AS pre-season friendlies go, this will go down as one of the not-so friendly ones.

Helston Athletic cruised to a 5-0 win at home to local rivals Falmouth Town in both sides' opening match in the 2019 Dave Gardner Memorial Tournament, but the match may be remembered more for cards, rather than goals.

Mark Goldsworthy, Matt Bye, Ryan Beattie, Alex Wharton and Scott Beattie scored the Blues' goals as they hammered their rivals, who had two players sent to the newly-introduced sin bin, while manager Andrew Westgarth was sent off by the referee.

Touchline trouble

Although a five-goal win in a local derby is usually the main story, Helston's free-scoring took a back seat during a remarkable confrontation between Westgarth and referee Nigel D'Arcy around ten minutes before the end, which saw the official show the Town boss two yellow cards in quick succession, before also handing Westgarth's father Mickey, who was among the Town staff, a yellow card.

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Andrew Westgarth is sent off by referee Nigel D'Arcy

D'Arcy was also a linesman for Town's 2-1 Aubrey Wilkes Trophy defeat at Truro on Tuesday night, with referee Stuart Kane sending off Town coach Charlie Davis on that occasion.

Westgarth suggested after Saturday's match that his sending off could have been premeditated, following the clash with D'Arcy and Kane in the game at Treyew Road four days earlier.

He was quick to add that he did not feel D'Arcy influenced the game, but also maintained that he believed the sending off was harsh as he was not abusive when confronting him.

Westgarth was also named as Falmouth's only substitute for the game due to injury and unavailability elsewhere, with his dismissal meaning that the starting 11 had to play the full 90 minutes.

Sin bin uncertainty

I say the full 90, but there were actually two players that only played 80 minutes. As well as the cards handed out to the members of their dugout, Town also saw two players, Bowyer and Cooper, sent to the sin bin in either half.

The rule, which is used in rugby, has come into force at all Step 5 divisions of the National League System and below, which includes every league at local level, and will punish incidents of dissent with a ten-minute spell on the sidelines.

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Jack Bowyer (right) is sent to the sin bin during the first half

Town striker Jack Bowyer was first to fall foul of the rule, with D'Arcy giving the forward his marching orders in the 30th minute, before returning to the field ten minutes later.

Captain Joe Cooper was sent to the sin bin shortly after the furore on the sidelines, although as this took place at the far end of the pitch it wasn't instantly clear whether he had been sin binned or sent off. Perhaps a unique signal or making the player stand between the two dugouts – rather than in their own one – would make it clearer.

Town certainly missed their captain's leadership and defensive ability in those ten minutes, with Helston netting twice in that time.

Helston on fire

There was actually some football to talk about too, and Helston will feel a little aggrieved that it was not their fine performance that got the most attention. The Blues looked excellent as they romped to a well-deserved victory against their local rivals.

Goldsworthy opened the scoring with a goal fit to win any game. The new signing from St Austell produced a marvellous finish in the 18th-minute, turning just inside the box and firing the ball into the far corner, with Ryan Barnes only able to watch it fly into his net.

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Mark Goldsworthy opened the scoring with a superb strike

Three of the other four goals came from players who not only started the game on the bench, but arrived at the ground about ten minutes before kick-off after a three-hour drive from Devon.

Matt Bye and the Beattie brothers, Ryan and Scott, came off the bench to score the second, third and fifth goals respectively. All three have higher-level experience at Southern League club Bideford and will be three of the very highest quality options from the bench this season, should they turn up late again!

Despite there being five different scorers, Cameron Wheat was not one of them despite an impressive hour or so on the pitch. The lively young winger has just completed a move from Wendron, where he regularly lit the Underlane up with his raw pace and excellent technical ability.

He could have had one or two from headers alone on Saturday, with one such back-post header being saved superbly by Barnes.

Bad day for Bickland boys

It just wasn't Falmouth's day at all.

Aside from shipping five goals, two sin bins and a manager red card, Town also put in an uncharacteristically off-the-pace performance throughout.

It could have been different had Matt Buchan's fourth-minute lob not been ruled out for an apparent foul by the Town striker in the build-up, but the visitors – who, admittedly, only had a bare 11 players – could not use that as an excuses as they were second-best to their opponents in more or less every department.

Westgarth, rather ominously, said afterwards that the game had made his decision clearer as to who will, or will not, be starting their opening league game at home to Mousehole in ten days' time.

Next up

Helston Athletic visit Porthleven in both sides' second Dave Gardner match at Gala Parc on Tuesday night. With both sides having won their opening game, Tuesday night's tie will go a long way to deciding the destination of this year's trophy.

Falmouth Town welcome Penzance to Bickland Park for their second match on Wednesday night. Town also have a fixture at home to St Austell seconds the night before, with the Dave Gardner match against the Magpies expected to be fulfilled by Town's St Piran League side.