Football: Truro City v Hemel Hempstead Town match report
IN A game which was almost a mirror image of the earlier Premier League meeting between Liverpool and Arsenal, it was a lacklustre City who assumed the role of the hapless Gunners.
League leaders Hemel had the game won inside 20 minutes, with skipper Jordan Parkes grabbing a hat-trick against a shellshocked home team.
A fourth from Lewis Toomey right on half time finished any hopes of a City comeback and the Hemel striker went onto to complete his hat-trick in the second half, before substitute Liam Eddy netted a late City consolation.
Following all the remarkable efforts to get the ground playable, after it was ravaged by the storms, it was just a shame City's display did not match up.
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The visitors made light of the awful conditions, producing some incisive football, backed by clinical finishing, as well as showing a huge appetite for the less glamorous side of the game as they strolled to a win which took them 14 points clear at the top of the table.
In contrast, City were, as manager Steve Massey admitted, "second best in too many departments".
He said: "It was really disappointing. They are a very good side who will win the league by ten or 12 points, but that does not make it hurt any less. We were beaten by a far better side.
"Far too many of us looked liked we were running in treacle. Having said that we could gave scored four or five goals quite easily."
Hemel were the last team to beat City back at the start of December, since when the Tigers were unbeaten in six, although five of them were draws. But hopes of extending that record were quickly extinguished as the visitors made light of the howling wind and heavy pitch taking less than two minutes to take the lead with a low drive from Parkes.
Ben Watson then missed a great chance to level, but took too long when clean through allowing a defender to make challenge.
Hemel took full advantage of their let off with Parkes making it 2-0 with a superb free-kick from Parkes, who completed his hat-trick four minutes later with a cool finish after City failed to clear.
City keeper Grant Fisher then limped off with a hip injury, with Ollie Chenoweth taking his place.
And Massey was unhappy that Fisher had not told him he was suffering with the injury before the match.
He said: "That is why we dragged him off as he was a liability then and struggled to kick the ball. This is not schoolboy football. Its semi-pro, proper football. He has a responsibility to the rest of the team to say he was injured."
Right on half time, Lewis Toomey scored following a corner to make it 4-0 to end any remote hopes of a City comeback.
City, to their credit, did improve after the break with the introduction of Liam Eddy for a disappointing Olly Brokenshire, but it was Toomey who showed City how to finish with two well taken goals before Eddy, who could have had hat-trick, tapped home a cross from fellow substitute Jordan Copp for a late consolation.
City will be hoping for better when they travel to play Corby Town this Saturday before the visit of Weymouth on Tuesday.
Truro City: Fisher (Chenoweth 22); Tully, Kendall (capt), Pugh, White; Broad, Cooke; Lowry, Green (Copp 72); Brokenshire (Eddy h-t), Watson. Subs not used: Daw, Afful.
Hemel Hempstead Town: Walker, Diarra, Murphy, Blankett (Connolly 67); Talbot, Parkes (capt), Thorne, Allen; Toomey (Hutton 82), Pearce. Subs not used: Mackey, Tokarczyk, May.
Goals: Parkes (2) 0-1, (15) 0-2 (19) 0-3, Toomey (44) 0-4, (67) 0-5, (81) 0-6; Eddy (83) 1-6.
Referee: Andrew Bennett.
Man of the match: Jordan Parkes (Hemel Hempstead Town)