Wednesday 12 October 2022

Truro City - Bolitho Park

Truro City FC
Groundshare with Plymouth Parkway FC
Bolitho Park
St Peters Road

Ground Number: 1122
Wednesday 12th October 2022
Truro City 4-0 Swindon Supermarine
Southern Premier South


Truro City FC was formed in 1889 and for their formative years, they played in local leagues in Cornwall as well as the Plymouth & District League. Founder members of the South West League in 1951, they stayed here until 2006 aside from 3 years in the mid-'70s when they returned to the Cornwall Combination. Though they were 5 times champions, a runners up spot behind Bodmin Town was enough to see them promoted to the step 6 Western League Division 1. This started an incredible few years where they shot up the leagues. 2006/07 was especially notable, losing once all season and scoring 185 league goals in the process. 2007/08 saw them break the 100 points barrier for the second season in a row as they won the Western Premier and the following season they were champions again - this time in the Southern League Division 1 South & West. 2009/10 saw them stabilise in the Southern Premier with an 11th-placed finish before they won the league the following season. A couple of seasons in the Conference South followed, with the second one ending in relegation due to ongoing financial difficulties. A couple of seasons back in the Southern Premier came next, with the second ending in a 3rd placed finish and promotion through the playoffs. The 2014/15 season saw a return to the Conference South and another playoff campaign, this time losing to Maidstone United in a 2-legged semi-final. They've never had it as good since. The delayed loss of their ground due to a Lidl being built and a delay in building their new stadium has forced them to share at Torquay and eventually Plymouth Parkway. On the field has been a bit of a downer too. They finished 7th in 2018, losing out to Hampton & Richmond in the playoffs but were relegated the following year. Since going down to the Southern Premier South, they've finished in and around the top half of the table in every season.

After years of failing to get past the 3rd Qualifying Round, Truro City finally broke their FA Cup duck in 2017. They overcame AFC Portchester, AFC Sudbury and Hampton & Richmond Borough before going out to Charlton Athletic in the 1st Round. In the FA Trophy, their best progress came last season when they beat Cirencester Town, Bognor Regis Town & Binfield before going out to Dagenham & Redbridge on penalties in the 3td Round, following a 1-1 draw. The club won the FA Vase in 2007, defeating AFC Totton 3-1 in the first final at the new Wembley.  In terms of local cups the Cornwall Senior Cup has been won 15 times, the Cornwall Charity Cup on 13 occasions and the South Western League Cup on 3 occasions.


This game was only decided on Monday evening. Originally on my week off work, I'd fancied an overnight stop on Tuesday but the hotels were just too expensive. My first choice for a singular trip would have been Wadebridge as I'd already written a blog prior to a cancelled visit. However, I couldn't find a coach service that worked out for that. Of the limited options available, Blyth Town and Plymouth Parkway were the favourites. The former lost out as it relied on another lengthy trip on public transport and I didn't want to risk getting strange. Therefore it was Plymouth, or to be more accurate, their tenant Truro City that won out. This completed a league for me - the Southern Premier South. There were also a ton of good pubs to visit in Plymouth, although I'd only be able to sample a limited amount. More importantly, the coach tickets worked. Due to my having a voucher, I chose the most flexible option. Therefore I got £60 worth of ticket for £14 and the trip was on.

The day of the game came and I'd had a pretty poor night's sleep, having stayed up until 3 after a long trip to Shirebrook the night before. My alarm went off at 7.40 although I awoke 20 minutes before it went off. It was a pretty quick wash, getting dressed and a pot of porridge for breakfast. I'd originally planned to drive to Chalfont due to a slightly better choice of trains, but Colin suggested I parked at his. This would be safer for the car and so I agreed. I met him and we chatted on the way to the station although I was no wiser about where we were going on Friday as my copy of Football Traveller had not arrived yet. The train arrived within a couple of minutes and I got on the 08:46 Metropolitan Line into London. I was pleased I made this one as the next one had already been cancelled. This would have left things very tight for me getting my coach. After a couple of changes, I was at Victoria Coach Station in plenty of time. I had a great lamb samosa from a local shop as I knew I'd likely not be getting any lunch. In fact, we did stop at Taunton Dene services and I got a wrap and a drink from McDonald's.


