A rainswept evening and totally saturated pitch put paid to any chance of a free-flowing game of football as it finished in a stalemate in atrocious conditions at Wordsworth Drive. Despite both teams doing their best to adapt it was pretty poor fayre for the 489 crowd, the lowest league home gate of the season, with the visitors the happier side after climbing above Dartford and maintaining their two point lead over Taunton with a game in hand.
The Peacocks made the one change from the weekend trip to Welling United, with Callum Dolman replacing Louie Slough, as the hosts saw most of the early ball. At this stage, the rain was quite squally and did not impact the contest too badly. That was soon to change. Former Peacock Dan Sullivan marked his return to the Drive with a yellow card after just five minutes following a nasty challenge on Ollie Chamberlain before the home side posted their opening effort, Rabby Tabu Minzamba’s shot saved and then spilled by City keeper James Hamon, with the ball being hastily booted clear by Will Dean.
Chamberlain ballooned another strike wide after drifting in from the right as the hosts adopted a patient passing game on the soggy surface, however chances were few and far between. A looping header from Nick Grimes was touched over by Hamon while Chamberlain’s instinctive snapshot on to a loose ball from the edge of the box fizzed the wrong side of the post, the closest his side came to opening their account. Truro were finding it even harder to engineer any kind of opportunity and when the door was ajar their attempts were as miserable as the weather, Ryan Law gaining ground to fire badly wide and Andrew Neal planting a header off-target from a Connor Riley-Lowe cross. Dolman sent another strike wide for Town and a Grimes header from Lloyd James’ free kick proved a simple hold for Hamon as the half ended without goals or incident.
And it didn’t improve when the sodden and muddy 22 emerged for the second half, in fact the interest value dropped further down the scale as both teams concentrated on keeping their feet and not making an error on the increasingly waterlogged pitch. Sullivan saw a shot blocked before one of the biggest cheers of the evening came when referee Eddie slipped over. The crowd had to get their entertainment from somewhere!
Cameron Evans saw a close range effort blocked while Chamberlain yet again was proving how valuable he is to this Peacocks’ team with some strong incursions although another swing at goal from Zac Bell’s cross was less auspicious as he missed his kick, Zac Smith gathering to deliver a curling cross into the arms of Hamon. Dan Ball also had a shot blocked following a bout of pressure but Truro were featuring more attack-wise this half without getting much change from the Taunton defence which blocked Dean’s strike while Ball headed away Ed Palmer’s drive. Sullivan overlooked one presentable opportunity when he swept over from Adam Porter’s cross before Town responded with Chamberlain breaking and when he was halted, Smith grabbed the chance to curl wide.
The final quarter saw the White Tigers have the majority of possession on what was turning into a lottery, with pools of standing water all over the pitch. A cast iron postponement had these swamp-like conditions been present two hours earlier. After Sullivan had fired another shot well wide, the visitors believed they had snatched a winner ten minutes from time when Tyler Harvey’s header from Ryan Brett’s free kick was saved by Dan Lavercombe, with appeals that the Town keeper had slid and taken the ball over the line eventually dismissed by the officials. Had it counted it would have been rough justice as neither side did enough to earn maximum points.
The Peacocks utilized all three subs during the final twenty minutes which had no real effect on the game. Dolman found space late on before the move broke down while Harvey’s shot deflected off Porter to safely reach Lavercombe but by then the elements had drowned any attacking threat from either side and the whistle came as a relief. Whilst a second consecutive clean sheet for Town (unlike their shirts) is welcome, the statistic of only three goals scored in their last seven league games is of more pressing concern.
Taunton: Dan Lavercombe, Zac Bell, Nick Grimes (captain), Dan Ball, Ollie Chamberlain (Evander Grubb 85), Lloyd James, Nat Jarvis (Ross Stearn 73), Rabby Tabu Minzamba (Louie Slough 80), Zac Smith, Cameron Evans, Callum Dolman. Unused subs: Marcus Day, Marley Rose
Truro: James Hamon, Connor Riley-Lowe (captain), Ed Palmer, Adam Porter, Will Dean, Dan Sullivan (Matt Buse 74), Ryan Brett, Ollie Bray (Dominic Johnson-Fisher 83), Andrew Neal (Tyler Harvey 57), Tom Harrison, Ryan Law. Unused subs: James Melhado, Sam Sanders
Referee: Phillip Eddie (Plymouth)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Aidan Madden (Plymouth)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Mark King (Saltash)
” The conditions really dictated the game, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it as bad down here…….” watch Rob Dray’s match reaction on Peacocks TV HERE
Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance MOM
Dan Ball was named Taunton Town Man Of The Match, photo to follow