4.9.2010

Zamaretto Southern Premier League

Truro City

Yetton (83)

Hednesford Town

(0) 1

(0) 0

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469

Elliott Durrell

L W W L W D L

Newcastle Town (H) 11.9.10

After three impressive wins on their travels this term, the Pitmen finally lost their unbeaten away record as they went down to a late Stewart Yetton goal at a sun-basked Truro this afternoon

The long journey to Cornwall saw Bernard McNally make one change to his starting line-up, with the fit-again Elliott Durrell returning to the team in place of Alfie Carter, who moved to the bench. Club skipper Sean Platt returned to the squad after two games away injured, making up one of the places on the substitute's bench

Truro had made an excellent start to the new season in the Zamaretto Premier League and sat third in the league table at the start of this afternoon's round of games. The White Tigers had beaten Tiverton Town 2-1 on Bank Holiday Monday to extend their unbeaten run to five games. Player/manager Lee Hodges made one changes to the side that had played their 'derby' at Tiverton as Stewart Yetton returned to the side in place of Andy Taylor up front

The game was certainly entertaining, with both sides enjoying goods spells of possession. Truro would argue they had the best of the first half, as the Pitmen played a patient game in the opening forty-five minutes

Les Affull, a constant threat to the Pitmen at Keys Park twelve months ago, was lively in the early stages. He made an early dart through the Hednesford defence to get on the end of an Andrew Watkins ball, only to find Scott Fuller alert to the danger by blocking the ball

Affull's strike partner Dan Smith was also looking good in the opening quarter, beating Ben Bailey to a header from a free-kick but heading high over Dan Crane's crossbar

The Pitmen were neat and tidy in the first quarter, but lacked any real cutting edge, despite Mark Bellingham and Kyle Patterson making purposeful runs. Chris Clements was first to show his form for the visitors, picking up a loose ball twenty-five yards out before beating his marker and curling a shot towards the top far corner of the net. Truro keeper Martin Rice - at full stretch - made a brilliant one-handed save, turning the goalbound shot over the bar for a corner

Smith continued to give the Hednesford defenders a headache, making a great run down the left to leave Bailey in his wake before crossing for Yetton, who got his shot all wrong and sidefooted horribly wide of the post

Back came the Pitmen, and on twenty-nine minutes Bellingham had probably the best chance he has had to break his duck for the club. Jamey Osborne made a typically darting run down the wing, crossing to find Bellingham unmarked eight yards out. However, his header lacked direction or power and was easily fielded by Rice. Either side of him would surely have seen the Pitmen take the lead

After seemingly weathered the Truro storm in the first half, Hednesford suffered a blow in defence as half time approached. Fuller, who had had another commanding game at the back, suddenly pulled up with a hamstring problem and was replaced by Louis Keenan

McNally's team talk appeared to raise the Pitmen after the break, as they had a number of excellent opportunities to take the lead. Bellingham set Patterson free within two minutes of the restart, but a last-ditch challenge on the edge of the area stopped the striker as he looked to test Rice

Bellingham was again involved five minutes later, playing another good ball into the path of Durrell on this occasion. Durrell broke through the flimsy Truro offside trap and drew Rice out, but the Truro number one was equal to the low shot, turning the ball away with his legs

Yetton went closest of anyone to opening the scoring on fifty-five minutes, as his shot with the outside of his boot beat Crane all ends up, but came back off the crossbar and back into play, where it was hacked away by Keenan before Affull or Smith could capitalise

Hednesford responded with a header from Liam Francis that was off target from Durrell's swirling corner kick on the hour mark, closely followed by what appeared to be an absolute sitter for Truro's Andrew Watkins sixty seconds later, as he somehow managed to clear the crossbar with a close-range shot after Afful had played him in with a square ball

Another Durrell corner caused chaos in the Truro ranks on sixty-five minutes, with three Hednesford players having a swipe at the ball before it was cleared by some desperate defending

Durrell was at the heart of everything for the Pitmen going forward, growing in confidence and influence as the game progressed. His clever play won a free kick on the edge of the area with twenty minutes remaining, but his resultant kick lacked direction and Rice saw the shot past the left-hand post

McNally saw fit to make his second change of the afternoon at this point, bringing on Alfie Carter for the tiring Patterson as he looked to add power and pace to his flagging forward line

Osborne won the Pitmen another free-kick in dangerous territory with fifteen minutes remaining, with Durrell having another crack at goal from twenty yards out. his venomous shot beat Rice, but also narrowly cleared the crossbar

With both sets of supporters expecting the game to peter out in the final minutes, Truro grabbed an all-important goal with seven minutes remaining. An unfortunate slip by Jimmy Turner to the right of the Hednesford penalty area was seized upon by Watkins, who took the ball to the byeline before cutting the ball back to Yetton, who prodded the ball past Crane from six yards out. A scrappy goal, but a goal, nevertheless

This seemed to knock the wind out of the Pitmen's sails, as they failed to launch a meaningful attack in the final moments of the game. There was a genuine sense of disappointment at the final whistle, with McNally commenting after the game that the Pitmen had not deserved to lose

Truro City: Rice, McConnell, Watts, Hodges, Adams, Broad (Martin 77), Affull, Clay, Yetton, Watkins ©, Smith      Subs Unused: Pugh, Brooks, Ash, Jeannin

Hednesford Town: Crane, Bailey, Francis, Turner, Fuller (Keenan 40), Denny, Durrell, Clements, Bellingham ©, Patterson (Carter 70), Osborne      Subs Unused: Platt, Gibson, Brock

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