LIAM Eddy’s second-half strike proved the difference as Helston Athletic edged past Torpont Athletic in their FA Vase second preliminary round tie.

Eddy scored with a near-post finish early in the second half at Kellaway Park to settle the tie and send Steve Massey’s side through to the first round proper.

Helston came into the tie in somewhat indifferent form, having won just one of their last five games, but looked eager to impress early on with Alex Wharton looking lively down the right flank before Neil Slateford shot inches over the bar.

But it was Torpoint who were having the better chances with Darren Hicks rolling one shot wide of the mark before Jimmy Miller’s shot was well saved by Ryan Holland.

The east Cornwall side will have been disappointed not to have been leading at the break as Charlie Hardcastle and Curtis Damerell also missed the target with good opportunities, while Hicks and Miller came close with further chances.

The home side looked sharper after the break with Lewis Tonkin curling a shot over the bar before Matt Buchan blazed over from a good position inside the first three minutes of the second half.

Eddy, who had replaced Slateford after 26 minutes, was next to threaten when he almost diverted Will Tinsley’s cross past goalkeeper Jason Peters but could not get enough on it to do so, with Phil Cattran arrowing a shot narrowly wide shortly after.

But the deadlock was finally broken with the next attack shortly after the hour. The impressive Wharton motored down the left flank and presented the ball on a plate for Eddy to smash into the net at the back post for his first goal of the season for the first team.

Not content with sitting on their slender lead, Buchan came very close to making it two moments later, before Peters flapped at a corner kick and allowed Dan Harrison to nod at goal, only for the defence to bundle the ball off the line.

Tonkin and substitute Billy Tucker came close for the Blues but Torpoint were almost celebrating an equaliser in the 76th minute. The ball was laid off for Paul Heveran on the edge of the Blues box, with the right back’s fierce strike being expertly tipped onto his own crossbar and over by Holland.

Tucker and Damerell spurned chances at either end before Wharton almost sealed it a few minutes from time, getting past the last defender to chest Tonkin’s cross agonisingly wide of the far post.

Wharton then blazed over a gilt-edged chance after Tucker unselfishly squared to him during a quick counter, but it would matter not as Helston closed out the tie and booked their place in Monday’s first round draw.

Helston: R Holland, H Jewell, D Mulready, R Beattie (L Short 32), D Harrison, W Tinsley, N Slateford (L Eddy 26), L Tonkin, M Buchan (B Tucker 68), P Cattran, A Wharton. Subs (unused): M Bye, L Summers.