09 January 2018

Bath City 0 Truro City 0

Bath City failed to trouble the scoreboard for the fifth successive match at Twerton Park, and consequently had to settle for a single point against high flying Truro City despite dominating for long periods. In isolation, this was a creditable result but frustration was, no doubt, the overriding emotion felt by the majority of those on the terraces as the goal drought continued.

Bath, attacking the Bristol End in the first half, began brightly and Jack Compton’s 3rd minute free kick was deflected by a defender, forcing keeper Tom McHale to push the ball over the crossbar for a corner.

The Cornish side responded in the 7th minute through a low cross from Cody Cooke that flew across the face of Luke Southwood’s goal, and away to safety. Almost immediately, Michael Kelly flashed a cross into the danger area that eluded his teammates, and then Tom Smith’s clipped effort was cleared over the bar by a defender.

The hosts were now dominating in terms of possession, and a good move down the left on 18 minutes resulted in Compton’s cross picking out Smith, whose flicked effort was blocked by a well-timed challenge. Compton then tried his luck twice in quick succession from 25 yards out, with the first shot being well wide, and the second being too high.

James Morton concluded some neat passing movement with a driven shot that was wide of McHale’s near post and, on the half hour mark, ‘The Romans’ had perhaps their best opening of the first period. McHale came a long way out of his box to clear a long through ball, but the rebound fell to Smith. The midfielder struck a first time shot but, with the keeper stranded, the ball drifted over the unguarded net.

Truro came more into the game thereafter, with Cooke skewing a shot badly wide from just outside the home box, and Niall Thompson’s rising effort from distance being too high to trouble Southwood.

The returning Ross Stearn was becoming more influential as time wore on, and his 37th minute angled drive from the edge of the area bounced awkwardly just in front of McHale, who did very well to hold on the ball.

There was a scare for the home side three minutes before the break when former ‘Roman’ Noah Keats let fly from 25 yards. The ball squirmed from Southwood’s clutch, but the keeper reacted quickly to gather at the second attempt on the goalline. The home stopper was called into action again when he was forced to punch a cross away whilst under pressure, and again recovered in time to save Cooke’s extravagant overhead kick.

The second half started slowly, but the visitors came desperately close to taking the lead in the 55th minute. Cooke rose highest to meet a right-wing cross, and thudded his header against the face of Southwood’s crossbar. The loose ball was scrambled clear.

Stearn found space down the right flank on the hour mark, but his raking cross just eluded the onrushing Nat Jarvis. At the other end, Ed Palmer’s powerful free kick was deflected for a corner, and Bath responded with another Stearn cross that eventually fell for Compton, who could only scoop his shot over the bar.

Cooke fired over Southwood’s goal on 71 minutes as ‘The White Tigers’ continued to threaten on the break, but it was the hosts who remained largely in the ascendancy. With ten minutes remaining Morton shot narrowly over the crossbar and, a minute later, worked his way into the Truro box, only for his firm rising drive to fly just over the top of the near post.

As Bath continued to push forward Kelly planted a deep cross into the area from the left, but Stearn’s header from a difficult angle was wide of the far post. Compton’s free kick from 30 yards on 87 minutes was held under the bar by McHale, but the home side had to settle for a point when Dan Ball was mysteriously shown a second yellow card for an infringement on the half way line. The defender appeared extremely unlucky to be the recipient of two very ‘soft’ cautions from a referee who, after an anonymous first half, became increasingly erratic as the game progressed and produced a series of incomprehensible decisions.

There is no doubt that, overall, this was a decent performance from City, but the continued inability to score goals at Twerton Park is concerning. For all their good play and domination today, the fact remains that the Truro goalkeeper did not have a genuinely stretching save to make. Jerry Gill’s side now have a difficult trip to Chelmsford City next Saturday before hosting Concord Rangers on 20th January when, hopefully, the Twerton faithful will have something to cheer.

Bath City: Luke Southwood, Miles Welch-Hayes, Kevin Amankwaah, Dan Ball, Michael Kelly, Frankie Artus, James Morton, Ross Stearn (Jack Batten 90+2), Tom Smith, Jack Compton, Nat Jarvis. Subs not used: Anthony Straker, George Rigg, Ryan Case, Kieran Hodges.

