Helensburgh have put together back-to-back wins against premiership rivals with the Thistle beating Oak Flats 5-1 at Keith Bond Oval on Saturday afternoon. 

All but one of the goals came in a frantic 13 minutes in the first half with a combination of excellent Helensburgh offence and some individual errors from the Falcons leading to the blowout.

The Burgh had the better of the opportunity early with Kade Kinsella forcing a one-on-one save out of Valon Rizvani while Brad Watts also hit both posts from outside the box. 

Oak Flats were not completely without chances with Kyle Del coming close to opening the scoring in the 12th minute. 

Del latched onto a loose ball to kickstart a counter-attack with Daniel Munilla but the former’s finish was well saved by Burgh goalkeeper Jordan Paull.

The opening goal came in the 24th minute after Rizvani was caught out by the flight of a corner before the ball was scrambled over the line with Falcons defender Mat Grasa having the last touch.

The lead was doubled two minutes later when Watts harried Jason Goldsmith into a cheap turnover before the Thistle forward tucked his shot away. 

Helensburgh’s Brad Watts getting past Oak Flats defender David Kotrc.

Jarryd Vinton pulled a goal back in the 30th minute with a fantastic strike but it didn’t stem the tide with Helensburgh scoring two more before the half-time whistle.

The first of those two was scored by Liam Unicomb who got the better of Rizvani at his near post in the 34th minute.

Two minutes later Grasa fouled Watts in the box giving Blake Currey the chance to net from the penalty mark which he duly did.

Oak Flats proved tougher opposition in the second half as they tried to mount some sort of a comeback. 

Munilla had a penalty shout waved away in the 56th minute, three minutes before Del had a shot which was blasted over.

Helensburgh closing down Falcons forward Daniel Munilla.

Lance Condello nearly scored a spectacular goal with 15 minutes remaining when the industrious midfielder let the ball roll across him before lashing it into the left post from 20 metres out.

Any hint of a late fightback was quelled in the 80th minute when Kinsella scored the Burgh’s fifth of the afternoon. 

The Helensburgh goal-getter had another two opportunities to score late on but he was flagged offside for one and knocked the other wide during an advantage after being fouled from the goalkeeper.

In the end, the missed chances didn’t matter with Helensburgh running out convincing 5-1 winners.

After the match, Burgh coach Andrew Paine said he was delighted with his side’s first-half exploits.

“The first half was excellent,” he said.

“The front three in particular, it was a bit of a fight in the midfield but out front three were electric today especially in the first half.

“The second half was a bit of a slower game but that happens. I would prefer that we’re always at 100 percent but that’s unrealistic, it’s the nature of the game.”

Both sides are involved in round two of the Bert Bampton Cup on Tuesday night with Helensburgh playing Unanderra and Oak Flats taking on local rivals Shell Cove.

In the next round of the District League, Helensburgh face Berkeley while the Falcons will meet the Hearts.

Oak Flats: 1 (Jarryd Vinton 30’)

Helensburgh: 5 (Mat Grasa OWN GOAL 24’, Brad Watts 26’, Liam Unicomb 34’, Blake Currey PENALTY 37’, Kade Kinsella 81’)

Oak Flats: 1. RIZVANI Valon, 2. KOTRC David, 3. WARBURTON Alan, 4. GOLDSMITH Jason, 5. GRASA Mathew, 6. CONDELLO Lance, 7. VINTON Jarryd, 8. DEL Kyle, 9. CARIC Bojan, 10. STEVENSON Jamie, 11. MUNILLA Daniel

Substitutes: 12. CASEY Adam, 14. EAGLETON Josh, 15. ROWE Lachlan, 13. BLANCH Rhys, 21. JARMAN Chris

Helensburgh: 23. PAULL Jordan, 2. MAWBEY Scott, 6. CURREY Blake, 4. HOPE Ryan, 5. TURRALL Peter, 3. JOHNSTON Adam, 7. UNICOMB Liam, 8. HEWSON Blake, 9. KINSELLA Kade, 10. WATTS Brad, 11. O’BRIEN Deren

Substitutes: 12. MUCCI Joel, 13. FOX Mitch, 14. WATTS Ben, 1. WEBB Broughton

Date: 24 April 2021

Venue: Keith Bond Oval
Referee: Steven Bozic

Assistant Referees: Helmet Lux and Ruben Janssens

Report and photos by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela

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