Truro City bounce back with battling away victory
Sutton Utd 0 Truro City 1
FOR only the third time this season City returned from a road trip with three points under their belts.
An 83rd minute Martin Watts free-kick special gave City a rare away win as they bounced back in the best possible fashion from Saturday's 4-0 drubbing at Bromley.
It may be too little late to save them from the drop into the Southern League, but the victory at freezing Borough Sports Ground, at least showed City will keep fighting.
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The Surrey side had come the game on the back of five straight home wins, but found a Truro side determined to make up for their display at Bromley.
Player manager Lee Hodges made three changes from the team that started at Bromley, with keeper Luke Payne, skipper Jake Ash and Watts coming in for Paul Hider, Joe Broad and Ben Williams respectively.
Broad was out with a suspected hernia problem, which caused him to miss his first league game of the season and it is unsure how long he will be out.
Although they had to do their fair share of defending on a bitterly cold night at Gander Green Lane, Payne had relatively little to do.
And the game looked to be heading for a 0-0 stalemate when Watts again showed his set piece prowess as he flashed a 25-yard free-kick over the wall and into the Sutton net.
"It was a fantastic strike," said City player-manager Lee Hodges. "We had a really tough day at the office on Saturday, but I thought we were really up for it from the start.
"All the boys did their job. I thought we were very organised and up for the challenge.
"I would have settled for 0-0 but it was a bit of magic from Martin. It is a really good feeling to be going home with a win for a change."
And that was a view shared by City's players with some not arriving home until nearly 5am in the morning.
With a picture of his alarm showing 4.46am skipper Jake Ash tweeted: "Wahooo! Home fifteen minutes early."
And striker Andy Watkins (3.52am): "Just getting into bed. Today could be fun."
But the win would have made it a lot more bearable.
Bromley 4 Truro City 0
CITY must have thought it was not going to their day when they went behind with less than a minute on the clock.
And they were not wrong, as the Kent side eased to a comfortable victory as City slipped to their 11th away defeat of the season.
City did keep the score to 1-0 until after home skipper Ali Fuseini scored after just 24 seconds when he followed up to force the ball over the line after a fine save by Paul Hider had kept out a Louie Theophanous, shot.
But there was to be no way back in the second half as the home side cruised to victory with further goals from Theophanous, and two from Pierre Joseph-Dubois.
Hider, who City announced had left the club earlier the week because of a back problem, had to be called back and re-registered when Luke Payne had to pull out because of illness.
That was the only change from the team that beat Hayes & Yeading last week, but City's hopes of successive wins for the first time this season never looked likely after that disastrous start.
And City boss Lee Hodges admitted his team had lost to the better side.
He said: "I told them before we went out to be nice and solid in the opening 15 minutes but I should have said 15 seconds.
"It was the worst possible start but we did defend pretty well for the rest of the half.
"Bromley are a team with a lot of pace and power and it was always going to be a difficult game.
"It was not until we were 4-0 down that we started to create some chances. We just have to take it on the chin and move on. We did give it a go but were beaten by the better team on the day."
Bromley: Welch, Ming, Patterson (Rhule), Fuseini (capt), Orome, Campbell (Jones), Joseph-Dubois, Waldren, Theophanous, Buchanan, Welsh (Noble). Subs (unused): Howard (GK), Finn.
Yellow card: Fuseini.
Truro City: Hider, Hodges, Williams, Gerring (Hall 74), Kendall, Broad (Watts 13), Cooke, Martin (capt), Hayles (Wright 80), Watkins, Afful. Sub (unused): Ash.
Half time: 1-0.
Goals: Fuseini (1) 1-0, Theophanous (48) 2-0, Joseph-Dubois (66) 3-0, Joseph-Dubois (69) 4-0.
Yellow card: Hayles.