Helensburgh Thistle continued their unbeatable form in 2022, downing Berkeley Sports 4-0 at Berkeley Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon.
Blake Currey gave the visitors the lead midway through the first half before adding a second from the penalty spot 37 minutes in.
Peter Turrall scored in the latter stages of the first period, with Kade Kinsella grabbing a goal just after the hour mark to round out the win.
The early moments of the game adopted a frantic pace as both teams sought an early goal.
Within the first three minutes, Thistle forward Kade Kinsella displayed great skill to make space inside the right of the box before finding Ben Watts centrally who saw his shot cleared away.
Berkeley created a chance of their own not long after with Nuno Pires flicking the ball up on the edge of the box before volleying straight at the Helensburgh keeper Jordan Paull.
Pires had another shot in the eighth minute, latching onto a ball over the top centrally; however, his shot rolled to Paull.
Two minutes later, the visitors came close with Watts’ shot from the left corner of the box just bouncing wide of the right post.
The Goats conjured up two opportunities in quick succession, firstly in the 13th minute with Kagami curling left-footed shot just wide of the far-left corner.
Kagami got on the end of Aurin Jones’ left-sided cross a couple of minutes later; however, his diving header from inside the box was blocked.
Helensburgh opened the scoring in the 20th minute as Jarrod Benham’s freekick on the right found the head of Currey in the middle who looped the ball into the left side of the net.
The side began to step up the pressure with Liam Unicomb and Kinsella both seeing shots narrowly miss the target in the next two minutes.
Charlie Jones’ improvised scooping effort from the left edge of the box 33 minutes in was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Berkeley shotstopper Claude D’Alessio.
The Thistle were awarded a penalty four minutes later, with Currey finding the bottom-left corner despite D’Alessio getting a hand to it on its way into the goal.
Helensburgh added one more goal before halftime as fullback Turrall sent a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner from the left of the box.
A strong finish to the first half put Andrew Paine’s team in a commanding position at the break with a three-goal advantage.
It was more of the same to start the second half, with Helensburgh’s Unicomb finding space on the right twice in the first 10 minutes.
Three minutes in, Unicomb drove into the right of the box but saw his effort from a narrow angle saved by D’Alessio.
Five minutes later, Kinsella sprayed a ball from the halfway line into the right channel for Unicomb who clipped his effort over the bar from a similar position to a few minutes before.
The Goats nearly pulled a goal back in the 60th minute as Jones’ cross from the left of the box found Pires at the back post, but the forward powered his header onto the right post.
The Thistle picked up their fourth goal only a couple of minutes later.
A determined run from Ethan Lehn into the box fell to Kinsella with the striker taking his time before placing a calm finish past D’Alessio.
With the result all but sealed, the Thistle looked to see out the remaining minutes but continued to be a sporadic threat.
With five minutes to go, Currey lined up a freekick on the right that forced D’Alessio into a save low down to his left.
Lehn’s right-sided cross in stoppage time rolled to Kinsella in the middle of the box, who failed to make contact with the ball.
Helensburgh went on to earn their 14th victory of the season to stay comfortably ahead at the top of the table.
The side with host Picton Rangers this Saturday before playing four away games in a row.
For the Goats they remain in the hunt for finals football, two points below Balgownie Rangers in fifth.
Berkeley also has an extended run of away matches coming up, starting with Oak Flats Falcons next Tuesday night.
Berkeley Sports 0
Helensburgh Thistle 4 (Blake Currey 20’ 37’ pen, Peter Turrall 43’, Kade Kinsella 62’)
Berkeley Sports: 1. D’ALESSIO Claude, 2. MUSCAT John, 3. TREVISI Aaron, 4. KING Jarryd, 5. TILL Hayden, 6. MATSUOKA Ryosuke, 7. KAGAMI Mondo, 8. JONES Aurin, 9. PIRES Nuno, 10. ADAMS Jon, 11. EVANS Dylan
Substitutes: 12. JORGE Damian (ADAMS 60’), 13. MOON Greg (MUSCAT 73’), 14. ROSANDIC Andrew (EVANS 73’), 15. MEARS Justin, 21. BOERSMA Lachlan
Yellow Cards: John Muscat 29’, Aaron Trevisi 90’
Red Cards: Nil
Helensburgh Thistle: 23. PAULL Jordan, 2. LEHN Ethan, 3. BENHAM Jarrod, 6. CURREY Blake, 5. TURRALL Peter, 8. PATTERSON Vaughan, 7. UNICOMB Liam, 10. HEWSON Blake, 9. KINSELLA Kade, 13. JONES Charlie, 14. WATTS Ben
Substitutes: 12. MUCCI Joel (HEWSON 67’), 11. MILLER Luke (UNICOMB 88’), 15. MAWBEY Scott, 86. BROWN Connor (PAULL 70’)
Yellow Cards: Ben Watts 44’
Red Cards: Nil
Date: 7 August 2022
Venue: Berkeley Sports Ground
Referee: Bobby Mazevski
Assistant Referees: Steve Bozic and Stuart Bell
Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_
Photo credit: Helensburgh Thistles Soccer Club