Truro City: Tom McHale, Niall Thompson, Connor Riley-Lowe, Ed Palmer, Alex Hartridge, Jamie Richards, Aaron Lamont, Noah Keats (Jordan Copp 78), Tyler Harvey (Andrew Neal 78), Cody Cooke, Ben Harding. Subs not used: Chris Todd, Stewart Yetton, Billy Palfrey.

Referee: Mr. Alex Blake.

Attendance: 612.


02 January 2018

Truro City 3 Poole Town 1

THE WHITE Tigers started 2018 with a deserved 3-1 victory over Poole Town to complete a festive double over The Dolphins.
It was a perfect start for us as Niall Thompson, in for the injured Billy Palfrey, hit a speculative effort from distance that carried in the wind and beat the ‘keeper to make it 1-0 within the opening two minutes.
The opening exchanges saw us ask the majority of questions and an inviting ball into the danger zone from Tyler Harvey in the tenth minute was scrambled clear ahead of Cody Cooke.
Then Cooke showed good strength to hold off his marker and get in a low strike that was well saved by the visiting ‘keeper.
The wind was certainly playing its part in proceedings and a free-kick from Ed Palmer was delivered deep into the area as the ‘keeper was alert to make a good claim under pressure.
The visitors had their first real opportunity on 18 minutes when Devlin did well to make room for a strike that was on target but well saved by Tom McHale.
A sharp break by The White Tigers ended with Noah Keats denied by the ‘keeper on the edge of the area.
The White Tigers were able to double our advantage on 25 minutes when the visitors failed to clear their lines as Aaron Lamont picked up the loose ball to find Cody Cooke who in turn set up Ben Gerring for a simple chance from close range.
There were chances at either end in the wake of the goal as Lamont and Devlin went close but were unable to add to the scoring.
Some sloppy defensive play by the visitors from a Gerring cross saw the ball cleared as far as Connor Riley-Lowe who picked out Cooke and he was denied by a smart save.
The visitors went close with a deft effort from Devlin which forced McHale into a great save as Poole Town looked to get themselves back into the game as half-time approached.
Good, positive play out wide by Riley-Lowe saw his cross pick out Thompson on the far side and he controlled the ball well before getting in a strike that stung the palms of the visitors’ ‘keeper.
We were good value for our two-goal lead going into the interval but it was the visitors who began the second period with purpose.
A deep cross from the visitors saw McHale do well to fingertip the ball off the head of Moore who was waiting in the middle.
A series of corners from the visitors caused concern before a free-kick in a promising position was deflected just wide. Then Gillespie saw a strike saved well by McHale.
An effort from Cooke was well saved by the ‘keeper who then claimed the resulting corner as we launched a rare foray forward in the second period.
Cooke showed good pace to break away but his strike was dragged just wide of the target. The next raid saw Harvey fire over following some positive play in the build-up from Riley-Lowe.
Neat link-up play between Harvey and Thompson saw the latter get in a strike that was tipped over acrobatically by the ‘keeper.
The all-important third goal arrived courtesy of a purposeful and pacy break on the left which saw Riley-Lowe make it 3-0.
The visitors were able to pull a goal back late on when Balmer’s strike found its way home with the aid of a slight deflection. The same player then saw a powerful drive sail just over before seeing McHale make a great save from point-blank range.
In stoppage time The White Tigers rattled the post then had a goal ruled out for offside as we ran out worthy winners to start the New Year with three points.

WHITE TIGERS: McHale, Thompson, Riley-Lowe, Palmer, Gerring, Richards (Hartridge), Lamont (Allen), Keats, Harvey, Cooke, Harding (Neal). Subs not used: Yetton, Copp.


