Late lev­eller earns Truro an­other tilt

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FA TRO­PHY THIRD ROUND TRURO CITY..................... 2 MAC­CLES­FIELD .............. 2

ASH THORN­TON-JONES

MAC­CLES­FIELD Town were forced into re­play­ing their FA Tro­phy Third Round tie with Truro City af­ter a late goal from the home side en­sured a 2-2 draw on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

The Na­tional League side looked des­tined for a place in the fourth round, but Is­sac Vas­sell’s strike two min­utes from time se­cured a re­match at Moss Rose.

Goals from Kris­tian Den­nis and Rhys Turner had can­celled out Ol­lie Knowles’ opener for the Devon side, who were play­ing in the sev­enth tier of English foot­ball last sea­son.

The Silk­men could not hold out against their lower league op­po­nents, how­ever, de­spite mak­ing just two changes from their pre­vi­ous league meet­ing against Hal­i­fax.

Cap­tain Paul Turn­bull made way from the start­ing eleven, along with Danny Rowe, and the for­mer’s omis­sion seemed to prove par­tic­u­larly costly as nei­ther side were able to con­trol the game in the first half.

Chris Hol­royd and top goalscorer Den­nis both en­joyed half-chances, but it was Truro’s Vas­sell – cousin of for­mer Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Dar­ius – who looked the most threat­en­ing in-front of goal.

The 22-year-old’s div­ing header nar­rowly missed Ritchie Brana­gan’s goal, be­fore Neil Byrne was alert enough to pre­vent his cross from be­ing turned in by Dan Green.

Ryan Brett then tried his luck with the last chance of the half, but his ef­fort dragged wide of the goal.

The 665-strong crowd, who braved freez­ing con­di­tions, would’ve been grate­ful for what­ever words were ex­changed in both chang­ing rooms dur­ing the break, as both sides showed a re­newed at­tack­ing in­tent in what be­came an in­creas­ingly en­ter­tain­ing af­fair.

Vas­sell’s mis­cued ef­fort grazed the post min­utes af­ter the restart, but the vis­i­tors’ luck ran out on the hour mark as their de­fen­sive re­solve fi­nally bro­ken.

Knowles’ ef­fort from dis­tance took a huge de­flec­tion, leav­ing Brana­gan help­less and the home fans de­lighted.

Their joy was short­lived, how­ever, as Den­nis was on hand to score his 22nd goal of the sea­son to bring the scores back level just six min­utes later.

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The Stock­port County loa­nee found space at the back post af­ter Truro stop­per Martin Rice made a great stop to deny Turner, re­ward­ing the trav­el­ling fans with the goal that their 626-mile re­turn jour­ney de­served.

Soon af­ter, it got bet­ter for the away side and their fol­low­ers as the tie was turned on its head.

Turner was on hand to get the goal that he was de­nied just min­utes ear­lier, fin­ish­ing well af­ter a strong run through the heart of the host’s de­fence.

Den­nis and sub­sti­tute Rowe then had chances to kill the tie off, but they were un­able to beat Rice and The Silk­men were even­tu­ally pun­ished for their lack of clin­i­cal­ness.

Vas­sell’s pace caused trou­ble to the vis­it­ing de­fence all game, but it was from a tra­di­tional goal­mouth scram­ble in which he fi­nally found the back of the net, re­act­ing quick­est from a cor­ner.

It was the least that he and Truro de­served, though, for the Na­tional League South side were full value for a se­cond at­tempt in Cheshire against John Askey’s men.

Rice, White, Pugh, Richards, Ri­ley-Lowe, Knowles, Green, Cooke (Af­ful 74), Brett (Gill 79), Duff (Fen­wick 65), Vas­sell. Subs Not Used: Daw­son, Mitchell.

TRURO CITY:

MAC­CLES­FIELD:

Brana­gan, Halls, Pilk­ing­ton ( Turner 65), Byrne, Fitz­patrick, Hol­royd (Rowe 65), Di­agne, White­head, Whi­taker, Samp­son, Den­nis. Subs Not Used: Turn­bull, Cowan, Lewis. max­i­mum points; Alder­shot, by con­trast, are Bet­fred’s sur­pris­ingly long 4/1 un­der­dogs.

Given the stakes, the open­ing strike could prove con­clu­sive: Co­ral con­sider Mac­cles­field an 8/11 shot to score it, while Paddy Power chalk an at­trac­tive 7/2 against it ar­riv­ing in­side the first 10 min­utes.

Pun­ters who sus­pect that Town can main­tain a sin­gle goal ad­van­tage at 90 min­utes may mark Skybet’s 3/1 for them to en­joy a one goal mar­gin of vic­tory as wor­thy of fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion.

Pun­ters who sus­pect we’re in for a goalfest can get 10/11 (Bet­fred) about the match yield­ing more than 2.5, al­though more cir­cum­spect types may pre­fer the 6/1 posted by Co­ral against a 1-0 Mac­cles­field suc­cess.

Spon­sored by Sports­bookofthe­month. com. WIN a signed copy of Fully Pro­grammed: The Lost World of Foot­ball Pro­grammes by Derek Ham­mond & Gary Silke. Visit www. sports­bookofthe­month. com for fur­ther de­tails.

PHPHOTOGRAPHY

●● Kris­tian Den­nis, cen­tre, scored his 22nd goal of the sea­son in the 2-2 draw at Truro City in the FA Tro­phy on Satur­day

Matt Rat­cliffe

●● Mac­cles­field man­ager John Askey

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