Truro City face uphill task after 2-0 home play off defeat by Maidstone By Rhod_Mitchell | May 04, 2016
Truro City have it all to do to reach the National South play-off final after going down to a 2-0 home defeat to Maidstone United in Wednesday night's first-leg encounter at Treyew Road, writes Stuart James.
In front of a healthy crowd of 1,011, Steve Tully's side were second best on the night against a very direct but clinical Maidstone side.
A brilliant overhead kick by Joe Healy broke the deadlock on the half hour mark before Alex Flisher gave the Kent club a healthy lead for Sunday's second leg with the second ten minutes after half-time.
Truro found themselves under the cosh right from the start with a very direct Maidstone side causing problems from set plays.
The long throws of Flisher were causing no end of problems and from the first one inside the opening five minutes, a Maidstone shot deflected narrowly over the bar and the second was headed behind by a Truro defender.
The Truro goal was living a charmed life with another long throw causing panic in the penalty box and Maidstone defender Manny Parry poked the ball wide from close range.
Bobby-Joe Taylor was next to try his luck with a shot from distance that dipped just over the crossbar and a rare Truro attack almost ended in a freak goal for them as Tom Mills ' backpass rolled under the feet of goalkeeper Lee Worgan, who got back to hack the ball clear just before it crossed the line.
However, Maidstone's pressure finally told when, on 29 minutes, they broke the deadlock and it came from another long throw. Truro initially dealt with it, clearing high into the air, but Healy, with his back to goal, lashed a stunning bicycle kick that flew past Martin Rice in the Truro goal from ten yards.
Maidstone continued to apply pressure and the first half ended with Vas Karagiannis seeing a shot blocked,
Truro were far better at the start of the second half and created their best chance when a free kick into the box found its way to Aaron Bentley six yards out, but he volleyed wastefully over the bar. It proved a costly miss as well as within two minutes, Maidstone doubled their lead in the 56th minute.
A long ball over the top was not dealt with and Flisher took advantage of some poor defending by Bentley as the Maidstone wide man hammered the ball past Rice from 18 yards.
Truro responded well to that setback with Ben Adelsbury seeing a shot deflect wide of the upright, but Maidstone were proving a hard nut to crack with Jamie Coyle outstanding at the heart of their defence.
Ryan Brett tried his luck from long range for Truro, but fired straight at Worgan and Matt Wright was high over the bar with an effort from 18 yards.
By then, Les Afful and Ollie Knowles had come on as manager Steve Tully tried to freshen things up and Knowles almost grabbed a lifeline when Worley spilled a shot, but the substitute was unable to turn the loose ball home.
Afful then won his side a free kick in a dangerous position, but Ryan Brett curled the ball high over the bar and Worley punched a looping Wright header behind for a corner.
Time was running out for Truro though despite no lack of effort and they came agonisingly close to a goal in the first minute of stoppage time. Matt Jay delivered a fine cross from the right which Wright headed downwards, but the ball bounced up and off the face of the crossbar before going behind for a goal kick.
It was that sort of night for the home side.
CITY: Rice; White, Pugh, Bentley (Knowles, 74), Richards; Adelsbury, Green, Brett, Cooke (Afful 57), Jay, Wright. Subs (not used); Dawson, Mitchell, McHale.
Yellow cards: Cooke, Knowles.
MAIDSTONE UTD: Worgan (capt); Driver, Parry, Coyle, Mills; Karagiannis (Sweeney 75), Rogers, Healy, Taylor, Flisher, May (Dumaka 80). Subs (not used): Davies, Paxman, Godmon
Goals: Healy (27) 0-1, Flisher (56) 0-2.
Referee: Tim Wood (Gloucestershire)