Boss Paul Wotton has hailed the ‘unbelievable effort’ this term from his Truro City side who currently occupy second place in the Southern Premier South standings, writes Gareth Davies.
The White Tigers were left kicking their heels at the weekend after the arctic blast which has hit the South West over the past week forced their latest home match against Hanwell Town to bite the dust.
A frozen Bolitho Park pitch meant City’s promotion quest, which is still to pass the mid-way point, still reads well with 46 points from 19 games. Weston-super-Mare currently occupy top spot and have collected 47 points from the same amount of matches played.
The only blot on Truro’s 2022/23 copybook in the league came at Chesham United on November 26 when Wotton’s side, who finished the game with nine men, were defeated 3-1. However, the game hinged on Ed Palmer’s red card for alleged violent conduct which, much to Wotton and Truro’s frustration, was then rescinded.
“I’m delighted with where we are because we have lost one league game in 19 games, won 14 and drawn four,” Wotton told Cornwall Sports Media in an exclusive interview. “That is an unbelievable effort from the boys but we have still got 23 games left.
“Perhaps when we have six games left, people can start talking about promotion but at the moment there is just too much happening. We have got a lot of tough games ahead and now we are starting to pick up a few injuries because pitches are getting heavier and fatigue is kicking in.”
After the Chesham defeat, Truro bounced back to winning ways with a last gasp 2-1 win over Harrow Borough before being held to a 1-1 draw on temporary home soil by Beaconsfield last Wednesday.
Rocky Neal’s early goal was cancelled out by Sam Togwell’s stunning equaliser and with no further scoring in the second stanza. Beaconsfield headed back home to Buckinghamshire with a point after a 1-1 draw.
The Stags were visibly delighted at full time whilst you could have been forgiven for thinking City had lost, such was the dejection as they trudged off the Ocean City turf. Despite the disappointment, Wotton said he will take the accolade of team’s celebrating a draw against his side
He added: “I will take it as a compliment, albeit a backhanded compliment, when teams come to us and are happy to go away with a point. From the reaction at the end you could see they were happy with a point. Fair play because they have travelled a long way and have come away with a point.
“But we have tons of confidence in the camp even if the boys have acted in the dressing room like we have lost to Beaconsfield.
“The boys have bounced back great from the loss at Chesham and there is no hangover with plenty to look forward to. On the Chesham game and I didn’t say this at the time, but Ed Palmer gets sent off and the referee awarded a penalty at 2-0.
“That red card then gets rescinded almost immediately as it was never violent conduct. You never get an apology for that kind of thing and it was the reason we lost to Chesham.”
Looking at the Beaconsfield match in isolation, Wotton revealed that he wasn’t too downbeat with the failure to claim all three points.
The former Plymouth Argyle legend, who also had a spell as assistant boss to former Pilgrims chief Derek Adams at Home Park, also praised the attitude and application from his charges.
“Lots of our play was excellent against Beaconsfield and in the last 25 minutes, I was pleased with our fitness levels,” the Truro manager enthused. “We also moved the ball really well, we were patient and we displayed an excellent work-rate to keep going.
“That is why we have scored a number of last minute winners this season but against Beaconsfield it wasn’t to be because most of our best chances were in the first half. Our desire to win the game was fantastic but it just didn’t quite come off and a 1-1 draw is far from a bad result as we were really good.
“We had a desire to do the right things and if I was being really critical, I would say that our crossing could have been better or our ball retention in the final third, in vital areas, wasn’t great. But I saw a never-say-die spirit from the boys again and thankfully we have that in an abundance.
“On another day we win the game but we will come up against teams that will be difficult to beat and that is something we plan for and work on in training.
“In the first 25 minutes we were so on top, Beaconsfield changed their shape and that altered the game a bit.
“In the second half we went ultra positive and put three forwards against their back three. That meant that we were a bit outnumbered in midfield but our two kept a check on Beaconsfield’s three.
“We tried something a little bit different to try and win the game but it didn’t quite come off.”
Featured image: Colin Bradbury / Cornwall Sports Media