The first in a special four-part series looking back at Helston Athletic’s run to the South West Peninsula League Division 1 West title in 2015.

OPTIMISM was high at Kellaway Park as Helston Athletic set their sights on another successful season in 2014/15.

With the Blues scoring 101 goals on their way to a third-place finish in their second season in the South West Peninsula League Division 1 West the previous year, there was hope that Sid Taylor’s side could go one better and turn a title challenge into a title.

Blues boss Taylor added five new names to his Helston squad over the summer and believed all would provide something different to the squad.

Ahead of the new campaign, the Blues signed forward Jason Robertson from Falmouth Town, defender Kirk Davies from Penryn Athletic, goalkeeper James Wignall from Culdrose and Mikey Davies, a striker, and attacking midfielder Connor Davey from Truro City.

A good pre-season campaign was rounded off by the capture of the Dave Gardner Memorial Tournament title after an emphatic 5-0 win over Penzance on the finals day at Porthleven’s Gala Parc.

The victory followed by a 5-3 win against the Fishermen the previous Saturday before defeating Falmouth Town 5-0 on Tuesday, giving them a full nine points.

Helston boss Sid Taylor was really chuffed to have won the tournament, saying: “I thought our lads played some really good football over the three matches and at times it looked really professional.

“The lads kept the ball well and winning a tournament like this just a week before the league season starts is the best possible preparation you can have going in as it gives you momentum."

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Helston Athletic with the Dave Gardner Memorial Tournament trophy. Pic: Phil Ruberry

Attention quickly turned to the start of the real stuff, with the Blues to visit Liskeard Athletic on the opening day of the 2014/15 season.

“The boys cannot wait to get things kicked off again,” Taylor said. “We are going to be training twice this week and I know there is a real buzz going around the club at the moment.

“Our first three games are tricky with Mousehole and St Dennis up after Saturday, but I’d be happy to get through these games undefeated.

“It is a long season though so whatever happens come next Saturday, so I won’t be too downhearted if we are beaten early on.”

It took a little while for Helston to settle into their opening game at Lux Park, with Liskeard, who were relegated from the Premier Division last season, creating a couple of chances early on.

However, the visitors were the team who opened the scoring after ten minutes after Dan Stidwell made a darting run down the left wing before supplying a cross for Mark Goldsworthy, who made no mistake in front of goal.

Goldsworthy doubled his tally for the day and his team’s lead five minutes before the break after getting round the back of Liskeard’s defence before hitting a clinical finish.

In the second half, Liskeard’s young side came out fighting and pulled a goal back on the hour mark when Ben Collins made the most of a poor clearance from the Helston box to bundle the ball home after a goalmouth scramble.

Liskeard continued to push forward as they searched for an equaliser, but Helston’s defence was able to stay strong to secure the win and get the Blues’ season off to the best possible start.

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Helston show delight at going 3-1 up against Illogan. Pic: Phil Ruberry

“It was a bit 50-50 during the second half as they really came at us,” Taylor said. “but the first game of the season is more about getting a result rather than how you play, so to win is great.”

The Blues made it two from two with a hard-fought 1-0 win over fancied Mousehole in their first game at Kellaway Park, with Charlie Young grabbing a dramatic late winner in the 90th minute.

Despite his side’s perfect start to the campaign, Taylor spoke of his desire to add another striker to his ranks to ease the pressure on main man Goldsworthy.

“I think we do need another striker here to help Mark out,” he said. “It is really good to already have him firing on all cylinders and on Saturday [against Liskeard] he showed how important he is to us.

“But he does need to be supported as well, which is why I feel another striker would be a good thing to bring in.”

That striker would prove to be Falmouth Town’s Andrew Westgarth, who made the move from Bickland Park in time for their resounding 3-0 win at home to St Dennis as Helston continued their perfect start to the season.

It was not entirely plain sailing for the hosts as they had to wait until the second half for their opener with several good opportunities wasted.

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Mark Goldsworthy scores in Helston's 3-0 win at home to St Dennis. Pic: Phil Ruberry

But once Goldsworthy sent Athletic ahead from the penalty spot, they never looked like being pegged back by the Saints, with Goldsworthy doubling the advantage with 16 minutes to go before Mikey Davies came off the bench to fire in a third in the final minute.

Three became four as Helston moved clear at the top of the division following a 5-2 win at Penzance, with Goldsworthy bagging two to take his tally to six for the season, while strikes from Ashley Stidwell, Kirk Davies and Mikey Davies also went in.

But that was nothing compared to what was to come four days later as Taylor’s Blues made the trip to Millbrook and proceeded to score a whopping 16 goals.

Goldsworthy scored a sensational eight goals, with Jason Robertson notching five and Westgarth also bagging a hat-trick as Helston beat their own record league away win of 13-0 and moved five points clear at the top of the table.

Their final task of August would be their closest rivals, second-placed Illogan RBL, who pitched up at Kellaway Park on August 30 and took the lead in the early top-of-the-table clash through Dan Richards in the 24th minute.

Their joy lasted barely a minute before Westgarth levelled, before Robertson and Goldsworthy netted after the break to extend the Blues’ perfect start to six wins out of six and give them a handsome eight-point cushion at the top of the tree.

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Jason Robertson celebrates his goal against Illogan with Helston boss Sid Taylor. Pic: Phil Ruberry

However, a delighted Taylor refused to let his side’s fine start get to their heads, saying: “I think at the moment it is far too early to say that we are running away with the league.

“But what we do like to do is play to our strengths and attack teams because we like to play good looking football.

“The way the strikers have played up to this point of the season has been a real bonus and we have five good strikers at the club.

“It is adding pressure on themselves as they all know they cannot have a couple of bad games in a row as it could mean them getting replaced, so that is keeping their levels up and that is a benefit for us.”

The Blues had an enforced 14-day wait for their next fixture after Foxhole Stars withdrew from the league over the summer, but any fears over the loss of momentum were quelled when the Blues returned to action at home to bottom side Penzance.

Two first-half strikes from Young and one from each of Goldsworthy and Kirk Davies put he Blues four up at the break, before another from Davies and one from Jordan Adlard in injury time completed the 6-0 hammering.

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