Cullompton Rangers 1, Helston Athletic 3

ALFIE Flack scored his first senior goal in a Helston shirt as the Blues recorded their first win of 2019 with a good win at in-form Cullompton Rangers in the South West Peninsula League Premier on Saturday.

Helston enjoyed a one-goal lead at the break thanks to Flack’s effort, with Phil Cattran scoring after the break to double the advantage.

Cattran made sure of the result with another in the final ten minutes before the hosts scored a late consolation.

Helston boss Steve Massey acknowledged the efforts of his brother Stuart who went to watch the Devon club in their 3-1 defeat at Falmouth Town last weekend, making reference to the recent story that Leeds United were caught spying on their opponents prior to a Championship game.

He said: “Leeds United have their spying team but huge credit goes to the way I lined up yesterday which was down to the report my brother Stuart did for me when they played Falmouth. Eight or nine of the team that started for Cullompton yesterday played at Falmouth.

“Stewie said that the way they lined up with the formation and how they wanted to play Falmouth exploited them with their lack of pace at the back and I changed the formation to exploit their weaknesses and we played really, really well, we played very exceptionally.

“It could and should really, and I know I keep saying this, it should have been even four or five and defensively we played very, very well.”

It has been a slow start to 2019 for Helston Athletic, with successive defeats to Wadebridge Town and Elburton Villa taking the shine off an encouraging end to 2018 where they earned a superb win over rivals Falmouth Town and pushed league leaders Plymouth Argyle all the way before eventually succumbing to defeat.

But the Blues roared back to form on their latest trip to Devon, with Flack putting the visitors in front with a well-taken finish, racing onto a long ball and beating the defence before firing past the onrushing Cullompton ‘keeper Adam Seedhouse-Evans.

It may have felt like it was not going to be Helston’s day when Cattran missed the chance to make it two with a one-on-one, before Matt Bye’s shot was cleared off the line with Kirk Davies’ follow-up being saved.

Those fears may have worsened when Cullompton saw a header come off the underside of the bar early in the second half, followed by a succession of corners.

But Helston weathered the storm and Cattran doubled the lead soon after when a move involving himself, Scott Beattie and Bye ended with Beattie pulling the ball from the byline to the middle of the box where Cattran was lurking to tap in from close range.

Lewis Tonkin came off the bench to miss a gilt-edged chance to bag his first goal for the side. Cattran did much of the good work to tee up Tonkin, whose shot struck a covering defender on the goal line.

But Cattran made the game safe ten minutes from time when he broke away alongside Kai Cornish and Tonkin but opted not to pass to either, instead arrowing a shot into the top corner from 25 yards.

The hosts scored a late consolation to deny the Blues a clean sheet in sloppy fashion, with the ball eventually going into Barrie Wyatt’s net via a deflection, but it is an important three points for Massey’s men.

Cullompton: A Seedhouse-Evans, A Mitchell, I Reed, A Longbeer, S Hill, J Ansell, A Greening, L White, R Parsons, J Charran, D Baily. Subs: A Donohue, T Beddow, C Stone, J Rainey, L Raybould.

Helston: B Wyatt, K Davies, G Roberts, R Beattie, H Jewell, R Chinn, A Flack (A Williams, K Cornish), M Bye, S Beattie, P Cattran, J Thirkle (L Tonkin). Subs (unused): K England.