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EASTER MONDAY STALEMATE FOR CITY

EASTER MONDAY STALEMATE FOR CITY

TRURO CITY FC2 Apr - 06:45
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CHIPPENHAM TOWN 0 TRURO CITY 0

BY GARETH DAVIES AT HARDENHUISH PARK

Truro City inched their way closer to National League safety with a stalemate against mid-table Chippenham.

However, it could and perhaps should have been all three points for City, as they were denied by a combination of woodwork, heroic home defending and a goalkeeping masterclass from Bluebirds’ custodian Will Henry.

He denied Andrew Neal on two occasions from point-blank range and Will Dean with an acrobatic one-handed stop.

Also, James Melhado’s goalbound effort in the first half was cleared off the line while Josh Hinds hit the post after the turnaround.

Despite City’s dominance, the away side were indebted to striker Craig Fasanmade leaving his shooting boots at home as twice in the dying embers he passed up presentable opportunities to snatch all three points for the hosts.

If they had broken Truro’s hearts, it would have been incredibly harsh on City, who were the better side for long spells during the game after naming an unchanged side from that which defeated Slough Town 3-2 on Good Friday.

Tyler Harvey was still absent with a groin problem while Dan Rooney missed out once more after failing to properly recover from illness.

And City, fresh from their morale-boosting win over the Rebels two days previous, started the game in positive fashion.

After several probing openings just failed to result in clear-cut opportunities, City should have taken the lead with barely 10 minutes on the clock.

In a theme that recurred on numerous occasions for Chippenham throughout the match, they tried to play the ball out from the back but ran into trouble, due in no small part by an excellent Truro press.

The ball found its way to James Melhado and with Henry out of his goal, the former Salford City man struck towards goal. But as Truro waited for the net to ripple, the ball was somehow hacked off the line and to safety by Luke Haines, with the Bluebirds and Henry specifically, breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Until Neal fired over when well placed in the box as the turnaround approached, that was probably City’s lot in terms of clear goalscoring opportunities, but at the other end, a combination of excellent defending and woeful ball retention meant the Bluebirds very much kept their powder dry.

After the interval, this theme continued and during the early exchanges of the second stanza, City and Neal were twice denied by Henry.

Both times Neal profited on poor defending, but once again, the overworked Town incumbent pulled his side out of the potential mire.

After 51 minutes, Munakandafa broke free and from a tight angle, could only find the side netting.

That was Munakandafa’s last action of note in the game after he was replaced by Dom Johnson-Fisher, but the Notts County loanee once again caught the eye with his pace and direct running.

Johnson-Fisher’s introduction injected new life into the City attack and Truro significantly upped the ante in the final 20 minutes.

Firstly, the outstanding City midfielder Will Dean shot from the edge of the box and his effort looked destined to find the bottom corner. But Henry had other ideas and a strong left hand pushed the ball behind for a corner.

This was the first of four corners that City forced but Chippenham, to their credit, managed to repel the succession of visiting flag kicks, but only just.

With 14 minutes left Hinds wriggled free in the box and fired towards goal, only for the ball to crash back off the woodwork and once again, the ball was turned behind for a corner.

It was a huge let off for Chippenham but as the game edged towards their closing stages, the hosts finally came to life, owing to their inactivity on Good Friday and City’s endeavours against Slough.

But City stood firm the most part thanks to an impressive showing from defensive pair Ed Palmer and Tom Harrison.

However, there was two almighty scares in the final moments with Fasanmade somehow contriving to miss when the ball fell into his path after Tyreke Johnson had chased a lost cause to the byline.

And then the Chippenham striker fired wide after getting his feet in a tangle, going with his right foot when surely, he would have scored with his left.

City survived thanks to Fasanmade’s lack of composure in the six-yard box, but a late winner at that stage would have been a bitter pill to swallow for Paul Wotton’s side.

It was medicine that Truro didn’t have to consume, thankfully, with the full-time whistle seeing the spoils shared and City’s unbeaten run extended to three matches and a return to form at just the right time.

City: Hamon, Riley-Lowe, Palmer, Harrison, Law, Melhado, Dean, Sullivan (Porter, 64), Hinds, Neal, Munakandafa (Johnson-Fisher, 70). Subs not used: Adelsbury, Kavanagh, Buse.

Chippenham: Henry, Amadi-Holloway, Haines, N Williams, Spokes, Owen-Evans (Bradbury, 65), Evans (Bray, 75), King, E Williams, Johnson, Fasanmade (Pele, 90). Subs not used: Jones, Hewlett.

Referee: Matthew Fletcher
Attendance: 769

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