Sunday, 16 September 2012

Truro Wrassling with Administration

Truro Cathedral from the club car park


Hopperational details
Date & Venue
15 September 2012 at Treyew Road
Truro City 0 Bromley 1
Conference South (Step 2)
I am here because it is the only venue in England that I need to complete “The 160”, that is every ground down to step 2.  At the moment however there are only 159 grounds on the list because Gloucester City are temporary tenants at Cheltenham Town.  My list is about the venues rather than the teams – for example my visit to Hillsborough was for a Euro ’96 international match rather than a Sheffield Wednesday home game.  My visit to Bath City was technically for their "away" game against their tenants at the time, Team Bath.  My list also has 24 "old" grounds that have been vacated or demolished since I started hopping - in all cases I have since revisited their new place to keep up to date.
Pre-match preparation
Two weeks ago there was some doubt whether this fixture would take place.  “Playing for Free” was the headline, as the club was about to enter administration.  A winding-up order has now been deferred.  Their former chairman, Kevin Heaney, is bankrupt and their ground has been sold.  There are questions being asked about the propriety of the club’s financial dealings with a third party, and I am being careful here not to make or repeat any allegations.  All of this comes after a meteoric rise through the levels, with five promotions in the last six seasons and Heaney in the chair, but with planning disputes disrupting a vision of a new stadium and training complex.  They have taken a ten-point penalty which sends them to the bottom of the table and lost 8-0 at Maidenhead last weekend with a much-changed team.  The players have agreed to a wage deferral until October but these are definitely troubled times for the club.  Oh, and they are playing Bromley today.  They have won their last two.
This match in one sentence
Bromley did enough.
So what?
Bromley climb to 10th place and Truro are in effect seven points adrift after their deduction.
The drama unfolds
Truro lined up in the white shirts.  Here's an early scene-setter clip - it is still goalless with nothing much to report after 15 minutes.  I am seated in one of the two "temporary" stands that allowed Truro to keep up with ground grading as they shot up the pyramid.

Bromley were looking the more likely to score and their pace and movement up front kept the home defence busy.  The next clip captures the 23rd minute - as you may know, 23 is the most important number of the week for this blog.  Nothing happened.  The game continued in the same pattern - good contest, Bromley looking to have more cutting edge, but Truro showing life and spirit.

Here's the game's only goal after 39 minutes, a glancing header from Pierre Joseph-Dubois.  0-1

Truro were unlucky not to equalise seconds before half-time when Ben Williams' header hit the bar from a comer taken by the industrious Les Afful.  0-1 at half-time

My next clip is after an hour's play - and not a lot is happening.  Can you tell I don't work in advertising?  The scenery is nice.

As we entered the phase of substitutions, it seemed likely that the visitors had a stronger and more experienced bench and so I expected them to take a firmer hold on the game.  Nothing happened in the 68th minute (the 23rd minute of the second half).  I have two short clips to finish.  I was confused that Truro kept three men back for an 80th set piece when Bromley had everyone behind the ball.

With five minutes to go, Bromley sub Albert Jarrett was gifted the ball in a midfield mix-up - he rounded the advancing keeper but smacked his shot against the crossbar.  The last clip is a Truro corner in the closing seconds - but nothing came of it and Bromley held on for three points and a clean sheet on the road.  Final score 0-1

There seems to be plenty of life in this club and its fans.  Fund raising is well under way and they have a FA Cup tie next weekend that has pitched them at home against AFC Totton.  Their last meeting may well have been at Wembley when Truro won the FA Vase as a step 6 club in 2007.  As the announcer said, hopefully, "We had 15,000 last time we played them!"  On the drive home, I paid attention to what I could see at J23 of the M5.  A giant Morrisons distribution centre.  That could be significant for next weekend, we'll see.  If that confuses you, please see previous blogpost.  You will still be confused, but part of a support group.
The programme

Something random
On arrival in Truro I stumbled across some “Cornish Wrassling” taking place on the Cathedral Green.  I think the clipboard-and-walking-stick look should be adopted by officials in more sports.  Possibly starting with those extra ones that hang around the goal-line in UEFA Europa League games.  They could perhaps do a Sudoku or something instead of standing there doing nothing.  This is gripping, and so are they.

Hopping for Moorfields Update
Not a lucrative day with only one goal and nothing else “special” added, but these things will even out over the season.
What Next?
The search for 23ness continues so that I can decide where I must go next weekend to see an FA Cup tie.  In the medium term, I have 15 grounds remaining at step 3 and hope to get them all in during this season, together with a late October hop to the land of Lego and pastries.

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