FROM KEVIN HEANEY:--
First of all, I would like to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year, and to thank you all most sincerely for all your help and support in 2011.
Last night, at Sutton, was amazing. We had an incredibly depleted squad, so much so that we had to get special permission from the League to sign two reserve players, and unfortunately even then one of them could not travel with us because of work commitments. Our squad for this game was down to just 12 players. Young Tim Nixon, from the reserves, cut a lonely figure on the substitutes' bench. I asked Lee if, in all his 20-odd years in the game, he had ever seen a team in action with just one sub before and he agreed he hadn't!
I have seen some fantastic performances and results for Truro City in my seven years as chairman, but I have to say this was right up there with the very best of them. Lee got his tactics spot-on, and the spirit, work rate, application and energy levels that the players showed were just phenomenal; it made you feel that everything we all do on and off the pitch is so worthwhile.
I was so proud of the players and the management team and the supporters who made the long journey. On the night, we could have ended up with three goals and all three points. Sutton equalised in the dying seconds with a goal from a somewhat controversial free-kick, but only a few minutes earlier Les Afful had hit the bar with an absolutely brilliant lob from 40 yards. If that had gone in, it would have been game over.
All this was achieved against a very good Sutton team who I confidently expect to finish in the top five and who had the luxury of being able to put on three substitutes, all of them over six foot! I'm bound to say I feared the worst at the start, but it all turned out so very differently. Cody Cooke scored a terrific brace and really "arrived" in this match. He's a genuine local lad who's come in via Truro College and our reserves, and he's precisely the sort of local product from the community that we want to produce more of. We now start looking for the next Cody!
There had been serious concerns that this match might not have gone ahead at all. We had eight out of our 19 players unavailable. The outcome tells me a great deal about the group of players we've got now, along with the outstanding leadership qualities.
I hope this is a clear message to everyone in Truro and Cornwall. This club is well worthy of support; it is a club the county can be proud of. We now turn our attention to the upcoming "local derby" matches over the festive period, with the visit to Weston-super-Mare on Boxing Day and especially the return fixture at Treyew Road on New Year's Day, when we hope to welcome a big crowd for some first class entertainment. We also hope to have at least three of our absentee players back in action by Boxing Day, incidentally.
It is worth noting that not so many years ago Weston were five levels above us, and now they are our local derby opposition. Seven years ago, we were lying 11th in the South Western League - today we are 11th in the southern Conference. What an amazing achievement that is.
I personally have in mind four matches as the all-time greatest achievements during my period as chairman. The FA Vase, obviously, has to be No. 1. I also recall our 2-1 win at Tavistock that secured promotion to the Western League, plus last season's six goals at Salisbury, which was just like a dream.
And then, without hesitation, I choose last night. What an achievement, in the face of such adversity. Well done, Lads; well done, everyone.
End of Chairman's Message.
UPCOMING FIXTURES (all League, k/o's 3 pm), Mon Dec 26, Weston-super-Mare, away; Sun Jan 1, Weston-super-Mare, home; Sat Jan 7, Welling away; Sat Jan 14, Chelmsford, home; Sat Jan 21, Bromley away; Sat Jan 28, Staines Town, home.