Some background on Truro City's closest National League neighbours ahead of tonight's clash
With Truro City’s average away round-trip coming in at 534 miles this season, Tuesday night’s 296 mile journey to Weston-super-Mare and back almost qualifies as a local derby. The destination is Weston’s 3,500 capacity Woodspring Stadium.
Nicknamed The Seagulls, Weston-super-Mare really ought to be called The Cats since the club appears to have nine lives. Finishing in the Conference South relegation slots in 2007, 2008 and 2010, Weston was reprieved each time by another club going bankrupt, failing a ground inspection or some other mis-hap
The 2014-15 season brought a 17th place finish in the Conference South.
The season so far
Weston are currently bottom of the National League South with 4 points, having shipped 20 goals in 8 matches.
Their season started sluggishly with five straight defeats. They earned their first point, in their next match with a creditable 1-1 draw against (then) top-of-the-table Bath City. They went on to get their first win against Bishop’s Stortford a few days later, but frustration was the order of the day in last Saturday’s match at Dartford.
Leading with an 81st minute goal, Weston conceded the equaliser in the 89th minute. Things went from bad to worse as a 94th minute own goal left the Seagulls making the long trip back to Somerset empty handed. However, it appears that Weston played well, with the Dartford website reporting that:
“Dartford played bottom of the league side Weston-Super-Mare …a position that didn’t warrant their performance throughout the 90 minutes. Our opponents played neat and tidy football.”
It’s also worth pointing out that, although still bottom of the table, Weston, along with Ebbsfleet, have played one match fewer than the rest as their mid-August clash was cut short by floodlight failure (what are the chances of that…?) A lucky escape for Weston who were trailing 2-0 in Kent when the lights went out.
Players to watch
Highly regarded goalkeeper Luke Parnell came out of Weston’s academy and is a strong presence in the team. He was promoted to Captain for the 2015-16 season following the departure of Tom Jordan. He has also made multiple appearances for England C.
32 year old defender Clayton Fortune is another club stalwart, now in his second spell at Weston. His previous clubs include, Tottenham Hotspur, Bristol City, Port Vale, Leyton Orient and Darlington.
In midfield, Jamie Edge also has Premiership connections having been on the books at Arsenal And West Brom. He's described as a “tidy midfielder who possesses great awareness and pedigree…bringing calmness and composure in the heart of midfield.”
Up front, Dayle Grubb is another Academy product and was the Players’ Player and Manager’s Player of the Year in 2014-15. He has also earned an England C call-up.
And finally, amongst the many new arrivals at Woodspring Stadium over the summer, perhaps the most eye-catching is Bulgarian midfielder Tsvetan Filipov. The 26 year-old midfielder comes from Wisla Pulawy in the third tier of Polish football. Intriguingly, Weston’s website describes him as “a lively character who has been bouncing around the place for weeks”. Should be interesting.