Rocky delivers decisive blow as City secure last-gasp win

Rocky Neal’s injury-time strike saw Truro City end up on the right side of a seven-goal thriller as Wimborne Town were defeated 4-3 at New Cuthbury, writes Gareth Davies.

Pint-sized marksman Neal’s goal meant that in the space of four days, the White Tigers went from heartbroken to heartbreakers. Paul Wotton’s side shipped a late goal of their own at Weston-super-Mare on New Year’s Day as Alfie Moulden rescued a point for the Seagulls, as Truro headed back down the M5 with a point after a 2-2 draw.

The boot was very much on the other foot for Truro in Dorset as their first visit to the Magpies’ new home ended in a dramatic late away victory. With the game heading towards a 3-3 draw, the Southern League Premier South basement dwellers conceded three minutes into stoppage time to hand Truro their first win of the calendar year.

Prior to the late drama, Plymouth Argyle loan star Ollie Tomlinson opened the scoring for Truro after just eight minutes. But Wimborne, who prop up the rest with just 11 points so far this term, turned the game on its head with goals from Harry Morgan and Curtis Young.

Before the interval, Truro’s top scorer Tyler Harvey netted his third goal of 2022 to restore parity and the teams headed into half-time level. 

Morgan doubled his tally to put Wimborne back in front but Harvey equalled anything his Wimborne counterpart could muster to level the scores at 3-3. And that was how the game appeared to be finishing until Neal’s late intervention.

For Truro’s second successive away match, boss Paul Wotton kept faith with the same side that was held at Weston-super-Mare on January 1. On the bench, Rio Garside was named as a substitute after his loan from Plymouth Parkway was ended alongside recent signing Jonathan Kamara, who joined City on a short-term deal as a free agent.

The hosts, who have only tasted victory twice in the league this term, were beset by player unavailability due to covid-19 and injury. However, James Stokoe’s men made a strong start with Morgan forcing City incumbent James Hamon into a smart early save.

But in Truro’s first foray forward, they took the lead. Will Dean’s teasing flag kick was headed to goal by Tomlinson. Despite the best efforts of Wimborne stopper Tommy Scott, who was an eleventh hour signing from their fierce county rivals Poole Town, the goal was awarded as the ball crept over the line.

One nearly became two for City shortly after they took the lead when Harvey saw his effort from Connor Riley-Lowe’s cross come back off the post with Scott beaten.

Just shy of the half hour mark, Truro then got themselves in a mess on the edge of their own box and after a neat back heel, Morgan rifled home past Hamon. And Wimborne then completed the turnaround just before half-time when Lewis Beale rattled Hamon’s woodwork and Young tapped home the follow up.

That wasn’t the end of the scoring in the opening stanza though as Gabby Rogers crossed for Harvey to powerfully head home to bring the scores level once more.

At the break, Wotton shuffled his pack as both Niall Thompson – making his 200th appearance for Truro – and Garside were thrust into the fray at the expense of Zac Hartley and Rogers.

The changes didn’t seem to have the desired effect for City as Wimborne went back in front after 51 minutes as Rogers displayed a poacher’s instinct to tuck a loose ball home. Once more, Truro battled back and it was Harvey who restored parity after an hour when the former Bath City striker, now in his second spell at Truro, found himself in acres of space inside the box and he made no mistake.

Harvey came close to putting Truro back in front as the second half wore on, but his header came back off the bar and fell kindly for Wimborne. A valuable point looked like being secured for Stokoe’s beleaguered troops, while Truro’s quest for a push back into the promotion race looked like stuttering once more.

But in a final throw of the dice, Hamon launched a free-kick long into Wimborne territory and after Jamie Richards had flicked the ball on, Neal picked up the scraps to fire home and snatch all three points  for his side.

Match information

City: Hamon, Johnson, Riley-Lowe, Tomlinson, Richards, Dean, Dickson (White, 81), Neal, Harvey, Rogers (Garside, 45), Hartley (Thompson, 45). Subs not used: Kamara, Tucker.

Wimborne: Scott, Chugg, Morrison, Jamison, Torniainen, Bosma, Young (Bedford, 88), Morgan, Bartlett, Beale, Kellaway. Subs not used: Henry, Mason, McWilliams, Langdon (g/k). 

Referee: Alex James.

Attendance: 259.

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