29 December 2017

Poole Town 0 Truro City 3

Poole Town FC

Truro City
Cooke, Harvey (2)

Kick Off :
Tuesday December 26, 2017 15:00
Competition :
National League South
Attendance :
Match Sponsor :
Ball Sponsor :
The Active Healthcare Practice
Poole Players :
Hutchings, Lindsay, Moore (Leslie-Smith) , Spetch, Whisken, Pettefer, Bedford (Grange 83), Devlin, Bentley, Gyedi (Bal,mer 64), Harfield. Subs not used; Rees, Neale
Poole remain in the relegation zone with a second half drubbing by Truro in atrocious weather.
There were few chances in the first half but Truro were the better team.  There was little of note until the last 5 minutes of the half when Truro turned up the pressure with Lamont’s long range shot being parried away by Huitchings too close to Truro’s attackers but Poole cleared the danger.  Just before half time Keats had a great chance but blasted over to keep the scores level.
Chris Kelly could be seen out with his spade in the boggy corner at half time – a sight which does not bode well.  The rain continued to pour down and with visible surface water thoughts of abandonment were discussed among the crowd but the referee did not seem to mind.  Truro took the lead they deserved on 60 minutes when a ball to the back post was crossed in to Cooke who was unmarked in the centre to smash home.  A few minutes later a quick throw allowed Cooke in again and he hit the post before Poole cleared the ball.  On 68 minutes Palmer’s long range shot hit the bar and in the ensuing goal mouth scramble Harvey managed to poke the ball home.  By now parts of the pitch were unplayable due to the level of standing water.  Truro made certain of the points on 79 minutes from a quick break with Harvey being found centrally who neatly turned and shot in to the corner.  Poole’s best chance followed shortly after with Bentley looking to be put through but a great defensive tackle denied him.
Although the terrible weather did not help (the funniest moment seeing Truro’s advancing player successfully tackled by the water) , Poole’s performance today was very poor.  There does not seem the desire to fight their way out of relegation.  There was very little threat of Poole scoring all game.
Lets hope the New Year sees a change in Poole’s fortunes as the season so far has been very disappointing.

Match report by Peter Leppington


24 December 2017

Truro City 1 Gloucester City 1

The Build Up
Another Christmas period has rolled around, and I’m back in Cornwall, trying to survive my mother’s annual one-woman crusade to ensure I start next year carrying more fat than the average seal.  Between forced sittings of stew and dumplings, I managed to find enough time to drag myself down to Truro to see the county’s premier football side in action.

