25 March 2018

Eastbourne Borough 1 Truro City 3

See Match Highlights Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnBExpYTP54

In the United States, Groundhog Day falls on February 2nd. At Priory Lane, it is any given Saturday. Yet again, Eastbourne Borough under-performed at home in front of their long-suffering supporters, as Truro City rode away with three National South points and a 3-1 victory.
Borough's dreadful home record still leaves them nervously close to the drop zone, while City, eager and physically strong, have now won four on the spin, and are looking as good a bet as any other club in the wide-open play-off race. A post-match glance at other results gave some relief for the Sports: with Whitehawk and Bognor all but relegated, six clubs including Borough are "contesting" the final relegation place, and only Chippenham picked up points.
Frustrations with the final score aside, it was not a bad game. City's gruelling journey was rewarded not only with the result but with a generous Priory Lane welcome - including the new tradition of a second-half tannoy announcement and a warm round of applause right around the ground, for the White Tigers squad and their followers.
Individual Borough performances were modest rather than dreadful. Positioning seemed to catch Smith out on the goals; Jim Haran was the best of a back line which, ironically, had a relatively quiet afternoon; and further forward, the finishing rather than the approach work was the problem, at least at first glance.
Tactically, Borough need to work out how to tackle nine-man defences via ten-man attacks. Edwards, Pickering and in a late cameo Hendon were sometimes joining in porposefully from the full-back positions, but the supply to the strikers – themselves surrounded by defenders built like security guards – needs somehow to be cuter. There are reasons why the Sports are more potent away from home.
Borough did win the count of scoring chances by more than three to one – the reverse of the actual scoreline. But the White Tigers pounced with deadly effect in a curious match, after Eastbourne had dominated the opening stages.
The Sports could have been out of sight by the half-hour mark. They dominated the ball early on, and on 14 minutes Lloyd Dawes with a fifty yard dash sweetly set up Yemi Odubade, whose shot across keeper Tom McHale found the bottom corner.
McHale then saved fabulously from Jamie Taylor, and Dawes fizzed one just wide from a perfect position (although in fairness it was a chance he created himself, despite being tugged back illegally by centre-back Ed Palmer). Odubade's curler didn't curl quite enough and missed the top corner by inches, and Gavin McCallum's slicing run and goalbound strike was blocked for a corner.
But Truro struck lethally twice in four minutes. Tom Owen-Evans caught the home defence flat, superbly lobbing keeper Mark Smith for the 31st minute equaliser. Then from a corner Smith point-blank saved Owen-Evans' header but Jamie Richards smashed the loose ball in after some frantic pinball. And just six minutes after the break Cody Cooke caught Borough cold from a quick throw-in and a smart assist from midfield to make it 3-1.
It was to be City's last scoring chance of the afternoon, but they had done enough. The home side pressed and pressed, with strong leadership from Kane Wills and relentless running from Sergio Torres, but the damage had been done and – like so many other Priory Lane visitors – the mountainous City defenders were strong enough and canny enough to keep Borough at a safe distance.
There were glimpses of goal, but blunt or wayward finishing cost the Sports dear. Odubade, McCallum and substitute Shaun Okojie all came close, and when the effervescent Taylor pinged a final volley just wide from a dazzling build-up, the Priory Lane faithful gave a collective sigh: Groundhog Day all over again.
Borough: Smith; Pickering, Haran (Hendon 81), Ransom, Edwards; Taylor, Wills, Torres, McCallum; Dawes (Harris 53), Odubade (Okojie 67). Unused subs: Simpemba, Khinda-John.
Referee: a cheerfully competent Lloyd Wood - a little lenient in some eyes, but Lloyd kept the game flowing.
Att: 465
Borough MoM: a tough call. Jimmy Haran got a lot right, JT was tirelessly prompting. Gavin claimed the sponsors' bubbly. Kane Wills – battling for the cause - edges it for the press officer....


