Truro Bounce Back to Defeat Clarets
TRURO extended their unbeaten run to nine matches after coming from behind to beat Chelmsford with first-half goals from Jamie Reid and Ryan Brett.
Skepelhorn’s 5th minute strike was cancelled out 16 minutes later when Jamie Reid stepped up to curl a free-kick past Christian Dibble, with Ryan Brett netting the winner after steering the visitors in front just shy of the half-hour mark.
Clarets’ boss Mark Hawkes opted for three changes to the side that lost to Bath City last week with Luke Daley making way for skipper Mark Hughes, who made his 100th appearance for the Club. West Ham loanee Jordan Brown and Bagasan Graham also dropped out, paving the way for Michael Thalassitis and Ben Marlow to make their home debuts.
The Clarets made a bright start to the match and found themselves 1-0 in front with five minutes on the clock. Matty Whichelow split the Truro defence in two as Hugo Skepelhorn found himself one-on-one with Martin Rice. His initial shot was parried by the ‘keeper, but Skepelhorn was able to tuck home the rebound and inflict a nightmare start on the visitors who had to endure a 668-mile round trip.
Whichelow looked dangerous again moments later when he drilled a cross towards the back post but Thalassitis, who made a brief cameo appearance in the 2-0 defeat to Bath, was unable to get a toe on it as he slid in from the left flank.
The wind was troublesome throughout and certainly had a key part to play in the match, but credit to both sides who looked determined to keep the ball on the floor and play it out patiently from the back.
Chelmsford were, however, undone by a moment of brilliance after Rory McAuley gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box after mistiming a tackle on Brett. Reid stepped up to dispatch the set-piece into the top corner despite slipping as he struck the ball, giving Dibble no chance as the sides drew level.
Truro’s centre-forward, Craig Duff, rose highest at the back post after kick-off, drawing a fine save from Dibble, before Skepelhorn countered and watched on as his sliced cross skimmed the bar.
The lead was soon the visitor's when Cody Cooke played through Brett on the left. The midfielder then took the ball into the box before coolly slipping a shot underneath the body of Dibble as the hosts were pegged back.
It appeared to take the stuffing out of Chelmsford who started the game with so much authority, and they were thankful for the half-time whistle to come.
Hawkes’s side looked a little more structured after the re-start and were almost rewarded when Marlow aimed a pin-point cross into the box. Skepelhorn ran on to meet it but his header bounced over the crossbar when he ought to have hit the target and pull the Clarets back on level terms.
Whichelow attempted a shot on the turn that only forced Rice into a routine stop but Truro looked threatening even if Dibble was largely untroubled.
Hawkes was clearly frustrated by his side’s performance and made use of a triple substitution to address the issue. Full-backs Aiden Palmer and Rob Girdlestone, plus the quiet Lee Sawyer, were all withdrawn as Bagasan Graham, Luke Daley and Mark Haines entered the fray in a statement of intent from the Clarets.
The substitutions almost inspired a late leveller as Graham showed right-back Pierce Mitchell a clean pair of heels before cutting the ball back to Thalassitis. The striker’s effort was tame, though, and dribbled towards Rice’s goal.
Truro's Cooke then had a chance to add gloss to the win when he turned inside of McAuley, but he made a hash of his shot and blazed over the bar albeit finding himself in acres of space.
Truro finished the match with ten men after skipper Pugh was sent off for two bookable offences as he hacked down Skepelhorn when the youngster was clean through. Fortunately for the Tigers, Whichelow struck the effort narrowly over.
Hughes missed from a couple of yards out in the dying embers of the game as City's luck in front of goal was cursed yet again, forcing them to succumb to back-to-back defeats.
1. Christian Dibble
2. Rob Girdlestone
3. Aiden Palmer
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Marvin Ekpiteta
6. Rory McAuley
7. Ben Marlow
8. Lee Sawyer
9. Michael Thalassitis
10. Matt Whichelow
11. Hugo Skepelhorn
12. Harry Morgan
14. Bagasan Graham (On for Aiden Palmer, 69’)
15. Mark Haines (On for Rob Girdlestone, 68’)
16. Jordan Brown
18. Luke Daley (On for Lee Sawyer , 69’)
1. Martin Rice
2. Pierce Mitchell
3. Connor Riley-Lowe
4. Ryan Brett
5. Jamie Richards
6. Aaran Pugh (C)
7. Ollie Knowles
8. Dan Green
9. Craig Duff
10. Jamie Reid
11. Cody Cooke
12. Matt Wright
14. Isaac Vassell (On for Jamie Reid, 65’)
15. Shane White (On for Ryan Brett, 88’)
16. Les Afful (On for Craig Duff, 83’)
17. Danny Barrow
Referee: Mr. Anthony Da Costa (Cambridge)
Assistant Referees: Mr. Daniel Hanna and Mr. Joshua Fe
Bookings: Chelmsford City: Rory McAuley (20’, foul)
Truro City: Aaran Pugh (12’, cynical foul, 87’, foul)
Sent off: Chelmsford City: None
Truro City: Aaran Pugh (87’, second bookable offence)
Scorers: Chelmsford City: Hugo Skepelhorn (5’)
Truro City: Jamie Reid (21’), Ryan Brett (29’)
HT Score: 1-2
FT Score: 1-2
City Man of the Match: Hugo Skepelhorn