The chap who compiles the fixtures list answers all my prayers with this game, as what would normally amount to a 600-mile round trip from my Midlands home is reduced to a mere 160-mile round jaunt from my Devon holiday cottage. So it is that father-in-law and I set out (my son declining the prospect of more quality in-car time) on the road to Cornwall, arriving in good time to explore the delights of Strikers Bar which is set within the stadium.
Actually ‘stadium’ is probably too grand a word to describe Truro’s ground at this stage of its development. The club has enjoyed a rapid rise up the pyramid in recent seasons and with on-pitch progress outstripping off-pitch development, the management has invested in a couple of temporary stands suspiciously similar to those erected at the National Hockey Stadium when MK Dons were born. These face directly opposite a section of covered terracing and the regulation four-row covered seating stand which comprises the rest of the club’s spectator facilities.
Strikers bar is behind one goal and is an impressive facility which includes large screen TV, pool table, dining area, and a bar sporting a handpump, dispensing Sharp’s Doombar on this occasion, despite the large St Austell Brewery advertising boards around the ground. A mobile catering van supplies those not wishing to avail themselves of strikers, and I opt to go against the set menu by requesting a chip bap with onions, duly supplied for a quid.
For today’s Southern Premier League match against Merthyr, we choose to sit in one of the windswept temporary stands, which seem to offer an elevated view of proceedings. Unfortunately we share it with Mr Foulmouth from the Valleys who seems incapable of making a statement without resorting to the more questionable parts of the Oxford English Dictionary. This is duly noted by several of the locals, the largest of whom scales several rows of seats for a face-to-face discussion on the subject. We decide that the second half should see us move to the relative calm of the smaller stand opposite.
Truro look a reasonably strong outfit, save for a keeper whose lack of presence is bettered only by his ability to welly every goalkick straight into touch. Regardless of that, the home side build up a two-goal lead, and despite a second half response from the visitors number ten – the stand-out player on the pitch – a late third ties up the points.
Truro’s ambitions seem to be aimed at a much higher level, but a lot of work on the ground would need to be undertaken before we’d see a Cornish team in the Football League. Which would probably see many a distant club – faced with the prospect of a lengthy road-trip – breath a huge sigh of relief.
Floodlight pylons: six
Parakeets: the odd gull or two
Toilets: in the corner next to the changing rooms
Tannoy music: Inaudible and indecipherable
Club Shop: I’m sure there was one but I can’t remember for the life of me where it was!
Quirkiest player name: Truro’s Danny ‘Cassius’ Clay