Seagulls Too Good for Truro
Weston-super-Mare boosted their hopes of survival on Tuesday night, romping to a dominant 1-3 win over playoff-chasers Truro City.
Conditions were perfect for a Weston to execute their game plan: A gorgeous Cornwall evening coupled with a surprisingly good playing surface given the recent volume of rain resulted in an ideal opportunity to upset the odds, and bolster their cushion from the relegation zone.
The promotion-chasers couldn’t cope with the Seagulls slick passing and moment. Truthfully, it could, and probably should have been a wider margin of victory.
The Seagulls soared out of the blocks, and after Luke Purnell repelled a strong effort from range, Scott Wilson was released clear through on goal by Jake Llewellyn with six minutes on the clock. The striker displayed sheer speed and composure to steady himself before perfectly measuring a lob over the helpless Martin Rice in goal.
Tristan Plummer almost doubled the advantage, working a shooting opportunity in the centre of the penalty area, but his effort was too close to the ‘keeper.
What followed verged on the bizarre. Countless crosses flashed across the Truro area but, agonisingly for those of a Weston persuasion, no-one was on hand to finish off. Plummer, Dayle Grubb and Joe McClennan regularly got the better of both full backs, but it just wouldn’t fall as desired.
Indeed the Seagulls were making hard work of what was surprisingly simple game, cutting the Cornish side apart with staggering regularity, but they were unable to fully punish their opponents before the interval.
Steve Tully’s changes did little to arrest the flow of the game after half time – the Seagulls continued to attack with verve.
Grubb shuffled onto his left foot but his effort was saved by Rice. Jacob Cane’s follow-up volley was blocked en route to goal.
Plummer continued to dazzle with speed and skill, but he was found wanting when taking aim at the back of the net, heading wide from under the crossbar. The striker is in a funk in front of goal, but his class is evident in other parts of the game.
He was soon removed from proceedings by Ryan Northmore, along with striking partner Scott Wilson, in a tactical change that saw Jake Mawford tasked with figure-heading counter-attacks and Jason Pope solidifying the centre of the park.
The tactical shift achieved the desired results. 14 minutes remained when McClennan once again got the better of Ryan Brett before lashing across goal in search of a lunging Mawford. With Weston seemingly unable to kill the game, it was fitting that City skipper Arran Pugh nipped in front of the forward to put through his own net.
Truro conjured a reply from their imprecise and somewhat predicable play with eight minutes to play when former Seagull Matt Jay, turning out for his third National League South club on loan from Exeter City, diverted a well-placed header past Purnell via the underside of the crossbar.
The home side pushed and pressed for a leveller, leaving themselves bare in defence. Mawford duly capitalised in stoppage time, chasing down a ball lifted over the backline. The forward continued his red-hot form in from of the goal, calmly rolling the ball into the bottom corner to seal the points.
The job is not yet complete, and further points are required, but last night the Seagulls took a significant step towards survival.
Final score: Truro City 1-3 Weston-super-Mare
Weston XI: Purnell, Simpson, Llewellyn, Cane, Keary, Fortune, McClennan (Wring 86), Plummer (Pope 74), Wilson (Mawford 74), Grubb (c), Edge.
Substitutes not used: Withey, Gkotzai.
Match report written by Sam Frost