HELSTON Athletic football club will be celebrating for a second time this season after emerging victorious from their Les Phillips Cup final clash against Shepton Mallet.

The Blues, who have already won the Cornwall Senior Cup this year, beat Ilfracombe Town at the start of the month while their opponents knocked out Brislington to secure their place in the final. 

The Mallets started the game well and had their first chance after just three minutes when a floated ball from Wilkinson was sent into the back post but Haines couldn't get his head on it.

After ten minutes, Shepton Mallet could have taken the lead again but were denied by Searle in the Helston goal before the offside flag is raised. 

Helston got off to a slow start and, for the first 20 minutes, were on the receiving end of most of the action taking place until the first breakthrough was made.

After clearing their lines from a corner, Helston's Payne chases the ball and puts the Mallet defender under pressure before executing a well-time tackle to rob him of the ball. After getting back to his feet, he looks up and unleashes an audacious attempt to try and catch the Mallet keeper off his line, only to be denied by the crossbar. 

Fortunately for Helston, Wilson was waiting in the wings and gathered the loose ball with his chest before slotting it past the Mallet keeper to make the score 1-0 to Helston on 23 minutes.

Falmouth Packet: Payne's audacious attempt at lobbing the Shepton Mallet keeperPayne's audacious attempt at lobbing the Shepton Mallet keeper (Image: Piran Films)

Helston then began to put themselves on the front foot and almost put themselves two ahead after a pinpoint goal kick from Searle found Shepherd on the wing who had a go with the outside of his boot but couldn't quite direct the ball goalward. 

At the half-time whistle, only a goal separated the two teams. 

After the break, Mallet put the pressure back on Helston and could have equalised had their headed effort not gone wide. 

After almost ten minutes into the second half, Helston doubled their lead after a ball came in over the top of the midfield and Rikki Shepherd was able to break through the Mallet defence, flick the ball past the keeper and slot it into the back of the net on 53 minutes.

On 75 minutes, a dangerous-looking freekick is punched clear by the Helston keeper who is able to get back up kick enough to make another save, keeping the score 2-0.

Helston then missed a chance to go three up in the 80th minute after clearing the ball up the pitch and finding Shepherd in space who played Elliot through for a cross into the far post but Wilson can't direct his header into the back of the net.

After six minutes of extra time, the final whistle was blown and Helston were crowned Les Phillips Cup champions. 

Club chairman Paul Hendy told The Packet: "It was a very historic day for Helston, not only is it the first time we've won the Les Phillips Cup, it's the first time any Cornish club since has won it since the trophy was renamed in the 1980s.

"We're absolutely delighted, we were under the cosh a bit in the first 10 or 15 minutes but then we seemed to take control of the game, and the goal gave us a little bit of breathing space.

"The second goal then gave us some comfort, and our goalie pulled off an exceptional double save towards the end which could have made it a little tighter.

"On the day, we deserved the win, full respect to Shepton Mallet, but I think if anyone was watching as a neutral they would say that we were the better side and deserved the win.

"It's great to bring the trophy back and it's safely back in our clubhouse now."