21 November 2011

City Alerts Update by Mike Truscott

After yesterday’s visit of Tonbridge Angels to
Treyew Road, Truro
City have just one more home match this side of the New Year.   Next Saturday’s return trip to Gloucester City is the first of four away matches in the final weeks of 2011.
It’s not the most helpful sequence at such a financially-strapped time for the Cornish club, but at least next Saturday’s match – in the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy – offers an early opportunity for revenge.
A win, maybe heralding a good run in a nationwide knockout competition, would be a welcome boost.
At the same stage of the FA Cup last month, and at the same venue (Cheltenham Town’s ground), Truro sensationally crashed out 7-2, prompting a stinging public attack on his players’ give-up attitude from team boss Lee Hodges.
They got the message and hit back with improved performances in the Blue Square Bet South league – in which their next scheduled match is the visit to Farnborough on Saturday, December 3.
Revenge will be on the agenda here, too, except that it will be Farnborough doing the seeking.  They crashed 8-2 at Truro last month as City’s post-Gloucester purple patch peaked.
Three days later the White Tigers hit the road again with a rearranged trip to Eastbourne – replacing the original home fixture with leaders Woking that was brought forward to last month.
A second rearranged fixture will see City travel to another high-flying club, Sutton United, for a kick-off on Tuesday, December 20.  Sutton comprehensively beat Truro on their own ground, 3-0, back in September.
In between the trips to Eastbourne and Sutton, Truro will play their final home game of the year, against Hampton & Richmond on December 17. 
That month will conclude with what passes for a local derby for City these days with a trip to Weston-super-Mare on Boxing Day.  The return fixture is on New Year’s Day, to round off a hectic programme of six games in 29 days.
With the club’s present difficulties, and consequent constraints on squad strengthening, only the more optimistic supporters are envisaging Truro reaching the play-off stage in their first Conference season.
Alas, even if they did, promotion would be out of the question, as club chairman Kevin Heaney made clear at the recent open meeting with supporters.
“We definitely would not get planning permission for developing our ground to Conference premier level,” he explained.  “I have already asked the planners that and the situation is very clear.  We still have more ground work to do just to stay at the level we’re at now.”
Secretary Mark Woolcock told supporters the club had been given a 13-point action plan that had to be implemented by March 31.  When pressed, he insisted:  “We are confident that all these points can be attended to with relative ease;  they’re not about money.”
All of which in turn intensifies the spotlight on the longer-term Stadium For Cornwall project – and there is no chance of that coming to fruition in time for the 2012-13 season.
On a lighter note, one “ground change” that has gone quietly ahead at
Treyew Road
is the reversal of the home and away dugouts, as Lee Hodges explains:  “Unlike all the grounds we visit, ours has the home dugout in the half of the field where the linesman is not running up and down.
“We couldn’t help noticing how the linesman in the half with the dugout had no shortage of words coming his way from the home bench.  So we’ve changed things around on our own ground – just so that we can have the occasional quiet word in the linesman’s ear when necessary!” 

Mike Truscott, City Alerts.

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