22 March 2018

Truro City 1 Havant & Waterlooville 0

See Match Highlights Here: http://www.thenationalleague.org.uk/match-info/match-centre/1-3059725
THE WHITE Tigers were at their well-organised best to complete the double over League leaders, Havant & Waterlooville, with a 1-0 win.
It was a scrappy opening to the game as neither side was able to get hold of the game.
After the visitors had enjoyed a spell of pressure, some sloppy play from them presented The White Tigers with our first chance as Cody Cooke seized upon the loose ball only to be denied by a timely intervention from Woodford.
There was a let-off for us when Strugnell cut inside and rattled the woodwork as Prior was denied by Tom McHale as he looked to capitalise on the rebound.
With the visitors looking the most likely side, Prior saw an effort whistle just past the post.
The game had a good tempo as the opening period went on with the final ball letting us down, although Niall Thompson did get in a strike that forced Young into a save.
Opportunities were proving to be few and far between at either end as both sides looked well-organised and difficult to break down and as such we went in at the break with the scoreline locked at 0-0.
The second period started with a free-kick in a promising position for The White Tigers which was delivered by Connor Riley-Lowe onto the head of Ed Palmer who went close.
With Tyler Harvey on in place of Jordan Copp, we started to ask a few more questions of our opponents and it wasn’t long before we took the lead when an inviting cross from Connor Riley-Lowe picked out the head of Harvey and he made no mistake.
It was a purposeful start to the second half by The White Tigers as our opponents were unable to get into their stride.
Carter got in a shot on the turn that Tom McHale did well to palm away as the visitors looked to find a way through a well-drilled White Tigers’ back-line.
As the clock ticked down, Hayter was brave with a header and as the ball rebounded back into his path, his low drive through a crowd of players was scrambled away from in front of goal as we breathed a sigh of relief.
We continued to frustrate our visitors who were throwing everything at us in search of a leveller, but it was not to be for them. 
This was such a well-organised and well-drilled display with everyone doing their job and working their socks off.
The victory made it three wins – and three clean sheets – in a row against three high-flying sides.WHITE TIGERS: McHale, Thompson, Riley-Lowe, Palmer, Gerring, Richards, Lamont, Copp (Harvey), Owen-Evans, Cooke, Harding. Subs not used: Yetton, Booth, Neal, Palfrey.
BOOKING(S): Owen-Evans
GOAL(S): Harvey

20 March 2018

Truro City 2 Chelmsford City 0

See Match Highlights Here: http://www.thenationalleague.org.uk/match-info/match-centre/1-2850804/videos/125031

THE WHITE Tigers battled out a hard-earned but deserved 2-0 victory over fellow high-flyers, Chelmsford City.
There were a few snowflakes in the air as the game got underway at a chilly Treyew Road.
It was Truro who made the brighter start in the opening exchanges and we got our reward in the seventh minute when a powerful free-kick from Ed Palmer flew into the net to open the scoring.
In the wake of the goal our visitors started to up the pressure in search of a way back into the game as Church saw his strike bravely blocked by loanee, Tom Owen-Evans and then in the next raid, Fenwick got in a stinging effort that brought the best out of Tom McHale.
The strong challenges were flying in from both sides as the opening period went on. Palmer did well to thwart a Church header and had to receive treatment as a result, whilst at the other end, Ben Harding’s strike took a deflection as Beasant saved well with his legs.
There was danger just before the half-hour mark when McHale pulled off a fine save and from the resulting corner, the ‘keeper failed to deal with an inviting ball into the area and had Ben Gerring to thank for making a vital clearance.
In the next raid Oyenuga tried his luck as the ball flew over and he was involved in the next action when he positive forward run was ended in no uncertain terms by Jordan Copp who was booked. 
The resulting free-kick was pushed away by McHale and from the corner there was a scramble in front of goal as the ball was eventually cleared.
It was becoming very much a stop-start game with the tackles flying in and Cody Cooke saw yellow for a robust challenge.
The closing stage of the first half saw Palmer become the sixth booking of the game, whilst McHale had to scramble across his goal to deny Church as we went in at the break one goal to the good.
Soon after the restart McHale was called upon to make another outstanding save to keep our lead intact.
We found ourselves under plenty of early pressure at the start of the second half and Barnum-Bobb was deny with a timely block as he got in a strike at goal.
An inviting cross from Oyenuga finds the head of Fenwick who directs his header goalwards only for McHale to make another vital save.
Some good play between Owen-Evans and Niall Thompson saw the latter denied by the ‘keeper in what was our first real effort of the second half with 66 minutes on the clock.
We were able to double our advantage when Smith was adjudged to have handled inside the area and Connor Riley-Lowe stepped up to slot home and make it 2-0.
After a raid from the visitors broke down, a long ball set Cooke away but he elected to shoot rather than pick out Rocky Neal and the ‘keeper was able to gather without too many problems.
As the clock ticked down, Harding saw a strike saved before some good running from Neal ended with him teeing up Cooke who was denied.
In the end we held out to claim a hard-earned but deserved three points against another side with play-off aspirations.
WHITE TIGERS: McHale, Thompson, Riley-Lowe, Palmer, Gerring, Richards, Lamont, Copp, Owen-Evans, Cooke, Harding. Subs: Yetton, Harvey, Booth, Neal, Palfrey.
BOOKING(S): Copp, Cooke, Palmer
GOAL(S): Palmer, Riley-Lowe (pen)

14 March 2018

St Albans 0 Truro City 1

See Match Highlights Here: http://www.thenationalleague.org.uk/match-info/match-centre/1-2850794

