary Hird on the half hour as the game became very scrappy with the referee's whistle a regular sound around the stadium.

The ever-lively Ryan Richards had a half chance for the hosts after he showed great skill to trap a ball down and beat two defenders but his shot flew wide of the mark on 39 minutes. He had another chance moments later after being played in but again the forward could only direct his attempt wide of the posts.

But the home side did get the goal they had been chasing in first half stoppage time through Curtis Damerell. It followed a patient build up with a number of passes involved. Eventually, it was Paul Heveran's dink from inside the area that was perfectly met by Damerell as the ball hit the back of the net to reduce the arrears on the stroke of half time.

As the second half got underway it was apparent that Helston would have a lot of defending to do if they were to protect this slender advantage. Torpoint bossed the possession statistics but rarely threatened to create anything clear cut such was the solidity of the travelling defence.

In fact the first real chance of note came for Helston who were constantly looking to hit on the break in the 59th minute. Kai Cornish opted to lay the ball off to Payne on the edge of the area, but the midfielder's shot, this time with his weaker right foot, was well palmed away by Jason Peters.

Falmouth Packet: Payne takes aim for Helston Payne takes aim for Helston

The home side's Lewis Pacey looked to be in on goal two minutes later but a well-timed intervention from Harrison Jewell stopped the attack in its tracks.

Rubin Wilson could have added a third for Helston in the 68th minute but his venomous strike could only be parried onto the bar by the keeper, Payne went close again soon after but saw a curling effort saved.

Torpoint continued to throw everything at it in search of a leveller but were still being thwarted by the stern Helston rearguard and their hopes of finding that elusive goal were dealt a significant blow in the 90th minute when Paul Heveran was brandished a red card for leaning his head into Jordan Copp.

Helston then showed great management by taking the ball to the corner in the tense minutes of stoppage time as they held on for the closely fought victory.

The draw for the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup is at 1pm on Monday, September 5.


Torpoint Athletic: J. Peters, P. Heveran, E. Crawford, J. Smith, S. Hilson, J. Heveran, C. Thompson, L. Pacey, C. Damerell, R. Richards, C. Hardcastle.

Subs: G. Hird, D, Hicks, C. Holder, M. Lucas, J. Bryan, R. Brown.

Helston Athletic: C. Harvey, I. Burdon, T. Hands, A. Bentley, J. Bentley, H. Jewell, T. Payne, M. Bye, K. Cornish, R. Wilson, R. Shepherd.

Subs:M. Jones, S. Carter, J. Tripconey, N. West, F. Walter, J. Copp.

Attendance 191

Packet man of the match: Tom Payne