Hampton & Richmond Borough 3 Truro City 1 (AET)
National League South play-off eliminator – Wednesday, May 2nd 2018
Truro City slipped to an extra-time play-off defeat at the hands of Hampton & Richmond Borough.
There was early joy for The White Tigers when the ball found the net with nine minutes on the clock as a long throw-in caused problems for the ‘keeper under pressure from Rocky Neal for a goal totally out of the blue. Neal was credited with the goal amongst a crowd of players.
It stunned the crowd and as the home side looked to hit back straight away, a fantastic save from Joe Wollacott denied Kretzschmar as the young ‘keeper pushed away his rasping drive.
The on-loan ‘keeper then denied the same player in the next attack with another top-drawer save from close range.
An effort from Kiernan for the home side was deflected just wide and from the resulting corner, Ben Gerring did well to head clear amongst the crowd.
Ben Harding tried his luck from distance but was off target whilst at the other end, Wollacott did well to save from Jeffers.
The White Tigers had to defend for their lives when Roberts delivered a teasing ball into the area and Baptiste’s strike was blocked.
With ten minutes to go until half-time, the home side levelled matters when Baptiste’s effort was deflected into the path of Cook who fired home.
The goal gave the home side a real boost as they started to up the pressure and play with momentum but we went in at the break with the score level at 1-1.
There were appeals for a White Tigers’ penalty early in the second half, but the referee was unimpressed and then booked Gerring for dissent.
Some neat link-up play between Cody Cooke and Neal saw the latter denied by a timely intervention from Cook as Truro started the second half brightly.
A free-kick in a promising position from Ed Palmer rattled the crossbar with the ‘keeper motionless.
As Lee Hodges’ side stepped up the tempo, Neal had a great chance to put them back in front only for Wynter to throw himself in front of the ball to block.
Moments later Gerring was brought down inside the area by Wassmer for a penalty. Connor Riley-Lowe stepped up and his spot-kick was good but superbly saved by Dieng in the home goal.
Good build-up play from the hosts saw Jeffers do well out wide before feeding Kiernan who was off target.
There was a great late chance for The White Tigers but Cooke failed to capitalise in front of goal.
It was end-to-end stuff in the closing stages and Wollacott produced another stunning close range save to keep his side in it as it ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and meant that we went into extra-time.
The home side edged in front on 99 minutes when Hudson-Odoi did well before firing into the far corner of the net to make it 2-1.
Despite battling hard to get back into the game, Truro found their hosts in stubborn mood as they ran the clock down before grabbing a late third goal when Charles played through substitute Hudson-Odoi who netted his second of the evening.
There was no way back after that but the Cornish outfit can end what has been a season of real progress with their heads held high.
WHITE TIGERS: Wollacott, Thompson, Riley-Lowe, Palmer, Gerring, Hartridge, Lamont, Owen-Evans, Neal, Cooke, Harding. Subs: Palfrey, Yetton, Harvey, Keats, Allen.
BOOKING(S): Gerring, Thompson, Lamont