It was a night of pure magic in the FA Cup as Helston Athletic staged a marvellous comeback triumphing 4-3 over Bishop's Cleeve after being 2-0 down at the halfway stage in a game that had it all. 

Bishop's Cleeve had deservingly gone into the interval with a two-goal advantage after dominating much of the first half. Their goals were well worth the 222-mile journey too with belters within the first 20 minutes from Harrison Reeves and Blaine Waugh to put them in the driving seat.

But whatever Helston's manager Matt Cusack said to his lads at halftime struck a chord though as Athletic came out reinvigorated and playing with a purpose. 

After bossing the second-half possession statistics they halved the deficit goal with 73 minutes on the clock when Matty Bye glanced a header into the far corner.

Cleeve were rocked by the strike and their woes were worsened when Archie Haskayne was brandished a straight red card for a reckless lunge on Aaron Bentley.

With the extra man, Helston increased the pressure further and an instinctive poachers finish from Rubin Wilson followed by a gorgeous dink from Bye had completely flipped the game on its head. 

They then added a fourth seven minutes deep into stoppage time when Rikki Shepherd had the freedom of Kellaway Park to walk the ball into the empty net after visiting keeper Lewis Clayton was stranded heading upfield for a corner. 

Despite playing nearly 100 minutes of football there was still time for ex-Falmouth man Jordan Annear to glance home at the front post for ten-man Bishop's Cleeve but it wasn't enough as Helston held on to progress to the Third Round Qualifying where they will play away to Weston Super Mare on the weekend of October, 1.

  • Read how the drama unfolded live here

Matt Cusack named just one change to the starting side that drew 3-3 to Bishop's Cleeve on the weekend with Rikki Shepherd replacing former Wendron man Fred Walter in the eleven. 

A 351-strong crowd attended the fixture under the lights as the Gloucestershire visitors flew out of the blocks and struck the first blow with just seven minutes on the referee's watch. 

They fashioned a chance after a swift move on the right flank involving several green shirts. Eventually, the ball was teed up to Harrison Reeves who powerfully blasted a drive past the outstretched fingers of Mike Searle in the net to put the visiting side a goal to the good. 

Helston hadn't got started and the visitors thought they had doubled the lead with 11 minutes played but to Jack Watts' disappointment the offside flag had been raised after he had volleyed home a Jordan Annear centre. 

Watts then missed a glorious chance moments later when he somehow flicked a Reeves cross over the crossbar from close range.

Reeves, quite clearly the one to watch at this point, nearly added a second with 17 minutes played but Searle this time thwarted the tricky midfielder with a strong hand. 

It went from bad to worse for Helston as their influential midfielder Steve Colwell, who was on the scoresheet on the weekend picked up a knock and was substituted before the 20-minute mark for Tom Hands. 

And many in Kellaway Park might have thought the game was wrapped up with 22 minutes played when Bishop's Cleeve superbly grabbed a second. A long throw was hurled into the box but Helston could only clear it as far as Blaine Waugh. 

The midfielder took one touch to set himself by walloping a dipping volley up, over the covering blue shirts and into the far corner to make it 2-0. 

Rarely did Helston forge a chance such was the dominance of the Southern League Division One South side in the opening stanza. Isaac Burdon had a couple of crossing attempts but struggled to pick out a teammate in the mixer.

Annear then forced a strong save from Searle before Cleeve's Reeves was forced off with a game-ending injury after 42 minutes. 

The visiting side had to thank their keeper for sustaining their two-goal cushion before the break as Lewis Clayton made not one but two incredible stops to retain their stronghold. 

He first got down low to prevent Matty Bye from sliding the ball into the net before showing great reactions to get back to his feet and block the follow-up from Rikki Shepherd as the away side went in two goals up. 

Everyone inside the stadium knew that it would take a monumental second-half showing from Cusack's men to get anything from the match but right from the first whistle, his lads were up and at it. 

