Welcome to the first in a new fortnightly series this season that takes a look at the recent results, upcoming matches and key talking points in the South West Peninsula League Premier West.

Big scorelines

Many peoples' fear when the FA's restructure of local football was announced last season was that the league shake-up would lead to dilution of quality and bigger scorelines as a result.

It is early days – we are only a week into the new season after all – but some people can already point to Launceston's 9-1 win over Sticker, St Austell's 6-1 home win over Liskeard Athletic and Callington Town's 8-0 and 7-0 maulings at the hands of Saltash United and Bodmin Town respectively.

You obviously want to avoid uncompetitive games and mismatches as much as you can, but it is worth pointing out that most of the teams on the losing end so far are actually teams that were either in last season's Premier anyway, or would have been in the Premier this year even if the restructure had not happened.

I can see there being a bit of a gap between the top and bottom sides come the end of the season, but that is not entirely the fault of the restructure.

Mousehole are expected to challenge near the top, and Porthleven have had a solid start, and neither of them would be in the division without the restructure. In addition, the current bottom two sides were in last season's Premier anyway, although it is still early days.

Seven of the nine newly-promoted sides drew their opening game, one won (St Blazey), and the one who lost (Liskeard) has since won their second game.

Big scorelines will inevitably happen when the big guns take on the lesser sides, but there will still be plenty of competition throughout the division.

You may get a gap between top and bottom, but everyone should have something to fight for at least.

Sin bins

The new sin bin rule has already become a big talking point in the local game. The rule, which sees players guilty of dissent sent to the sidelines for ten minutes, was especially controversial during Tuesday night's game between Newquay and St Blazey.

The game ended 1-0 to the Peppermints, with Blazey losing two players to red cards, while goalkeeper Brodie Cole was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes.

This meant that an outfielder had to go in goal for the ten minutes that Cole was sidelined, with the 'keeper having to rejoin the field as an outfielder until play stopped and he could return to goal.

Although they lost the game anyway, you could argue that they got away with not conceding any more in that period.

The incident caused quite a stir on social media in the aftermath, but it obviously has not happened before and people are still getting used to it.

The rule has been brought in to help reduce dissent, and I'm sure that managers and players will look at this incident and make sure that it doesn't happen to them in future.

Lillywhites put to the test

It will be a big week for early league leaders St Austell, who face three very interesting matches over the next nine days.

The Lillywhites welcome a much-changed Porthleven side to Poltair Park this weekend. The Fishermen's new co-bosses of Jamie Thomson and Graham Blake have signed a raft of new players and have managed to put four points on the board from their two games so far, including a 4-1 win at Wadebridge on Tuesday night.

St Austell are at home again on Wednesday night for their latest tussle with Falmouth Town. Town knocked the Lillywhites out of both the Cornwall Senior Cup and Walter C Parson League Cup last season, although they did beat Town 4-1 at home in the league at the start of the season.

If that wasn't enough, they then travel to defending League Cup champions Saltash United on Saturday in what could be a humdinger of a game.

St Austell have already put the maximum six points on the board from their opening two games, following that 6-1 thrashing of Liskeard and last night's 6-0 win at Penzance. If they are still there or thereabouts by the end of play next Saturday, then they will have had a fantastic start to the season.

Season in numbers

There have been 17 of the scheduled 380 games played so far, meaning about 4.47 per cent of the season's fixtures have been completed.

Those 17 games have yielded 83 goals - an average of 4.88 per game. Forty-four of those goals have been scored by the home team, with the away team netting 39.

On average, the home side scores 2.6 goals per game, while the visitors net 2.3 per game, which, once you round to the nearest whole number, gives us an average scoreline of 3-2 to the home side.

There have been six draws and 11 victories, with the home team winning six and the away team winning five.

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