ALTHOUGH the skies had cleared on Saturday following the previous day's awful rain deluge, you could be forgiven for thinking a cloud had remained over Kellaway Park.

The Blues of Helston Athletic played host to the Blues of Liskeard Athletic, but it was the visiting Blues that left on cloud nine while the home Blues were left feeling very blue indeed.

The heavens opened on the home side when James Lorenz opened the scoring, and despite it looking like they had weathered the storm when Hugh Howlett headed home early in the second half, Ben Collins was on hand to rifle in the winner and dampen Helston's day.

REPORT: Blues beaten by Liskeard in first home game of season

Title tilt takes hit

The last thing a title-chasing side needs is a surprise defeat in the second game of the season – and their first at home.

I say surprise, but Liskeard are certainly no mugs. They oozed class as they strolled to the SWPL Division 1 West title last season, and have retained the services of golden-boy Lorenz despite it looking like they may lose him – more on that in a minute.

But Helston were still expected to win this match, given their status among many peoples' bets for the title this season after manager Steve Massey brought in the St Austell quartet of Liam Eddy, Mark Goldsworthy, Olly Brokenshire and Neil Slateford to complement their experienced Devon-based players and promising youngsters.

The most amount of games a SWPL Premier-winning team has lost is six, when Plymouth Parkway did so in 2014, with every other winning team in the 11 years of the league losing no more than four matches on their way to being crowned champions. To lose one of those after two games is far from ideal.

Massey's publicly-stated goal is a top-four finish this season, and Saturday's defeat will do that objective little harm, but he will naturally be hoping to land that title, and he will need fewer results like that in order to do so.

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Blues disjointed

It was a strange old afternoon for the hosts, who never really got going on Saturday. It was the archetypal 'blip' performance, well at least Massey and co will hope that is the case, anyway.

For a side that is so blessed in most departments, it was strange to see such an off-key, disjointed performance.

Matt Bye and Neil Slateford are two of the most creative players in the league, let alone the Helston squad, but they, especially the latter, did not get on the ball enough to do any damage.

And when they did, they – and their team-mates – struggled to link up effectively with one another. Certainly in the first half, it felt like nearly every attack was curtailed by a pass that was too short, or just off target altogether.

It got to a point where I was wondering when the misplaced pass would happen when an attack began.

Mark Goldsworthy cut a frustrated figure up top alongside Scott Beattie, who wasn't his usual, dominating self either.

It was no breeze at the back either, with the defence enduring a torrid time against the pace and directness of the attacking quartet of Lorenz, Collins, Jarrad Woods and Ryan Knight, who regularly found and ran into space behind the back four.

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The visitors, by the way, were a joy to watch. I will be covering their league and Charity Cup double-header at Falmouth next month and certainly look forward to doing so.

One plus was another goal for centre-back Howlett, who has re-entered the first-team picture this season, while another was the impact of Kai Cornish and Alfie Flack, who instantly gave the visitors a fresh outlook up top when the pair came on midway through the second half.

Lorenz shows his class

Liskeard Athletic will be thanking their lucky stars that Truro City agreed to let Lorenz return to Lux Park.

Nineteen-year-old Lorenz signed for Truro at the end of July after featuring for the White Tigers in pre-season, but has since returned to his former club, with whom he scored a remarkable 51 goals in 28 league games last season.

That kind of goal return speaks for itself, and he picked up where he left off with a fine finish in the first half to open the scoring for the visitors.

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But it was his general attacking play that really caught the eye. He repeatedly carved open the Helston defence with his electric pace, good footwork, direct running and with a shot to match – as you would expect from a man who scored 51 times last year.

He probably should have added to his tally, but for a couple of good saves from Blues 'keeper Jason Robertson.

Liskeard may have worried when they saw their star man leave the club, but they can dream of a higher league finish again now that he is back leading the line.

Next up

Helston are back at their Kellaway Park home on Wednesday night (kick-off 7.30pm) for the visit of Wendron United for the first time since the 2010/11 Combination League season.

Three of Helston's returning summer signings, Jason Robertson, Liam Eddy and Mark Goldsworthy, scored in a 6-0 win as the Blues went on to win the title that year – could that be an omen for this season?

They will do well to emulate that result against this current 'Dron side, who won 2-0 at Launceston on Saturday despite having six first-team players missing.

Massey's men will not want another upset, so they should not take Jack Greenwood's side lightly.

  • Follow live text coverage of that game on The Packet website on Wednesday evening.