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Corby Town 3 Truro City 2
Corby certainly showed more offensive drive during this game, which went ahead thanks to a number of volunteers forking during the morning at Steel Park. You can’t beat a forking on a Saturday morning. There was a damp patch in the middle of the pitch, which was a car-park on my last visit and the game was then played in the adjacent athletics stadium. The muddy technical areas suggested that technical means were needed to stay upright there but visiting manager Steve Massey chose a dismissal to protect his footwear later in the game. Truro had held on fairly comfortably, despite the tricky Claudio Hoban’s debut contribution for the hosts and Aman Verma’s decent touch on the ball, yet had threatened the home goal three times, with Liam Eddy’s pace a problem but Ben Watson’s finishing not lethal enough. Then referee Perry from Solihull, where I live too, embarrassingly, chose to award Corby a penalty right on the 18 yard line but whether correct or not, he then compounded City’s misery by dismissing Arran Pugh, who had made the challenge; this did seem harsh and Truro were still adapting to the new defensive line-up, when Corby beat an offside trap to add a second. The visitors made a real fist of the second period and nearly grabbed a point at the death, with limping skipper Paul Kendall a danger aerially but Corby held on, despite understandably wasting time for the final 8 minutes against ten men.
Three early throws were defended successfully by Truro, with Pugh hacking the third to safety but the first real chance stemmed from Sam Ives’ right-side corner; the midfielder received the ball back from the initial kick and clipped it towards tall defender Paul Malone, 16 yards out, inside-right channel but his right-footer curled wide of the near upright. Striker Tommy Wright battled hard to get onto a header across goal from Hoban but Pugh defended him physically then Truro moved forward but Jamie Lowry’s speculative 30 yarder was well off target. Hoban was busily causing danger for the hosts and Wright was a target for the creative Steelmen but Truro ‘keeper Ollie Chenoweth was rarely threatened, only having to go down and save easily from one Hoban shot. Truro’s first opportunity came from a corner, which Pugh passed back to Broad, who clipped a cross into the penalty-box from inside-left for Lowry, right-side, and he delivered a short centre too; a defender glanced the ball straight onto the unmarked Ben Watson’s volleying right foot, just 6 yards out, far post but the ball looped over the crossbar.
Liam Eddy’s pace was useful on the break for Truro and he released Steve Tully for a short feed to Watson at inside-right and he did well to get in a shot towards the near post, after turning inside Malone, which Walker blocked well. Another run by Eddy on the left led to Lowry failing to feed Watson and the visitors were spoiling Corby’s ascendancy with some useful breaks by Eddy and some tough work by left midfielder Jordan Copp. Kendall defended a Corby free-kick well but Ives’ right-wing flag-kick was nearly headed home by Wright at the far post, with Chenoweth unsure, although a linesman had flagged for an offensive offence anyway.
More danger from Eddy on the left offered Watson a near post shot, which flew upwards and Walker was forced to palm the ball away for a corner, which Truro took short but lost possession from, criminally. This led to a break by the Steelmen, but Hoban clipped his centre over the goal-frame, following Wright’s smart pass to the right. Wright then crumpled in front of Pugh, some 25 yards from goal and the referee gave a free-kick but although Verma’s free-kick curled well enough, it dropped just over the Truro crossbar. A fine crossfield pass by Joe Broad for Truro, to Copp, was poorly controlled by the midfielder but then the game, which had been spasmodic in its good play, changed dramatically and it all stemmed from a back-pass by Pugh. Chenoweth was forced to fly-kick the ball clear in a hurry but he failed to get distance and Corby fed the ball forwards for Hoban, who was challenged on the 18 yard line by Pugh; Hoban leapt like a projectile into the penalty-area, held his ankle in writhing fashion and referee Perry pointed to the penalty-spot, which angered the White Tigers anyway, but when he then dismissed Pugh, the Tigers’ growls could be heard in the official’s hometown shopping centre, Touchwood. Greg Mills fired a low penalty off the base of the left upright and into the Truro net, past the flailing Chenoweth and before Truro could reorganise, they were 2-0 down. Kendall was really apoplectic, having to be manhandled away from the embarrassed referee and had been cautioned for his protests when Pugh was sent off. Corby would always threaten Truro from wide positions and so it proved. A pass from the half-way line, right side, was pushed for Hoban to move onto, Kendall thought the player was offside and hesitated but no flag waved and Hoban ran on, squared the ball across goal, taking Chenoweth out of the game and there was Verma to convert easily from 6 yards.
More neat work by the now rampant hosts so nearly led to a third goal but the move stemmed from what looked like a foul on Eddy, who was unceremoniously dumped to the ground in midfield and the Steelmen attacked; Hoban was involved and drifted left towards his skipper and left-back, a Steelman inappropriately named Jelleyman. Gareth Jelleyman played a one-two with the eager Hoban but Verma took over at inside-left, 16 yards out, before clipping a cross for Wright, who flew forwards, boots first, missing the flight of the ball, as did the diving Chenoweth and it dropped just wide of the far right upright. Shane White was getting really angry in the Truro defence by this juncture but Watson did make a break on the left for the guests, only for his tame centre to bounce near no available colleague. Eddy, the livewire, was then sacrificed for the introduction of Warren Daw, who slotted in at left-back for Truro, leaving the visitors with little forward pace at all and the half ended with more threat from Corby but Hoban, the pick of the home attack, drove a curling effort past the left upright from 18 yards.
