Helston Athletic manager Steve Massey believes goalkeeper Jason Robertson should not have been sent off after his side's 3-2 defeat at local rivals Falmouth Town in the third round of the Cornwall Senior Cup on Saturday.

The Blues had Billy Tucker and Robertson sent off at Bickland Park, with the latter being shown a red card by referee Shaun Edge moments after the final whistle had been blown for kicking the ball away in frustration.

Midfielder Matt Bye was also sent to the sin bin in the second half as Helston picked up around nine yellow cards in total, with Falmouth also receiving a handful of bookings.

Robertson earned his first yellow card for kicking the ball away following the award of Town's second penalty midway through the second half that led to Tucker's dismissal, before doing the same thing when Edge blew for full-time.

Edge showed the shocked 'keeper a second yellow card as a result, but Massey felt that it should not have been the case.

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He said: "I am a little bit confused about the second booking because nowhere in the laws does it say you can be booked at the end of the game for kicking the ball away, and that's what he told us in front of all the other people that that was his second yellow card for kicking the ball away, and that law at the end of the game doesn't exist because there's no restart, it's finished.

"The only time you can get that by kicking the ball away is to stop a restart, but it's finished.

"I was disappointed in his game management, because I would just ask if you are going to book, it must have been 13-14 players, and if you are having to book 13-14 players I would only just ask then, 'What's my man management skills like? Should I be looking at myself?'

"It was just out of context with both teams and their disciplinary records, certainly our disciplinary record over the last two years, is totally out of context with everything else.

"He will have better games this season. It's just like players will do, they have poor performances and good ones, that wasn't one of his better ones and he will have better games this season.

"I'll leave it to the supporters and other people who witnessed it to make their own assumptions about his performance, but we just have to respect the decisions that he made."

Massey also qualified one of his comments in his post-match interview with Piran Films, in which he declared that Town were not a better side than his.

"Some people have said: 'Oh you've forgotten about them hitting the post and that we weren't the better side', I wasn't ever doubting that. I think we are the better side, full stop, than Falmouth, but on the two games they have deserved it, they have been better than us.

"There's no malice to my opinion that I think my side are better than Falmouth's side, but I know there's one or two screaming on Twitter."

Tough to take

Massey admitted his disappointment that his side could not capitalise on Town missing several first-team players, plus manager Andrew Westgarth, who was unavailable, but he believes his team is still a work in progress and will only get better in time with more games together.

"It makes it even harder to take when you look at what they had on their bench yesterday," he said. "They had Ross Pope [who retired in 2017], Charlie Davis [first-team coach] himself among others and you think, 'Blimey, what a great opportunity'.

"It's all right saying we're short here or we didn't play well there, but the basic fact is that on two occasions now we haven't managed a game properly when we've gone 1-0 up.

"I think in another three, four months time, I think we'll be a lot better. It's still a relatively new team, we've played 14 league games and five cup ties so we're still very new as a team.

"It's still a work in progress but I do feel that we have one of the best sides in the league."

Senior Cup heartbreak

Saturday's defeat ensured a fourth cup exit for Massey's Blues at the hands of their rivals in the last three seasons. Helston had lost at Bickland Park in the League Cup in each of the previous two seasons, and lost 5-1 at home to Town in the FA Vase five weeks ago.

The exit means only the League Cup and Cornwall Charity Cup remain for Helston this season, with the Senior cup exit hitting Massey especially hard.

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He said: "If you'd said to me this season which of the cups do you want to go for, the Senior Cup would have been my priority.

"The Vase was hard to take but we knew at the end of the day that we were never going to go that far into the competition, but the Senior Cup was a great opportunity and I am really gutted that I am out of the Senior Cup.

"The League Cup has always been, for me, the double. When you talk about the double it is the league and the League Cup, for me, and it'd be nice to do that. I really targeted maybe a couple of cup finals on top of a league challenge, I won't say a league title, so to go out at the first attempt is really disappointing."

Massey is also hoping to get an update later on Sunday on the condition of top-scorer Mark Goldsworthy, who had to be carried off the pitch in the 78th minute following a collision with team-mate Alex Wharton and Falmouth defender Toby Clark.