27 December 2013

Truro City forced to settle for point against ten man Bideford (by Rhod Mitchell West Briton)

Bideford 0 Truro City 0

City drew their third Calor League premier division game in a row, in an incident-packed Boxing Day derby game, which saw the home side miss a penalty and play much of the second half with ten men after former Truro player Matt Bye was sent off.

It was an entertaining match before a crowd of 549, that could have ended up with virtually any score, as both sides left their shooting boots at home, contriving to miss some great openings.

City went with the same starting line up that drew 1-1 at Arlesley Town on Saturday, as they set out to avenge their 2-0 defeat when the two teams met at Treyew in August.

After some initial sparring, the game came to life, with Owen Howe shooting over for Bideford, while at the other end Paul Kendall could not finish when Jamie Lowry's corner came to him after hitting the bar.

Bideford though should have taken the lead after 34 minutes when Dan Green brought down Sean Downing in the area as he burst clear on the left, but City keeper Grant Fisher produced a great save to keep out Matt Hockley's spot kick to deny the midfielder a goal against his former club.

Almost immediately, Neil Slateford went agonisingly close to putting the visitors ahead, shooting just wide of the far post, though City were grateful for another bad miss by Howe, who endured a nightmare first half in front of goal.

Ben Watson then came so close to ending his City goal drought just before the interval, as he saw his shot drift just wide of the far post.

City were given a big boost eight minutes into the second half when Bye, who had been booked for dissent at the end of the first half, needlessly slid in on Arran Pugh, earning the home midfielder a second yellow and leaving Bideford down to ten men.
It was the North Devon club's ninth red card already this season.

Now the question was whether City could make use of their man advantage and claim all three points and they continued to play the better football, with Bideford continuing to rely on the long ball.

Dan Green forced a good save out of Steve Oliver in the home goal and there wee a couple of other half chances, but City did not really make their possession count.

Bideford were forced to live on scraps, but looked dangerous on the break and almost snatched victory in the dying minutes when Fisher made a hash of an attempted clearance, but fortunately for the keeper, with the goal at his mercy, Downing did the same as he sliced his effort horribly wide.

Truro brought on Liam Eddy as they continued to press for a winner but could not find a way through the massed Bideford defence and had to settle for a share of the spoils and stay 17th in the table.

After the game City boss Steve Massey said he thought it was two points lost rather than one gained.

He said: "They will say they had the better chances, but I thought we bossed the game. We just need a bit more luck in front of goal. But if you said to me whether I would take a point before the game I would have been pleased with that.

" I was pleased, but just a little frustrated we did not pick the three points up. I thought we deserved a point today. We limited them to kicks out of their keeper's hands.

"We are starting to come together as a real team and one that is difficult to beat and thats a good point to start from."

City will now be looking for three points at home to bottom club Bashley on Saturday, when they will be without the suspended Paul Kendall, while Neil Slateford is a major doubt after suffering a gashed leg following a heavy challenge by Ian Sampson.

Bideford: Oliver; Sampson, Farkins, Gerring, Reed, Duff, Hockley (capt), Bye, Duff (Orchard 80), Merceca, Howe (Yeoman 55), Downing.

Subs (not used): Squire, Phillips, Milton.
Red card: Bye (53), two yellows (44 and 53).

City: Fisher; Tully, Kendall, Pugh, White; Afful (Eddy 76), Lowry, Broad, Green, Slateford (Copp 65), Watson. Subs (Not used): Daw, Cooke, Brokenshire.
Yellow cards: Kendall.
Referee: Adan Penwill.
City man of the match: Jamie Lowry.
Crowd: 549.

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