The last (and only) time I watched the White Tigers was at Charlton back in November, when they became the first Cornish side to grace the FA Cup First Round since around the time of the Crimean War.  Although Truro were beaten on the day, they played some great football, and players such as Tyler Harvey, Noah Keats and Aaron Lamont showed genuine quality against Football League opposition.  Since that day, Truro have dropped down the league a little, though they are still 7th, just outside the playoffs.  With the upper echelons of the Vanarama National League South so tight, (only three points separate Truro City in 7th and Dartford in 1st) a good run will see them right back in promotion contention.
Gloucester City lie further south in the table – 18th in fact – in their first season back in the South division.  The Gloucestershire(ish) based side transferred from Vanarama National League North this summer after an 11th place finish in 2016/17.  Also nicknamed The Tigers, but without a colour adjective (lazy…) Gloucester have had a rough few years.  Since their stadium flooded in 2007, The Tigers have bounced between various landlords, including Cheltenham Town, Forest Green Rovers and Cirencester Town.  Currently residing at Evesham United’s catchily named Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium, Gloucester City are now the only side at Level Six or above to play home games outside their home county.  This unfortunate situation contributed to manager Tim Harris’ resignation last month, so they arrive at Treyew Road today with a new gaffer in the shape of Marc Richards.
The Ground
Treyew Road has a 3,800 capacity and is in its last few years of not being a Lidl.  The German version of Trago Mills have recently agreed a deal to build a flagship Truro store on the site when the White Tigers vacate, in order to move to the fabled Stadium for Cornwall.  The purpose-built 16,000 seater stadium will be shared with the rugby team Cornish Pirates.
As for their current ground, it is certainly not without charm.  The affable and helpful car parking attendants help you find a spot dreckly, whilst the pasty shop gives an air of Cornish authenticity.  I had driven down to this with my father, and whilst I got press access, he handed over £10 for a concessions ticket, and a further £2.50 for a programme.  Chuck in another £5.80 for a very welcome cheeseburger, chips and Pepsi Max (other brands are not available) and the whole day is under £20.  Not too shabby.
One thing that was shabby, however, is the spot where “Steward Nine” is designated to stand.  I don’t want to get carried away here, but I’m relatively certain that were “Steward Nine” to actually stand here, he’d quickly be murdered by Freddy Kruger.
I set my stool down by the goal for the first half, at which point, soundtracked by the Californian awfulness of Katy Perry, it sank three inches into the mud.  With the fog settling in, I didn’t hold out much hope for the photography element of today.  Hopefully the football would provide succour…
The Match
Spoiler Warning: it didn’t.  This was a very different Truro City performance from the one I saw at The Valley.  That side were intent on playing slick, passing football, getting it wide and whipping in crosses.  Today’s iteration (and Gloucester City) clearly believed that there was some sort of airborne threat in the Truro area which could only be countered by repeatedly launching the ball as high into the sky as possible.
Four minutes in, Tyler Harvey had his first sniff of goal.  I say sniff, only if he has a nose like a basset hound, because it was approximately an eighth of a chance.  His chase of a through pass was quickly snuffed out by ‘keeper Tom Hadler smothering the ball.  It was shortly after this that I heard possibly the most impatient fan comment in football history.  With six minutes on the clock, a teenager behind me remarked grumpily to his mate that “they’ve not tried to pass it all match, just smashing it long all day”.  I mean, he wasn’t wrong, just perhaps a little presumptuous.
On 21 minutes Gloucester City captain Kieran Thomas provided a quite exceptional air kick whilst attempting a cross.  His head over heels somersault as a result scored a solid 7.2 for artistic quality.  In direct competition, Truro City’s Ben Gerring produced a delightful miskick of his own on 38 minutes, but (unsurprisingly for a chap of his size) there were no acrobatics to follow this one.  If it seems like I’m eking out talking points, it’s because I am.  These really were the highlights of the first half.
Connor Riley-Lowe and Aaron Lamont were energetic in midfield, whilst Cody Cooke and Tyler Harvey worked hard up front, but they really were starved of any service.  Truro City seemed to have succumbed to a temptation to launch it forward at the earliest opportunity and it was suffocating their game.  Another theme of the first half was the sheer fury of Gloucester City’s Chris Knowles.  Permanently on the verge of apoplexy, his rage was primarily directed at the referee, but occasionally shifted focus to his teammates, opposition players, the long coach journey, blue passports, the concept of Christmas.  You name it, he hated it.
The only real moment of class came right on the stroke of halftime when Ben Harding shot just wide.  After good work by Riley-Lowe (who will apparently be getting an Ollie Watkins poster for Christmas… and a restraining order for New Year) the ball was slipped in to Harding.  He settled himself and drove the ball just past the upright.
The first half had been both low on quality and devoid of clear cut chances.  A few headers under pressure and snapshots from the edge of the box were all that either side had to show for forty-five minutes of huff and puff.  Thankfully, it did also see Exeter loanee Alex Hartridge pull some remarkable faces when taking a throw in, so, you know, positives and negatives.
Truro City came out for the start of the second half and really upped the tempo.  Almost immediately, former Wrexham and Plymouth Argyle (amongst others) striker Tyler Harvey snapped a shot off from the edge of the area.  Tom Hadler, who’d had very little to do up to this point, got across well to palm the ball wide.
Throughout the second half, Gloucester probably just about started to edge proceedings.  Neither side could claim to be playing well, but through the direct running of Karnell Chambers in particular, Gloucester City created a few half chances.  There was nothing that really troubled McHale though.  I was disappointed by this, because I’d been really impressed by the Truro No. 1 when I saw him against Charlton, and didn’t really get to see him tested today.
Around the hour mark, Truro’s right back Billy Palfrey started to become influential.  The former Argyle man from Looe was dynamic up and down the right flank, and his whipped crosses seemed like the only means Truro had of causing Gloucester problems.  Cody Cooke and Tyler Harvey were also still bustling away, and on 69 minutes Cooke used his upper body strength to spin a defender from a throw in and lash a shot over from a tight angle.
From that corner, a deep cross beat everyone and dropped to Ed Palmer at the back stick.  His half volley struck the outside of the post and went wide, leaving the sturdily built Truro centre back with his head in his hands.
It was at this point I noticed around ten Gloucester City fans behind Tom McHale’s goal who were very, very vocal.  A few other fans were also fairly vocal, on two specific issues.  One, was that of Tom Hadler’s kicking, which they felt was somewhat sub-par (though the rest of his performance certainly wasn’t), however, the Gillingham loanee’s response was fantastic, engaging with the supporters and having a laugh with anyone who would listen.
The second, was the performance of the referee.  His ability to ignore the repeated pushes in the back of Truro’s players when they jumped for eaders was so pronounced it bordered on the superhuman.  It’s almost as if the referee was bitten by a particularly myopic genetically engineered spider which then imbued him with partisan superpowers.  The supporters were getting more and more irate, and I have to say, I sympathised.
They would get more irate on 72 minutes, when the referee gave a very soft penalty for a challenge on Ed Williams.  Despite the defender clearly getting a foot on the ball, Mr Smith blew up and awarded the spot kick.  Williams picked himself up off the deck, and impudently chipped the ball down the middle of the goal.  I mean, he probably did, but through the thickening fog I could barely see that end of the pitch.
This was a signal for Truro to start throwing everything forward, and on came Noah Keats and Andrew “Rocky” Neal to add to the attacking options.  In this search for an equaliser, Truro almost fell further behind when Chris Knowles was sent through by Joe Parker, but unable to control his rage he put all his hate for the world through the ball and sent it about two thirds of the way to Fowey.
As predicted, the breakthrough for Truro came from Palfrey.  When he whipped a low cross from deep on the right it wasn’t properly cleared by Gloucester’s defenders, and the ball was worked to Ben Harding.  It initially seemed that he’d missed the opportunity to shoot and was closed down, but with the ball on his left foot he whipped a sweet effort into the top corner to level the scores.
When a Cody Cooke header was acrobatically tipped over by Hadler on 87 minutes, it looked like the match would end in a draw.  However, minutes later, a Truro midfielder burst through into the box and was hauled down, leaving the referee with no choice but to award a penalty.  Except, for some reason, he didn’t.  A clear foul was ignored, and that was pretty much it.  Full time, and spoils shared.
The Wash Up
I usually award a Man of the Match in this blog, and whilst a few players (Tom Hadler, Billy Palfrey and Karnell Chambers) played notably well, the whole match was so difficult to watch I have no choice but to name every single one of the 523 supporters in attendance as MotM.  With the football stodgier than the pea souper we were watching it through, fair play to the larger than average Christmas crowd.  They have truly earned their festive treats now.
Gloucester City have put one more point between themselves and Bognor Regis Town in the relegation zone, which will give some comfort going into Christmas.  Although Lee Hodges would certainly have been targeting three points from this game, on a day when the teams around them also failed to win, it’s not as damaging a result as it could have been.  Truro City remain in 7th, with the same points difference to 1st as they started.  A win away to Poole Town on Boxing Day, and their highest ever finish of 4th is still very much in sight.


