11 August 2011

The only way is Essex for Truro City

Source: West Briton: LINK

At just before 3pm in deepest Essex on Saturday, Truro City will make Cornish football history.
When skipper Jake Ash leads his team out at Melbourne Park to take on Chelmsford City, the Tigers will become the first club from the county to play in Blue Square Bet South – step 2 of the non-league pyramid system.

And Lee Hodges's side could hardly have had a tougher baptism against a Chelmsford side who reached the play-offs last season.  Saturday's test will then be followed by City's first home league match on Tuesday (7.45pm) against Hampshire visitors Eastleigh, who finished eighth last season.

But Hodges said he and his squad were looking forward to the challenge.
He said: "I am not looking any further forward than Saturday's match.
"It will be tough and we will be going into a game a little bit blind as I have not had chance to see them (Chelmsford) play.

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"But it might be an advantage to play them at the start of the season. I have been really pleased with the boys in pre-season and we are all looking forward to getting the season started at last.
"I think if we can finish half way up the league that would be fantastic."

On Saturday, City enjoyed a morale-boosting 5-2 win over Hednesford Town in the Southern League Championship match (see page 108) with a hat-trick from Marcus Martin and a superb all-round display of the striker's art by the seemingly ageless Barry Hayles.
The 39-year-old scored City's opener and also played a part in setting up three of Truro's other goals.
And Hodges believes that having the former Premiership striker available from the start of the season will be a massive boost.

He said: "Barry was in top form and it is brilliant to have him for the start of the season. He looked unplayable at times.
"Last season he didn't come in until after the season started and it took him a few games to settle."

Hayles is expected to lead the City attack on Saturday, though Hodges said he had not yet finalised his starting line-up. But it would seem unlikely that there will be many changes from the team that began against Hednesford.
Hodges is hoping to be able to pick from a full strength squad apart from left back Martin Watts, who broke down in training last week with a recurrence of his long standing knee injury.

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