MATCH PREVIEW: Truro City vs Chippenham Town | National League South | Saturday 30th September 2023
Simon Lawrence previews our National League South game against Truro City.
The Bluebirds take flight on one of their longest trips of the season this weekend as they head to Devon to take on the team from Cornwall that play their home games in Devon! Truro City FC.
Last Time Out
Chippenham come into this game off the back of a solid performance away to Weymouth where both teams put a real shift in to share a point and both will have valid claims to it being two points dropped as they finished 1-1. For Chippenham, they started much the brighter of the two sides and the fast flowing style of football that has been implemented at the club since the introduction of Gary Horgan was on full display for all in attendance to see. In a game where the referee would play a huge role, his first big call came after a few short minutes when good work down the left hand side following a throw in saw Tyreke Johnson cross for Alex Bray, Bray wriggled through the Weymouth defence and found himself with a simple job to tap past Gerald Benfield before his legs were unceremoniously swiped from underneath him by the Weymouth defender. However, the only person in the stadium that didn’t think it was a penalty was the referee and he waved play on later citing that he didn’t feel there was enough contact to warrant Bray hitting the deck. Chippenham however wouldn’t have to wait long for justice as Freddie Grant intercepted a loose pass and drove through the middle of the park from left back. His ball found Matt McClure on the edge of the box and the captain’s quick feet saw him shift the ball past Calvin Brooks and go over the defender. The referee didn’t hesitate in pointing to the spot and it was McClure himself that picked himself up off the deck to slot the ball straight down the middle of Benfields goal to give the Bluebirds the lead. Another brilliant Bluebirds move nearly saw them double their advantage before the half with Henry finding Johnson who rolled his man to tee up Bradbury. Caine after a quick one, two off Matt McClure saw his goal bound shot blocked fantastically by Jordan Thompson.
Thompson however would be at the centre of the big talking point in the game shortly after half time. A quick break from Chippenham saw Mal Nicholls play in Alex Bray who was fouled by Johnson some 30-yards from goal. However, in the opinion of the referee, there was nobody between Bray and Benfield and Johnson was denying a goal scoring opportunity and brandished a straight red card to the Weymouth centre back. It was only minutes later, the referee was in the eyeline of the opposite bench when Caine Bradbury was seemingly fouled in the middle of the pitch following a two handed shove to the ground. Tom Bearwish then picked the loose ball and played in Ezio Touray who beat Will Henry at his near post to claim his 5th goal in only 3 games for the Terras. Chippenham then set about regaining their lead with chances through Alex Bray and Jake Evans. However, Weymouth were about to be handed a golden chance to take all 3 points when Calvin Brooks cut inside Alex Bray and into the box. It seemed as though Jake Evans had positioned himself correctly and simply stood in front of his man, feet connected with the ball but when Brooks threw himself to the ground, there was a sense of inevitability about the decision coming. Penalty kick and Touray would have a chance for his second goal and surely the goal that would seal the points for Weymouth. However, perhaps atoning for being beaten at the near post for the first goal, Will Henry made himself big in the net and beat away Touray’s penalty to keep the scores level. Tom Bearwish nearly capped off his 100th Weymouth appearance with a big moment but his shot flashed wide of the goal before a late free kick for Jake Evans would provide Chippenham with one last chance. Sadly for the Bluebirds, Evo struck narrowly wide and the points would be shared between the two sides.
After the game. Chippenham manager Gary Horgan seemed upbeat and focussing more on the first 60 minutes was very happy with the way his side acquitted themselves away from home. Another tough game this weekend lies ahead with Truro City FC, a team that Horgs has had the chance to watch a few times this season and also last season as they ascended to the National League South via a playoff victory against Bracknell Town with a 3-2 win.
Truro City FC, the White Tigers, currently play their home games a long way away from home at Bolitho Park in Plymouth where they groundshare with Plymouth Parkway. Managed by Paul Wotton, Truro find themselves back in the National League South this season courtesy of a playoff win where Connor Riley-Lowe sent them up with the last kick of the game against fancied Bracknell Town. Truro have started the campaign rather well finding themselves in 11th spot, two places and one point ahead of the Bluebirds however, will be coming into this one off the back of two defeats to fellow newly promoted Weston Super Mare firstly in the FA Cup and then in the league on Saturday where curiously Truro didn’t manage to find the net, a very rare occurrence for the White Tigers. In fact, this is the first time Truro has failed to score in two successive games since March of 2022!
One 2 Watch
Unless you have been living under a rock or living in blissful ignorance of Truro City. You will not be surprised by our selection this weekend. Tyler Harvey is their talisman, their starman and heavily tipped even in a new league to finish as one of the top goalscorers in the National League South. He has 4 goals to his name already this season and is one of the most feared strikers in the division alongside his strike partner Rocky Neal who currently has 6 goals. The two strikers are responsible for 10 of their side’s 17 total goals this season! Tyler Harvey will also not need much introduction to Chippenham supporters after spending a couple of seasons at local rivals, Bath City where he shot to viral fame for a halfway line, injury time strike against Weston-super-Mare in what is often described as the craziest added time ever falling behind in the 91st minute only to score twice and turn it around with the game seemingly dead.
Another nice easy one this weekend. Supporters will recall last season, a talented youngster came in from Bristol Rovers by the name of Harvey Greenslade. Harvey didn’t find his feet in front of goal as quick as he would have liked but was still a major contributor in the early stages of the season including the famed FA Cup run which saw the Bluebirds reach the 2nd Round of the Competition.
Harvey returned to Bristol Rovers when Chippenham made a few new signings and ended the year by lifting the playoff final trophy with Truro, signing there and scoring 4 goals in 17 appearances to add to his 1 for the Bluebirds! After signing a new contract at Rovers, Greenslade has found himself back on loan to the White Tigers and we will be looking forward to seeing Harvey, his father Sam and of course his footballing twin Lily Greenslade who herself is banging them in for fun at Rugby Borough in the FA Women’s National League.
Head to Head
As with Weymouth, if Chippenham are looking for a team that they have recent good form against, Truro provides them with exactly that; however, it has been a long time since the two sides took to the field together. The last time these two sides met, Chippenham were victorious both home and away by a scoreline of 2 goals to 1 in the 2018/2019 season. In fact, overall against the White Tigers, Chippenham have played 14 times, winning an incredible 8 times and drawing once. Perhaps the biggest draw for these two sides and their fans is the insane amount of goals scored in this fixture. 49 goals over 14 games means this fixture yields 3.5 goals a game whenever they clash!
Chippenham will come into this game not only boosted by the point at the weekend, but also Luke Haines will return to contention following his suspension. Tom Owen-Evans is creeping ever closer and following Tyreke Johnson and Matt McClure coming through game time at the weekend, the squad is nearly back to its full complement once more. With all that in mind we are going to need as much support as possible. It was an incredible support down at Weymouth with the lads noting just how good it was to have the stand rocking, driving them towards the goal.
With a supporters coach running down to Truro, it is imperative that as many of you jump on a support that endeavour not only to ensure a coach runs down to Devon but also to lend your own support to the Bluebirds on the road! It could make a big difference and sometimes, the 12th man is a huge advantage.
Ticket prices for this Saturday’s fixture are listed below. There is no option for supporters to buy tickets in advance. They are only available to buy at the gate via cash or card payments. The gates open at 12pm.
- Adults – £11
- Concessions – £9
- U16s – £6
- U10s – FREE
For those supporters driving to Bolitho Park, here is some essential parking information https://www.trurocityfc.net/a/parking-at-bolitho-park–62517.html