18 December 2017

Sutton United 1 Truro City 0

HE WHITE Tigers suffered late heartbreak as a last minute goal gave Sutton United a hard-earned 1-0 win in the first round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.
The opening exchanges were pretty even, although it was the home side who were seeing more of the ball without harming us too much.
A series of corners for the home side caused concern but we managed to clear our lines under pressure.
Then an inviting cross from Bolarinwa required Ben Gerring to be alert to clear at the far post before at the other end, a free-kick in a promising position was blasted goalwards by Ed Palmer but Butler was able to make the save.
As we started to get into our stride, a loose ball was seized upon by Tyler Harvey but he elected to shoot rather than look for a team-mate and his effort was lifted over.
Some neat link-up play between Harvey and Cody Cooke saw us force a corner which fell to Palmer whose strike was blocked as The White Tigers started to ask a few questions of the home side.
There was a great chance for Sutton United with ten minutes to go until the interval when Lafayette did well to carve open our back-line to find Wright who broke through but pulled his effort wide from a good position.
It was a let-off for The White Tigers as the scoreline remained goalless.
Right on the stroke of half-time, McHale did well to push away an effort from Eastmond at his near post, whilst at the other end Niall Thompson won a free-kick which ended with Ben Harding firing over.
The second period with The White Tigers looking solid and showing plenty of endeavour.
Chances remained at a premium as both sides lacked the cutting edge.
The home side went close when Bolarinwa was positive to break forward and then feed Eastmond who was denied as he looked to grab the opener.
A great run from Connor Riley-Lowe saw him break out of defence to eventually win a free-kick on the edge of the opposition area. The resulting free-kick was curled inches wide by Harvey.
There was a real let-off for The White Tigers when leading scorer Dundas was presented with a great chance which he blazed well over.
Into the final ten minutes and another powerful free-kick from Palmer smashed against the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.
The next raid in the Sutton rain saw Cooke put a header just wide but there was to be late heartbreak as the 89th minute saw Dundas seize upon a loose ball before tucking home to put the home side in front.
Right at the death a counter-attack from the home side saw Cadogan go close and there was still time for Cooke to fire inches wide with virtually the last kick.
It was a spirited and battling display from The White Tigers where we frustrated our hosts for long periods and we can take plenty of positives from it against a good side from the level above.
WHITE TIGERS: McHale, Thompson (Palfrey), Hartridge, Palmer, Gerring, Richards, Lamont (Keats), Riley-Lowe, Harvey (Neal), Cooke, Harding. Subs not used: Yetton, Copp.

