Helston Athletic 1, Falmouth Town 0

SCOTT Beattie's first-half strike secured bragging rights for Helston Athletic in their South West Peninsula League Premier clash at home to local rivals Falmouth Town on Boxing Day.

The Blues had lost their previous four meetings with Town in all competitions in 2018 but Beattie's close-range finish in the 28th minute ensured that Helston had their day.

Helston remain 12th in the table but defeat sees Town slip to sixth after Cullompton Rangers won 1-0 at Exmouth Town.

The hosts looked to get on top right from the off, with man-of-the-match Scott Beattie twice testing Falmouuth goalkeeper Ryan Barnes within the first ten minutes.

Helston soon had the ball in the net when Alfie Flack, making his home debut after signing from St Austell, slotted past Barnes on 14 minutes, although the flag was rightly up for offside.

The home side's dominance continued as Matt Bye and Harrison Jewell fired wide from distance before Flack forced a save our of Barnes as Town struggled to get a foothold in the game.

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Falmouth players Tim Nixon, Josh Richards, David Broglino and Marcello Jones prepare to defend a free-kick

You sensed a goal was coming and it duly arrived in the 28th minute, when a long goal kick from Barrie Wyatt was well controlled by Flack on the corner of the Falmouth box, before he squared to Beattie who fired into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

Town were lucky to be losing by just the one goal at the break after Bye blazed over from the edge of the box, with Flack shooting just wide a few minutes later.

Falmouth needed to change something at half-time and they did, making a double substitution with Luke Johnson and Ollie Moody replacing Luke Brabyn and Joe Cooper.

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Falmouth goalkeeper Ryan Barnes claims a loose ball

The visitors immediately set about putting pressure on their opponents, with Tim Nixon finding himself one-on-one with Wyatt within two minutes of the restart, but the 'keeper did well to block the effort.

But the home side weren't going to let Town have the run of the half, with Flack almost doubling the lead when his lob beat both Barnes and the crossbar.

The remainder of the game was an exciting end-to-end affair with Beattie firing over the bar from a good position before Martyn Duff's through ball was snuffed out in the nick of time as Jack Bowyer began to bear down on goal.

The teams exchanged set-piece chances as Ryan Beattie headed inches wide from Bye's corner before Johnson and Jones were denied from two Broglino deliveries.

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Falmouth's Josh Richards puts pressure on Helston's former Falmouth man Ryan Chinn

The game turned sour ten minutes from time when Bowyer's late lunge on Wyatt led to a melee between most of the players on the pitch, with the pair both being booked for their part in the fracas.

Time was running out for Falmouth to rescue a point once play resumed, with Broglino sending another shot wide before his corner kick was headed over the crossbar by James Ward.

Town were given one last chance when they won a free-kick in the final minute, but Broglino launched it well over Wyatt's goal as Town's third defeat in a row was finally confirmed.

Helston: B Wyatt, K Davies, G Roberts, R Beattie, J Storey, H Jewell, R Chinn (L Tripconey 90+3), M Bye, S Beattie, A Flack (K Cornish 52), J Thirkle (A Williams 85). Subs (unused): A Wharton, J Flamank.

Falmouth: R Barnes, D Blizzard, J Webber, J Richards (M Duff 53), J Cooper (O Moody HT), J Ward, L Brabyn (L Johnson HT), D Broglino, J Bowyer, M Jones, T Nixon. Subs (unused): S Pickup, R Martt.

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The referee lectures Helston goalkeeper Barrie Wyatt and Falmouth striker Jack Bowyer before both go into the book