The players trooped off past the sanded area (why didn’t Corby ask Truro to transport more of the stuff from Mawgan Porth beach?) for a cup of tea and in Truro’s case, a reviving pasty, no doubt. There seemed little chance of the visitors getting back into the game but I guess Eddy had been replaced because Watson had had three attempts at goal to Eddy’s none, despite the youngster’s running ability. Corby appeared to have the points in the bag, for Hoban, Ives and Verma had bossed the game for much of the time and it was surely a case of how many they would win by, but this was non-league football and the White Tigers pulled out a claw or two after the interval and the game became more of a contest.
An early bouncing ball at inside-right caused real problems for Truro’s defence and Wright managed to stretch and nudge the ball goalwards as Chenoweth advanced a few yards from goal but the ‘keeper did well to knock the effort aside for a right-wing corner, which was headed down, won back by Ives and brought two Corby shots, the first of which was blocked and the second of which brought an easy save for the grateful Chenoweth. Malone’s foul on Kendall did not inspire the Silhillian referee to brandish a card but Kendall was hurting, limping and struggling, yet carried on in true World War One style. Lowry’s 23 yard free-kick, like Verma’s had earlier, dropped too late and cleared the crossbar. Another low Lowry shot was claimed by the slithering Walker easily enough but it became evident that Truro were more urgent in their play and Corby were having to heed the change in attitude. And suddenly, the visitors scored and their noisy fans were rewarded.
Lowry made an intelligent overlap, as Copp held the ball at the left corner of the penalty-box and although the midfielder’s cross from the byeline was deflected, it fell for Watson at the near post corner of the 6-yard area and he turned to tuck a low shot off a defender’s foot into the bottom left corner of the net. Tully was a little exposed as Verma drove a shot wide for Town and Mills was being afforded far too much space on the left, as illustrated soon afterwards when he was picked out too easily by a cross-field pass; he had a man outside him, no opponent closed him down and he was given too much time to clip a right-foot cross from the left corner of the penalty-box directly onto Verma’s right foot, in front of goal and with White attempting to mark two players, Verma’s clever and gentle close-range lob over Chenoweth restored the hosts’ two-goal advantage.
That goal was a heavy blow to Truro, who had battled hard to get back into the game but Corby always looked dangerous when Hoban and Verma were involved in construction. Daw, Copp and Watson engineered a shot for Lowry for City but it was blocked, then Daw was cautioned and trouble flared near the Truro dugout, during which incensed manager Massey was dismissed, like a Subaltern from a muddy Somme trench in 1916. There was a delay, Massey waved his arms about but eventually from the free-kick, and after Cody Cooke had replaced Copp for the ailing visitors, Mills sliced a shot wide of the right upright. Full-back Kalern Thomas, no slouch, rushed past Cooke but striker Wright’s plunge failed to connect with the ball and Chenoweth caught Mills’ subsequent centre from the left.
Courtney Herbert replaced Tom McGowan for Corby, Mills fed Hoban at inside-left, who bullied his way past three Tinmen and poked the ball against Chenoweth’s feet, before Dan Green passed to Watson for Truro but the striker’s 25 yard drive drifted wide of the left post. Truro then lost possession in midfield but Hoban drove a shot wide of the left upright, then Tully was dispossessed on the Corby left, the ball flew across to Herbert on the right but when Verma received a pass, he shot past the right angle of bar and post from 18 yards. Danny Wright replaced namesake Tommy for Corby, but with the game blundering towards an end, Truro struck a second goal, following a left-flank free-kick by Lowry. Tinman Kendall rose above Steelman Jelleyman at the far side of the penalty-box to head down to the 6-yard line, from where White tumbled but slotted the ball into the net.
Truro fought hard for the remaining minutes, Corby were shaken and wasted as much time as they could, abandoning breaks to take the ball into corners, despite their extra player and Kendall’s sapping injury. Indeed, Kendall just failed to reach a Cooke centre from the right beyond the far post in the dying moments and with Nathan Stanton replacing Thomas, a few more seconds were killed by the Steelmen to preserve the victory.
Truro’s offense seemed threadbare at times during this game, their width rarely causing Corby trouble, after Eddy was withdrawn. Hoban was really effective for the hosts and central defenders Malone and Chris Carruthers managed well enough as the game wore on, despite Truro’s increased effort. Kendall was strong, Lowry busy but Olly Brokenshire was given precious little time to affect the proceedings, after replacing the quiet Broad, although he did fashion an argument or two, as a Steelman crumbled like a Stickman over the grandstand touchline late on! His innocent face probably saved him from a caution, but maybe Mr Perry thought better of it, as he would soon be passing Truro’s dugout to reach his dressing-room.
Solihull really is one of the best places to live in England, according to a recent study and there really is only one Mr Perry, for he might be the exception which proves the rule that we are decent people here… I went home to watch Barcelona pass Rayo to confusion and score six times: it’s what I do… Brilliant away support though…
Corby: Paul Walker, Kalern Thomas, Gareth Jelleyman (Capt), PaulMalone, Chris Carruthers, Tom McGowan; Greg Mills, Sam Ives, Tommy Wright, Aman Verma, Claudio Hoban.
Subs: Nathan Stanton, Josh Carpenter (gk), Courtney Herbert, Danny Wright, Harry May.
Truro: Ollie Chenoweth, Steve Tully, Shane White; Paul Kendall (Capt), Arran Pugh, Joe Broad; Dan Green, Jamie Lowry, Ben Watson, Liam Eddy, Jordan Copp.
Subs: Olly Brokenshire, Cody Cooke, Jared Sims, Warren Daw, Jahdee Gildin (gk).