Late leveller earns Truro another tilt
FA TROPHY THIRD ROUND TRURO CITY..................... 2 MACCLESFIELD .............. 2
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.
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.
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.
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●● Kristian Dennis, centre, scored his 22nd goal of the season in the 2-2 draw at Truro City in the FA Trophy on Saturday
●● Macclesfield manager John Askey