Helston Athletic under-18s stand just one game away from a historic appearance in the first round proper of the FA Youth Cup.

The young Blues, managed by Martyn Daughtery and Stu Giles, welcome Brockenhurst to Kellaway Park on Monday night (kick-off 7pm) for their first-ever home tie in the competition, with victory giving Helston the chance to take on the likes of Plymouth Argyle or Portsmouth in the next round.

Helston began their campaign in the first qualifying round three weeks ago, where they defeated Street on penalties after a 1-1 draw, with Lewis Tonkin having given the Blues an early lead.

They booked their place in Monday's third qualifying round in much more comfortable fashion, running out 5-0 winners at Brislington the following week, with Alex Wharton scoring a hat-trick for the Blues.

The Blues are already enjoying their deepest run in the competition, eclipsing a run to the first qualifying round in last year's debut campaign, but victory on Monday night would see Helston potentially come up against one of 46 English Football League sides in the first round proper, with Argyle, Portsmouth and Exeter City among them.

With the Blues being the first Cornish team to compete in the cup since St Austell in 1957/58, this tie will give the Cornish public the rare opportunity to witness a Duchy youth team in an elite national competition, which means that the youngsters will be flying the flag for the whole county in Monday night's game.

First-team manager Steve Massey said: "That was part of my talk [before the Brislington game] that I gave to the boys just before Martyn and Stuart did their bits and pieces with them, that they're not just going out to play for Helston Athletic Football Club, their families and themselves of course, but they're representing the whole of the county, the whole of the county will be looking and be glued to Twitter or the results or text messages waiting to see what the result is.

"The performances have been superb with that weight of expectation, it's not been daunting for them and in fact they've relished it and that's why I know come the tie against Brockenhurst the guys are going to be right up for it, really fired up for it and it's something that we're really looking forward to. They deserve it, as well."

Massey has overseen the transition of several of the youngsters from the under-18 side to his first team in the South West Peninsula League, and spoke of his pride at watching the players make their journey through the ranks.

Harrison Jewell, Kieran Daughtery, Lewis Tonkin and Alex Wharton were the four original players that Daughtery and Giles brought to the club as youth players, with all four going on to play first-team football, with Jewell now a first-team regular.

Kai Cornish and Alfie Flack have progressed from youth-team player to become regulars in the first team, with Cornish currently one of the first names on the team sheet, while Jack James and Keelan England, who have also featured in this season's cup run, having gone on to make appearances for the senior side, although the latter is now with Penzance's first team.

"It's one of huge, huge pride," Massey said, "particularly the four that came in originally and started at the beginning with Stuart and Martyn. We've had the four of them in the first-team dressing room even as 15-year-olds just coming in and being involved in that atmosphere, doing the warm-ups.

"They go and play in the first team and it fills their confidence, and when they go and play with their peers again, the under-18s, they feel a confidence and an assuredness and an authority about themselves that they carry. They play well in the under-18s and when they come back into the first team again they have got the boost of confidence.

"They have my backing 100 per cent, I have lots of confidence in them and they're relishing it.

"The club is in a very, very healthy state at the moment, with the youngsters right at the heart of it."

Standing in Helston's way of a mouthwatering first-round tie is Wessex League Premier Division side Brockenhurst.

Known as the Badgers, the Hampshire club began their campaign with a thumping 15-1 win at home to Wessex League Division One side Pewsey Vale in the preliminary round on September 5.

It was a much closer affair in their first qualifying round tie at AFC Totton two weeks later, as the Badgers came from behind to win 4-3, before winning by the same score in the next round at Wimborne Town of the Southern League Premier South to set up the trip to Cornwall.

Although the young Blues will not want to get ahead of themselves, Massey admitted that the thought of reaching the next round and potentially bringing a professional team down to Helston was a tantalising one.

"It's been in our thoughts all of the time," Massey said. "You only have to look at last year at Clevedon, who came in at the same tie as ourselves, the qualifying rounds, on three or four games and they drew Manchester City at home.

"I think they had nearly 5,000 people at the game, it caught the imagination of everybody because you talk about the romance of the FA Cup, this is ours - the romance of the FA Youth Cup.

"It would be fantastic to see some of the best talent in the county if we can get them down to Kellaway Park would be magnificent.

"Certainly if we get a named league club down here, a Portsmouth, Exeter, Plymouth would be fantastic, and it's nothing that the lads don't deserve.

"They would have earned it and we feel we have a real, real good chance of going another round on if we can get past Brockenhurst, and the way the boys are playing and with the talent we've got in the squad, we do fancy our chances."

Entry on Monday night will cost £3 for adults, with concessions and under-16s getting in for £1.50 and £1 respectively.

  • Follow live text coverage of the game on the Packet website from 6.30pm on Monday night.