10 December 2017

Welling United 2 Truro City 2

Match Highlights Here: http://www.thenationalleague.org.uk/match-info/match-centre/1-2850651

Although a draw against Truro City extended Welling’s run of home games without a win, it did halt the run of consecutive defeats.
Knowing that Truro City play with a 3-5-2 formation, Welling Manager Jamie Coyle chose to play the same style to negate their threat and Callum Driver came in to make his debut at right wing back.
Jack Jebb caused problems with his deliveries and an early corner was just too high for Coyle. Jack Parkinson, arriving late, could only fire it into the side netting from a very tight angle.
Tom Bradbrook shot wide before Welling went ahead just shy of the twenty minute mark. Jebb slung in a great cross and Parkinson got a slight touch to ensure it beat Tom McHale in the Truro goal.
However, six minutes later, Truro levelled. Ben Harding tried his luck with a long shot that hit his team mate Cody Cooke. He was not closed down quickly enough and fired into the bottom corner.
Bradley Goldberg went on a good run and cut in but his ambitious effort sailed wide of the near post before Tyler Harvey had a shot well saved by Welling goalkeeper Ryan Sandford.
Goldberg tried his luck with another turn and shot but McHale made a comfortable save.
Just before the interval Parkinson made an important block to thwart Cooke after a free kick and not been cleared effectively.
Immediately after the break Goldberg headed in a Ben Jefford cross but was deemed offside and the goal was disallowed.
In their next attack, Truro went ahead. Connor Riley-Lowe found Tyler Harvey and he finished superbly.
Joe Healy then had to be replaced as stretching for the ball he appeared to twist his knee. Christian Nanetti came on. Tom Bradbrook was also forced to retire four minutes later allowing Eli Phipps a last appearance before returning to Colchester United.
Once those changes had been made Welling levelled. Having been awarded a free kick on the edge of the area, earning the referee an ironic cheer, Jebb stepped up and curled his free kick over the wall and into the top corner.
Once again Goldberg was in the thick of the action pulling back to Driver but his fierce shot from 25 yards flew just over.
Cooke got in behind and fired in a shot from a tight angle that Sandford saved well then Cooke headed wide from Harvey’s cross.
After that, Welling had the better of the game but created few clear cut chances although McHale made a good save from Goldberg after Nanetti had put him through.
As Welling have no game next week, they have arranged a friendly at Phoenix Sports on Tuesday evening to do more work on their shape and to look at a couple of trialists.

Welling United: Sandford, Gayle, Jefford (Johnson 83), H. Phipps, Coyle, Parkinson, Driver, Healy (Nanetti 57),  Bradbrook (E. Phipps 61), Goldberg, Jebb.
Subs not used: Francis, Monakana.

Truro:City: McHale, Palfrey (Thompson 85), Hartridge, Palmer, Gerring, Richards, Lamont (Keats 85), Riley-Lowe, Harvey, Cooke, Harding.
Subs not used: Yetton, Copp, Neal.

Welling United:
Goalscorers: Parkinson (18), Jebb (62)
Yellow cards: Jefford
Red cards: None

Truro City:
Goalscorers: Cooke (24), Harvey (49)
Yellow cards: Richards
Red cards: None

Referee: Robert Whitton
Assistants: Stephen Parmenter and David Harrison

Attendance: 383

Welling star player: Callum Driver