THE WHITE Tigers got back into winning ways with a hard-earned and battling 1-0 win at fellow play-off hopefuls, St. Albans City.
There was a cagey opening to the game as both sides looked to find their feet in the early exchanges.
It was the home side who launched the first raid when Merson did well out wide before putting in an inviting cross into the danger zone which was cleared by Ben Gerring who was alert to the danger.
We went close with ten minutes on the clock when a free-kick picked out Aaron Lamont who had found space at the far post but he directed his header just the wrong side of the post.
A strike from Murrell-Williamson was well saved by Tom McHale before we took the lead with 25 minutes on the clock as we won a penalty for a foul by the ‘keeper. Connor Riley-Lowe stepped up and calmly slotted home to make it 1-0.
Boosted by the goal we looked to add to our tally with Cody Cooke and new-boy, Tom Owen-Evans, in particular causing concern for our hosts.
A long throw-in from Merson caused problems but we managed to scramble clear, then a corner from Noble saw McHale confidently punch clear through a crowd of players.
The half ended with our opponents seeing more of the ball but finding no way through The White Tigers’ back-line which was looking solid and well-organised.
Right at the end of the opening period, we went close when an effort was well kept out by Snedker in the home goal.
It was the home side who started the second period on the front-foot as they searched for a leveller. Banton linked up well with Merson but his eventual strike lacked the necessary power to trouble McHale too much.
The Saints were looking purposeful and a free-kick caused more problems but was dealt with as we cleared out lines before launching a counter-attack that ended with Cooke denied by the ‘keeper.
We were looking a threat on the break as the home side pushed on in search of a way back into the game.
Another teasing free-kick from Noble saw McHale take charge of the situation to make a claim before the next foray forward ended with Moore-Azille putting his deft header wide of the target.
A long range strike from Murrell-Williamson sailed over for the hosts as we introduced the fresh legs of Rocky Neal.
There were a few passes going astray as the clocked ticked down and the game became a bit scrappy on a heavy surface.
The home side had load appeals for a penalty as Herd went down inside the area but the referee was unimpressed and allowed play to continue.
It was a resolute display from The White Tigers full of hard work and commitment as the players stuck to their roles and battled hard for everything.
There was a let-off late on when Bender put an effort from a good position wide and then Walker did the same when he got on the end of a high cross into the danger zone.
It was backs-to-the-wall defending in the dying minutes but we managed to survive some real pressure to secured an impressive and hard-earned victory and clean sheet against a fellow play-off hopeful.
WHITE TIGERS: McHale, Thompson, Riley-Lowe, Palmer, Gerring, Richards, Lamont, Copp (Neal), Owen-Evans (Hartridge), Cooke, Harding. Subs: Hartridge, Harvey, Booth, Palfrey.
GOAL(S): Riley-Lowe (pen)


02 March 2018

Dartford 4 Truro City 1

See Match Highlights Here: http://www.thenationalleague.org.uk/match-info/match-centre/1-2850765

THE WHITE Tigers were well beaten at League leaders, Dartford, as we slipped to a 4-1 defeat.
We started with a corner within the opening minute which was cleared by our hosts as we played with the wind at our backs during the first half.
The conditions were tricky as we looked to get a foot-hold in the game early on but the opening 15 minutes were pretty evenly-matched with neither side able to take the initiative.
With Mills starting to see more of the ball for our hosts, he was posing a number of questions and was involved in the build-up to the opening goal which saw Pugh fire home from distance into the top-corner.
The goal gave Dartford a boost but we almost hit back when Cody Cooke’s effort was deflected just wide.
A cross-come-shot from Mills went just wide before the same play saw his effort fall into the path of Pavey who went close.
We were struggling to find a way to unlock the home defence in what was proving to be a frustrating afternoon.
There was a chance for the home side when Harris put in an inviting cross that saw Mills head into the path of Pavey who failed to take advantage.
A free-kick for The White Tigers with five minutes to go in the first half was fired over from a good position, whilst at the other end, Hayes’ cross was headed wide by Mills from a good position.
It was the home side that ended the opening period on top but only had one goal to show for their efforts.
Within seconds of the restart, Dartford doubled their advantage when Hayes set up Brown who made no mistake.
Worse was to follow on 48 minutes when our sluggish start to the second period was further punished as the home side made it 3-0 when Mills used the windy conditions to fire home from out wide.
We looked at sixes and sevens when Pavey broke through shortly afterwards only to fire wide and then Mills went close with a strike.
It was one-way traffic as Pugh was the next to go close as we just couldn’t get our game together.
After Hayes went close, we launched a raid at the other end but Tyler Harvey and Rocky Neal were both thwarted by a well-organised home rear-guard.
The game started to get a bit scrappy late on with too many passes going astray from both sides. The home side had the ball in the back of the net only for it to be ruled out for offside.
They did get another goal late on when more tricky play from Mills ended with him causing problems and ball found its way into the net via a deflection off a Truro knee.
It summed up our day as Mills went close again in the next attack but we did manage to pull a goal back right at the death when substitute, Niall Thompson, found the net from the edge of the area to make it 4-1 and that is how the scoreline stayed.
WHITE TIGERS: McHale, Palfrey, Riley-Lowe, Palmer, Gerring, Richards (Neal), Lamont (Keats), Hartridge, Harvey, Cooke (Thompson), Harding. Subs not used: Yetton, Booth.
BOOKING(S): Palmer
GOAL(S): Thompson