Excellent Helston push holders Bodmin all the way in goalless final
Bodmin Town 0, Helston Athletic 0
Bodmin and Helston must try again in a replay after playing out an entertaining goalless draw in the Cornwall Senior Cup final at a bitterly cold Kimberley Stadium, Saltash.
But it is Carlsberg South West Peninsula League division one west side Helston who will take more out of this match, having pushed cup holders and premier division leaders Bodmin all the way with an excellent performance.
The replay will be on Tuesday April 16 but the Cornwall FA have yet to announce the venue.
Helston boss Sid Taylor said: "In the end we were quite disappointed because we created enough to win the game.
"Bodmin are one of the best sides around but we did ourselves proud today."
Bodmin, who have won this competition for the past three seasons, were so subdued that in the dressing room afterwards, manager Darren Gilbert questioned his players' hunger to win more trophies.
He said: "We didn't turn up today. That was as bad as we can play; we couldn't win a tackle; we hardly won a header."
Helston, playing with the wind at their backs, dominated the first half and only the excellence of Bodmin goalkeeper Kevin Miller kept the game goalless before the break.
Man of the match Liam Eddy burst through on the left after 12 minutes and looked odds-on to score but his fierce low drive was blocked by Miller's legs and Huw Morgan completed the clearance.
Two minutes later Eddy was turning the Bodmin defence inside out, twisting and turning past Lewis Reed before firing in a shot which again forced a superb save from Miller.
Bodmin's best chance of the first half fell to their top scorer Adam Carter after 38 minutes but in a one-on-one with Helston goalkeeper Jason Robertson, he tried a deft chip and succeeded only in sending the ball straight into the keeper's arms.
Bodmin needed to improve in the second half but Helston continued in the ascendancy and Eddy, causing Bodmin all sorts of problems, came close again in the 52nd minute when he outpaced Morgan but saw his shot deflected away for a corner.
Helston were testing Bodmin's offside tactics on a regular basis but they were frustrated by the linesman's flag and in the 54th minute their manager, Sid Taylor, reacted strongly when Mark Goldsworthy was ruled offside on the right hand side.
Reserve official Luke Maslen decided to get involved, sprinting to the Helston dugout to warn Taylor but was unhappy with his reaction and alerted referee Martin Ault, who ordered Taylor to the stand.
Bodmin were so bereft of ideas that the nearest they came to forcing a breakthrough came from a speculative 40-yard shot from Olly Brokenshire which sailed over keeper Robertson but also wide.
It was Brokenshire's last action of the final, as he was almost immediately replaced by Neil Slateford, and Bodmin also introduced Sam Matthews and Luke Hodge in the last ten minutes as they attempted to change their fortunes.
But Helston, roared on by more than 200 noisy supporters behind the clubhouse goal, held out comfortably and at the final whistle they saluted their fans.
It had been a great day out for the club and their only regret must have been that they didn't get the goal their performance deserved.
Bodmin: Miller, Reed, Rundle, Chambers, Morgan, Swiggs (Matthews 80), Colwell, Brokenshire (Slateford 68), Carter (Hodge 81), Luxton, Doel. Subs not used: Doddridge, Gilbert.
Helston: Robertson, B Stidwell (A Stidwell 76), Strike (D Stidwell 81), Thomson, Davies, Howlett, Adlard, Young, Eddy, Goldsworth, Russell. Subs not used: Collick, Fox.
Booked: Eddy (44), Davies (46).
Referee: Martin Ault.
Full report and reaction in this week's Cornish Guardian and West Briton newspapers.