On a couple of occasions in the past five years or so, the Conference South has seemed within touching distance of K’s reach. At an excitable Kingsmeadow on Saturday, it has never felt so far away. Truro, 12 games unbeaten in the southern section of the sixth tier of English football, proved not only a division away but a class apart from Tommy Williams’s men.
An old-fashioned romp against Leatherhead and a couple of lusty bites of Dorchester’s cherry had taken Kingstonian to the third qualifying round of this year’s Football Association Challenge Trophy, a stage last reached in peak Dowson-era K’s.
On that occasion, Brentwood were overcome at the second time of asking. The much-mooted opportunity to follow K’s to deepest, darkest Cornwall for a similar midweek replay never looked likely from the moment Dan Green lashed in from close range with nine minutes played.
The defending for that goal was barely Ryman worthy, let alone good enough against Vanarama opposition, and things didn’t get much better midway through the half when the visitors doubled their tally. Cody Cooke was allowed far too much time and space to take a potshot from distance, and though Rob Tolfrey parried, the loose ball dropped to the unmarked Matt Wright who finished with ease.
On a day when K’s players needed to be at their best to give us any chance of getting a result it was a pity many fell short of what they are capable of. Little went right in attack. Hard-won set-pieces were underhit. Tricks and skills didn’t come off. And when Reece Beccles raced clear with the interval in sight, Martin ‘flag’s up’ Rice stood tall and saved.
K’s huffed and puffed in the second half but those efforts which hit the target were tame. The rest went high or wide. At the other end, Truro whacked the final nail into our red-and-white coffin seven minutes from time. A passing move, a neat through ball, a clinical finish. Truro, functional fit diligent disciplined Truro, were too good. No shame in that for K’s, however, and with our interest in the two main cups now over the focus turns to the Ryman play-off push, and of course a continued run in the Turvey.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Aaron Goode, George Wells, Lee O'Leary, Bruce Hogg, Alan Inns, Dan Bennett, Harold Odametey, Reece Beckles, Pelayo Pico Gomez, Malachi Hudson.
Subs: Sam Page (for Bruce Hogg, 59m), Tyron Smith, Ricky Sappleton (for Malachi Hudson, 63m), Brendan Muirphy-McVey (for Reece Beckles, 80m), Filippo di Bonito.
Truro City: Martin Rice, Shane White, Connor Riley-Lowe, Jake Ash, Jamie Richards, Arran Pugh, Ollie Knowles, Dan Green, Matt Wright, Ryan Brett, Cody Cooke.
Subs:: Craig Duff, Isaac Vassell (for Cody Cooke, 66m), Pierce Mitchell, Les Afful (for Arran Pugh, HT), Danny Barrow (for Ryan Brett, 50m).
Goalscorers: Dan Green (9m, 0-1), Matt Wright (26m, 0-2), Isaac Vassell (83m, 0-3)