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

Another break from league action – this time for the Walter C Parson League Cup – followed as the Blues put six past Perranporth, with Goldsworthy bagging another hat-trick to take his tally to 19 for the season and set up a second-round tie at home to league rivals Illogan.

League football resumed four days later as Taylor’s men made the trip to Penryn Athletic for a Wednesday night fixture, and with Helston first and Penryn third in the table heading into the clash, plenty of excitement had built up around the game – and what a game it would be.

The hosts drew first blood in the third minute when Kevin Lawrence teed up Ollie Moody to score, only for Westgarth to capitalise on a weak clearance and set up Young to level the scores.

Lawrence sent Penryn back into the lead three minutes later when he curled home a shot. But the lead last just 120 seconds as Jason Robertson beat goalkeeper Alex Prynn to a left-wing cross to nod it into the net.

Undeterred, Penryn led again as Luke Brabyn fired home following a quick break, and although Westgarth levelled for a third time after the break, Brabyn fizzed a fourth past Martyn Webster after great work from Lawrence.

But back came Helston and they equalised a fourth time when Ash Stidwell’s cross flew all the way into the net on the hour.

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Charlie Young is heavily marked during Helston's defeat to Illogan. Pic: Phil Ruberry

But with the game on a knife-edge, Ben Stidwell was sent off for deliberate handball with 21 minutes to go, before Penryn’s winner came when Sean Johnson put Band through to fire a shot on an angle into the net.

There would be no leveller this time, but there was still time for Ash Stidwell to receive his marching orders after controversially getting two bookings in injury time as Helston finally suffered their first defeat of the campaign.

It was hardly ideal preparation for another top clash against Illogan three days later, and so it proved as the Blues slipped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Oxland Parc.

Dan Richards, Tom Smith and Luke Johnson put efforts past James Wignall in the Helston goal during the afternoon, which helped the home team move back to second.

A disappointed Taylor was frustrated with losing two games on the bounce but added that both were against tough opposition and now his team must show they could pick themselves back up.

“We knew Saturday was going to be difficult at Illogan and last Wednesday we didn’t defend well,” he said. “What we have to do now is get back to winning ways as quickly as possible.

“If you had offered me the option of getting to this stage of the season with seven wins in the league, one in the cup and two losses, then I would have accepted that.

“It was a terrific start to the season which may have now been knocked down to a good start with the two losses, but we must show we can bounce back.”

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Mark Goldsworthy celebrates one of his three goals against Perranporth. Pic: Phil Ruberry

And bounce back they did thanks to a super 6-1 victory at home to strugglers Perranporth, with a ha-trick from Goldsworthy and goals from skipper Jamie Thomson, Ash Stidwell and Mikey Davies putting the smiles back on Blues faces.

“I think after the first seven or eight games we played, we probably started believing in the hype being put around us,” Taylor said after the game.

“It was as if us winning the league was a foregone conclusion, but no-one ever wins the league in September or October.

“That is something we’ve been shown lately, so know we have got to get back down to it. “I asked for a quick reaction from the lads and that is what I got and winning again is fantastic.”

That win allowed them to remain at the top of the Division 1 West table, although their place at the summit comes courtesy of goal difference over Penryn.

With no game for Helston the following weekend, an opportunity arose for Penryn to overtake them, but a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to Dobwalls for the Kernick Park side ensured the Blues remained top and with two games in hand.

League matters took another break another week later as Helston faced up to Illogan for a third time already in 2014/15 – this time in their Walter C Parson League Cup second-round clash.

The Blues took the spoils on August 30 with a 3-1 win before RBL got their own back on September 27 with a 3-0 victory. However, this time it was Athletic who got the edge on their rivals with a double from Mark Goldsworthy and an early header from Charlie Young doing the damage.

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Blues skipper Jamie Thomson in action during the win over Perranporth. Pic: Phil Ruberry

After suffering a defeat in their next league game after their last cup tie, Helston visited Sticker with the aim of not letting lightning struck twice.

But Sticker hadn’t read that particular script and raced into an early lead courtesy of Jack Bowyer, and while Goldsworthy levelled on 45 minutes, there was time for Jay Hill to give the hosts a half-time lead with a strike in the fourth minute of injury time.

Another equaliser was found by Athletic through an own goal ten minutes into the second half, when Andrew Avery’s attempted clearance struck team-mate Micky Rowles-Jane and went in.

Sticker did not buckle though and five minutes later had retaken the lead again when Jason Rogers reacted quickest to a rebound after Wignall saved his initial shot, condemning the Blues to their third league defeat of the campaign.

