TRURO City arrested a run of three consecutive defeats with a deserved point against Taunton Town in Vanarama National League South after a 0-0 draw, writes Gareth Davies.
At a rain-lashed and windy Wordsworth Drive, substitute Tyler Harvey’s header in the second half, which City were adamant crossed the line, was the closest the visitors came to three points.
Referee Phil Eadie, despite strong protests from City, was unmoved and the deadlock remained unbroken. And as conditions deteriorated, with time ticking down, both sides would have felt a point was about right, given the howling gale and rain that they had to contend with – Truro in the opening stanza, Taunton after the turnaround.
City boss Paul Wotton made three changes from the side that was defeated 2-1 at Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday. Both Ryan Brett and Dan Sullivan, playing against their former club, were in from the start after sitting on the bench at the Beveree Stadium.
Ollie Bray, who scored with his first touch in a City shirt against the Beavers, also started, with Harvey and Sam Sanders dropping to the bench. Cardiff City loanee Ryan Kavanagh missed out altogether, along with Dan Rooney, who was struck down with illness.
Meanwhile, James Melhado and Matt Buse were back in the matchday squad after they were absent from City’s last outing.
Playing with the wind, Taunton dominated possession and territory in the early exchanges and after just seven minutes, James Hamon was called into action. The Guernsey-born custodian had to be alert to keep out Rabby Tabu Minzamba’s low effort, with Will Dean hacking away the follow-up.
Further chances from Cameron Evans and Ollie Chamberlain saw the hosts go close, but as the half wore on, City started to assert themselves as an attacking force.
Eleven minutes before the break, Ryan Law had a sight of goal but the former Plymouth Argyle man saw his shot from distance go wide of the target.
And then Andrew Neal, one of four City starters playing against his former club, got his toe to a loose ball but Dan Lavercombe in the home goal saved the pint-sized hitman’s effort, before the offside flag was raised.
Into the second period and it was a case of roles reversed with City having the lion’s share of possession without creating too many clear-cut opportunities.
Sullivan’s shot from the edge of the box flew narrowly over just shy of the hour mark and then, with 14 minutes left, City thought they had broken the deadlock.
A Dean set-piece was perfectly delivered and Harvey headed towards goal with Lavercombe saving, but there were serious doubts as to whether he had prevented the ball crossing the line.
Ed Palmer was booked for his protests and with Brett down injured, there was a period of confusion where it appeared that the referee, after consulting with his assistant, might have given the goal.
But the score remained at 0-0 and as the rain fell heavier, and the pitch started to really cut up, the final minutes were largely uneventful with neither side able to force a winning goal.
City: Hamon, Riley-Lowe, Palmer, Harrison, Law, Porter, Dean, Brett, Sullivan (Buse, 72), Bray (Johnson-Fisher, 83), Neal (Harvey, 56). Subs: Melhado, Sanders.
Taunton: Lavercombe, Bell, Grimes, Ball, Chamberlain (Grubb, 83), James, Jarvis (Stearn, 73), Minzamba (Slough, 80), Smith, Evans, Dolman. Subs not used: Day, Rose.
Referee: Phil Eadie.