Welcome to the second 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.

Ashes looking red-hot

It will be a big job to stop Saltash United from winning the inaugural Premier West title, if their opening five games are anything to go by.

Five games down and 15 points in the bag tells its own story, but the Ashes have gone about those wins in some style, scoring a phenomenal 33 goals in those five games.

The jewel in that particular goal-laden crown came in a 9-0 thrashing of Wadebridge Town on their own turf on Tuesday night, with the Ashes also scoring six, seven and eight in respective wins over Launceston, Penzance and Callington.

Such has been their prolific nature in front of goal that three of their players have already reached five goals. Ryan Richards is level with Liskeard Athletic's James Lorenz at the top of the division with eight, Sam Hughes is one further back and David Barker has bagged five.

Kudos has to be given to those at the back as well, with Saltash conceding a league low of three goals – a record they share with Helston Athletic, who have played one less game.

The most important win, however, came at the weekend in a 3-0 triumph at home to previous leaders St Austell. Both sides had 100 per cent records going into the game, but it was the Ashes who still had theirs intact at full-time.

Making the step up

With every team having played at least five games, now is a good time to assess how the Premier newbies are settling into their new division.

Nine teams were promoted from the old Division 1 West, and the good news is that every club has picked up at least one victory. Points-wise, Penzance and Wendron United have been the slowest starters, with both sides taking four points from their first five games, although neither are in the bottom three, with those places being occupied by three of the bottom four teams in last season's SWPL Premier – Launceston, Callington Town and Sticker.

That being said, Penzance have been on the end of a couple of thrashings, including an 11-0 mauling at Helston Athletic on Wednesday night. If those become a regularity then it could be a long season for the Magpies.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the quickest teams to adapt have been Liskeard Athletic and Mousehole, who finished first and second respectively in last season's Division 1 West. The Blues have won four of their six games and sit fourth in the table, with Mousehole two points and one place better off as the Seagulls remain unbeaten after their six games.

St Blazey have also defied some peoples' expectations, sitting seventh with three wins out of six, despite finishing 11th last season.

Porthleven and Wadebridge have also had decent starts to the campaign – The Bridgers' 9-0 mauling against Saltash aside – with the Fishermen nicely positioned in seventh and Wadebridge in 11th respectively.

There is a long way to go, but the signs are mostly good for the nine newbies.

Up for the cup

Most teams will be swapping the SWPL for the FA Vase this weekend as the national competition gets another season underway with the first preliminary round.

It usually affords teams the chance to test themselves against clubs from out of Cornwall, take in a new environment and location, and no doubt boost team bonding with long journey to Bristol and beyond.

That is the case for Bodmin Town, Liskeard, Falmouth Town and Helston, who visit Bishop Lydeard, Bovey Tracey, Bristol Telephones and Keynsham Town respectively.

Launceston are also taking on unfamiliar opposition, with Cheddar making the trip from Somerset to Pennygillam.

We also have two all-SWPL West ties, with Porthleven at home to Callington Town and St Blazey welcoming Godolphin Atlantic to Blaise Park.

Saltash and Newquay will renew acquaintances with former SWPL Premier colleagues, who have joined the Premier East. The Ashes make the short trip to Elburton Villa, while Newquay visit Cullompton Rangers.

Good luck to all teams!

Season in numbers

There have been 55 of the scheduled 380 games played so far, meaning about 14.5 per cent of the season's fixtures have been completed.

Those 55 games have yielded 266 goals - an average of 4.84 per game. One hundred and forty-six of those goals have been scored by the home team, with the away team netting 120.

On average, the home side scores 2.7 goals per game, while the visitors net 2.2 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 nine draws and 46 victories, with the home team winning 25 and the away team winning 21.

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