Results elsewhere meant Athletic were handed the double-whammy of slipping below Penryn and Mousehole to third in the table, albeit with two games in hand.

After another league defeat immediately after a cup tie, the Blues may well have been cursing their Cornwall Charity Cup tie at home to neighbours Wendron United, and while Helston tasted victory again, they were certainly made to sweat by Paul Murray’s side.

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Andrew Westgarth is taken out by Illogan defender Tom Smith. Pic: Phil Ruberry

After 13 minutes, it seemed like the afternoon would not be hard work for the hosts as they raced into a 2-0 lead through Kirk Davies and Goldsworthy.

But just as it appeared the task was proving too much for Dron, they received a lifeline in the 20th minute when Jason Roberts fired home for the visitors, before the same man smashed home in the 76th minute after Justin Searle’s shot was spilled by Wignall.

Extra-time followed and it looked to be heading Helston’s way when Dron ‘keeper John Row was sent off for fouling Goldsworthy, with James Miller converting from the spot.

This set back did not peg Dron back though and halfway through the first period of extra time, it became 3-3 when Searle popped the ball in after a goalmouth scramble.

Luckily for the hosts the afternoon had one final twist when Jowan Shainberg’s cross was agonisingly diverted into his own net by James Rowberry to hand the hosts the eventual victory and a place in the next round.

“I don’t think we played very well and off the back of last week’s defeat where we huffed and puffed a lot, we made hard work of it,” Taylor said. “But Wendron put up a good show I thought and they were never out of the game and sometimes you just have to put your hand ups saying they did well.

“When they went down to ten men in extra time, we had a couple of players hobbling around too and the game lost its shape completely.

“We had to put in a big effort to see it through in the end and that is what cup football is about, you just have to get through to the next round.”

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Charlie Young celebrates after scoring against Illogan in the League Cup. Pic: Phil Ruberry

He went on to say the side have to get out of their current rut, adding new players could be coming in soon.

“It is a bit tough at the moment because we have three or four players out each week and the same amount coming back in, but we have a big squad and we have to deal with it,” he said.

“We are in the process of bringing in a couple of lads, one from Portugal and another from South Africa, but they we are waiting for their international clearance to be cleared by the FA.

“Hopefully this will happen in the next couple of weeks, but I am still unsure whether they’ll go into the first or second team.

“Winning in the cup is a bit of a relief for us from the league as we needed a bit of cheering up as we have lost three of our last four matches in that competition.”

Hopes of ending their poor league form in their next game at Wadebridge Town looked to be going out of the window as Nick Dowling’s penalty and a header from Connor Mewton sent the Bridgers in front with 20 minutes to go.

But if the hosts thought Athletic would wilt, they were soon proved wrong. Hugh Howlett supplied a through ball for Young who made no mistake in making it 2-1 with 76 minutes on the clock.

Then with just a minute of normal time remaining, the equaliser came as Howlett’s cross found Robertson’s head and he sent it past Hurst.

Then the moment fell for Goldsworthy to grab the third as he raced into the box and from an angle cracked a shot past Hurst to complete a remarkable comeback.

“Games like that can change your season for good or for worse and hopefully it can prove to be a turning point for us as we can take a lot of heart from it,” said a delighted Taylor after the game.

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Sticker defender Jack Walker attempts to stop Helston's Jowan Shainberg. Pic: Phil Ruberry

That gave the Blues a vital confidence boost ahead of their rematch with Penryn, who beat them in that nine-goal thriller a few weeks earlier.

A cagey first few minutes burst into life when Kevin Lawrence, a thorn in the side of the Blues in the previous game, drilled a shot past Jason Robertson, only for Helston to grab an equaliser eight minutes later when Kirk Davies' cross found Young's head and left Penryn ‘keeper Chris Symons no chance.

Then just before half time the game's telling moment came as Adlard bundled over Dave Broglino in the area just he was about to shoot.

As the last man, referee Ian Roberts had no choice but to send off Adlard. Broglino dusted himself off and sent the penalty kick straight down the middle to give Penryn a 2-1 lead at the break.

Helston changed things up for the second half in a bid to find a point with new signing Hedie Santos coming on for Andrew Westgarth. But this would prove fruitless as two defensive errors in the space of 120 seconds would kill the game off for Helston.

First Robertson got caught with the ball at his feet after Jowan Shainberg's back pass, which Cooke snapped up on and tapped home into an empty net.

If this was bad, then two minutes later skipper Jamie Thomson’s pass towards Robertson was intercepted by Lawrence, who then set up Cooke for another simple score to complete Helston’s miserable afternoon.

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