All eyes will be on Kellaway Park this weekend as Falmouth Town make the trip to rivals Helston Athletic with a place in the second round proper of the FA Vase at stake (kick-off 3pm).

Although the two sides have met regularly in the South West Peninsula League over the past few seasons, it will be the first time that the two local rivals have met in a national cup competition.

Both sides come into the game in good form, with Helston on an incredible run of 13 straight victories in all competitions.

One of those came at Falmouth on September 4, with Mark Goldsworthy and Kai Cornish scoring as the Blues won 2-1 in the SWPL Premier West.

Town have enjoyed their own unbeaten run since that game, however, winning six and drawing one of their seven games since that derby defeat.

A bumper crowd is expected at Helston, with well over one hundred of Falmouth’s ‘F-Troop’ coming on coaches alone.

Manager Andrew Westgarth said: “I think it’s been highly supported, there’s going to be loads of F-Troop there and it’s going to be a good game.

“It’s probably got a little bit of needle in it because Helston are doing well themselves, obviously we don’t want to lose to Helston and I’m sure they don’t want to lose to us. They’ve gone on an unbeaten run and we’re on a good little unbeaten run, so it should be good.”

Westgarth admitted to feeling “slightly deflated” when the draw was made three weeks ago, with Town being paired with their local rivals in a cup competition for the fourth time in five seasons, but is relishing the tie as it draws nearer.

“I said at the time it was a bit underwhelming when we got the draw, because in the FA Vase you don’t associate it with playing against your local rivals,” he said, “but now it’s getting close to it I think it’s ramped up a little bit, the excitement’s going to be there.”

Town come into the game off the back of Saturday’s 5-0 win at Sticker, and will have enjoyed a full seven days between games for the first time in a month, a luxury not afforded to their opponents, with Helston having won 3-1 at previously unbeaten Mousehole in the league on Wednesday night.

Westgarth said: “They probably could have done without that, but when you’re on a winning run I suppose you look forward to every game.

“But it’s good for us as we get to have a week off, we get to have a good training session. We haven’t had many training sessions this year because we’ve played so many in midweek. It’s quite good for us just to regroup.”

Helston Athletic, meanwhile, are facing one of the biggest weeks in their recent history, with their under-18s also playing an important FA Youth Cup tie on Monday night.

The Blues have been making steady progress on and off the pitch in recent years, and their on-field fortunes have come to a head this season, with Steve Massey’s first team enjoying a 13-match winning run in all competitions.

Ten of those have come in the South West Peninsula League Premier West as Helston have soared to second in the table, five points behind leaders St Austell with four games in hand.

Win number 13 came at Kellaway Park on Wednesday night, with the Blues coming from behind to beat Mousehole, the only remaining unbeaten side in the division prior to the game.

Victory ensured Helston’s longest winning run in the league since the start of the 2007/08 campaign, when they won a club record 11 games on their way to a third-place finish in the Combination League.

But now attention turns to the Vase and the visit of rivals Falmouth, with further history set to be created should the Blues win their 14th game in succession.

Victories over Keynsham Town and Axminster Town have already ensured that this is the Blues’ best-ever run in the competition, but Saturday’s game offers the chance to prolong the run for one more round at least, and do it at the expense of one of their main rivals in front of what is anticipated to be a bumper crowd at Kellaway Park.

Manager Steve Massey said: “It will be a huge, huge game. It will be hostile, both on and off the pitch. There will be a great crowd there, a fantastic atmosphere. I just love these games, and I know my players are right up for it.”

“I can guarantee now that none of them will freeze at all, they will be just really looking forward to it. The players in this squad have all tasted juicy games like this before, four or five of them have played in FA [Vase] semi-finals and youth cups.

“We are really looking forward to this wonderful week coming up.”

  • Follow live text coverage of the game on the Packet website.