Despite their dominance though, Helston failed to break down a strong resolute Bishop's Cleeve backline who were fighting hard to retain their clean sheet. 

A Helston defensive mix-up nearly gifted Bishop's Cleeve a third goal after 66 minutes but Watts saw his low effort hooked off the line from Harrison Jewell after Searle was caught in no man's land. 

Cusack made a bold change subbing off a replacement, something not often seen as Hands made way for Jordon Copp with 68 minutes played in a move that would turn out to be pivotal later on in the tie. 

The Blues continued their dominance and got the goal their patient play had warranted on 73 minutes through skipper for the day Matty Bye. 

His important strike followed Rubin Wilson's low deflected free kick which Clayton did tremendously well to keep out. However, the shot-stopper couldn't parry the ball away as Helston kept the ball alive and dinked into Bye who had remained onside to flick into the far corner to make it 1-2. 

Falmouth Packet: Bye nods in to make it 1-2Bye nods in to make it 1-2 (Image: NQ)

It was well and truly game on now and the balance of the tie was shifted further when a moment of madness from Bishop Cleeve's captain reduced the away side to ten men. 

Archie Haskayne's lunge was high and late as he smashed through Aaron Bentley leaving the man in the middle no choice but to send the captain for an early bath after 75 minutes.

Helston well and truly had the bit between their teeth and now could sense this one was there for the taking. They levelled the tie just five minutes later with their top scorer for the season in Wilson. 

It followed a flowing Helston move which saw the ball sprayed from right to left where Copp dummied past a man and whipped a delicious ball straight onto the feet of the Helston forward to tap home. 

But Helston weren't about to let this go to extra time and penalties and in the 88th minute took the lead for the first time in the night's tie thanks to an inspired finish from Bye. 

The central midfielder somehow found himself as the furthest man up the pitch as he was played in on the left side of the box. 

Unfazed by the onrushing keeper the captain had the composure to lift the ball over Clayton and into the empty net to send the crowd behind the goal, as well as the coaching staff on the sideline into raptures. 

Falmouth Packet: The moment Matty Bye dinked the keeper to make it 3-2The moment Matty Bye dinked the keeper to make it 3-2 (Image: NQ)

Five minutes of stoppage time were allocated by the referee as Cleeve desperately flung men forward in hope of a response but they found Searle in inspired form as the custodian got quickly down low to his left-hand side to keep out a goal-bound strike in the 94th minute. 

This proved vital as Helston wrapped up the game with 97 minutes on the clock through Rikki Shepherd, but from a Cleeve corner.

The visitors committed Clayton up to the corner, but Helston cleared their lines to Shepherd who had the simple task of running the ball home. The former Millbrook man even cupped his ears to the crowd before rolling the ball home to complete the unbelievable feat to make it 4-2. 

But the drama somehow was not complete as the visitors reduced the arrears to just the one goal with 100 minutes on the clock when Annear leapt highest at the front post to flick home an inswinging corner. 

That wasn't enough though as straight from the following kick off the referee blew the full-time whistle which was music to the ears of all Helstonians on the evening. 

The FA Cup is a magical competition, and this only adds to that statement in what was an unforgettable night under the lights at Kellaway Park as players and coaching staff lapped up the applause after the final whistle. 

It is now 12 games unbeaten in all competitions for Helston who play Saltash United in the FA Vase on Saturday in their next match. 

Helston Athletic: 
M. Searle, I. Burdon, J. Bentley, H. Jewell, A. Bentley, T. Payne, M. Bye, S. Colwell, R. Shepherd, R. Wilson, S. Carter.
Bench: F. Walter, T. Hands, J. Tripconey, J. Copp, R. Hill, N. West

Bishop's Cleeve:
L. Clayton, J. Jeremiah, M. Pritchett, S. Anson, L. Sheehan, B. Waugh, A. Haskayne, J. Annear, J. Watts, H. Reeves, G. Box
Bench: J. Selman, E. Ward, K. Newman, J. Parrott, G. Cannon 

Packet man of the match: Matty Bye