Toolstation League premier division: Helston Athletic 3, Wellington 2

Our first team made the long journey home from Cornwall empty handed after a controversial defeat by Helston Athletic yesterday (August 13th)

The game was poised on a knife-edge in the second half until a disputed third goal for the home side left the Tangerines with too big a mountain to climb.

We made one change from the side which won convincingly at Welton Rovers in midweek, 17-year-old keeper Charlie Hawkings making his full debut in place of the injured Rob Hall.

And we got off to a bright start, nearly going ahead after three minutes when a fine move ended with Miles Quick’s header coming back off the bar.

It was Helston who made the breakthrough 12 minutes later as Rubin Wilson was played in, clipped by Hawkings and picked himself up to convert the resulting penalty.

We were not at our best in the first half but re-grouped and drew level within a minute of the restart through Miles Quick’s clinical volley.

Helston regained the lead just before the hour mark, Wilson glancing home a free kick before the game’s pivotal moment after 73 minutes.

Our defence stopped as the assistant’s flag was raised for offside but Rikke Shepherd ran on to net and, after the officials consulted, the goal was given.

The aggrieved visitors threw everything at Helston to get back in the game and did pull a goal back in injury time as two subs combined – new signing Sully McKenna helping Glen Wright’s overhead kick into the net.

But things turned from bad to worse right at the death as tempers boiled over in the home area. Skipper Sam Towler was shown a straight red and Nathaniel Groom also saw red for a second yellow card to leave the visitors with nine men for the final few minutes.

Wellington: Charlie Hawkings, Mike Murphy, Tom Stone, Jason Quick, Nathaniel Groom, Stefan Phillips, Sam Towler, Eli Collins, Jack Bown-Porter, Miles Quick, Jake Quick. Substitutes: Jamie Nicholson, Rohan Poulsom, Sully McKenna, Glen Wright (all used). Attendance: 93.

Next up is a trip to play Barnstaple Town, relegated from the Southern League last season, on Tuesday (ko 7.45pm).