The journey dragged a bit, but we got into Plymouth around 4.30. I went to a shop for some drinks and other stuff and had a look at some other shops. My first port of call was The Cider House. This had a huge range of cider, though a lot of it was non-apple stuff. I settled for a pint of Dorset Dabber from the locally-based Summerskills brewery. They were primarily a beer maker but this was decent. The only downer was that being an old building, the phone signal was poor. Right outside the pub was a hugely tempting place called Bombay Burger but I sought further libation so I headed to the Union Rooms Wetherspoons, deviating from my plan to go there later. In fact, I'd been sidetracked too much. I had a nice fish and chips and a pint of Black Dragon but opted against another as time was not on my side. It was a fair old walk to stop A21 and I was glad to get my bus as it was only a half-hourly service. The bus otherwise was quite good, a tap-on, tap-off service just like I'd seen in the Netherlands. Only without forcing you onto their own payment system. It was then a 20-minute walk to the ground where I paid a, well-priced £10 entry. The ground was impressive compared to what I'd seen before with it almost completely covered.
It was 2nd versus 6th in tonight's game. Truro City were unbeaten in five games including a 2-1 win over Salisbury in the FA Trophy in their latest game. They'd also won 1-0 at Hartley Wintney and 2-1 at Yate Town as well as 1-0 at home to Gosport Borough in the league. They last dropped points in a 0-0 stalemate against leaders Weston Super Mare and last lost when Merthyr Town knocked them out of the FA Cup at the start of September. Swindon Supermarine were in mixed form - progressing against Cirencester Town 3-0 in the FA Trophy but losing 5-1 to Farnborough in the FA Cup. In the league, their last 3 games saw them lose 3-1 at Weston Super Mare, draw 1-1 against Beaconsfield Town and beat Dorchester Town 3-2. Truro started on top and that indeed was to be the story of the game. On 6 minutes, Tyler Harvey slid a deep cross home and then, a couple of minutes later, he netted a penalty awarded for a foul. The goals kept on coming and on 11 minutes, Andrew Neal headed home a cross at the back post. Three shots, three goals but the visiting keeper was not happy, urging his team to 'up the tempo'. To be honest, though, the outcome of the game had already been decided. Truro had a goal disallowed for offside and despite brief glimpses for the visitors, they'd accepted their fate. Truro controlled the second half too, shooting narrowly wide on 68 minutes. The fourth and final goal came on 80 minutes, Neal with his second, following up after an initial shot was parried.

The rain was fairly constant throughout the game, though it never got anything heavier than drizzle. For the visitors though, it never rained but it poured. I'd expect that they had a few players that couldn't make it as it was a fair old trek for them, especially for midweek. You have to question the sanity of the fixture secretary for this one, though to be fair, there are several clubs that are far more Easterly. They showed a few glimpses but were well beaten in the end. There were 145 in attendance, disappointing for this level but you have to admire the Truro fans who travelled a fair distance, I hope they return to their own neck of the woods soon, even though I'd enjoyed my visit more than the one to Treyew Park. From the game, it was a 45-minute walk through pleasant but wet streets to the Wetherspoons near Plymouth Argyle, the Britannia. It was still fairly lively, but friendly as I had a couple of pints before heading off to get my coach. It was a couple of minutes late but it was an excellent journey with me having a double seat to myself and actually getting some sleep. We were back in London ten minutes early, allowing me to save a few quid by getting an off peak fare. I was on the train to Amersham by 6.52, typing this blog and expecting to be back home just after 8.


BOLITHO PARK is an excellent venue having seen major redevelopment since I came for pictures a couple of years prior. The ground is almost completely covered, with around a 2,000 capacity with around 250 being seated. There's not a lot around the ground but there is a smart bar with several TV's and a reasonable range of drinks. There's also a food van which was knocking out some good stuff. All in all, well worth a visit be it for Landlords Plymouth Parkway or tenants Truro City. 


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