Clevedon hold big-spenders to a draw

Truro City 2 Clevedon Town 2 - CLEVEDON made the long trip to Cornwall for this New Year's Day derby and took a valuable point against big-spenders Truro City.

Truro City 2

Clevedon Town 2

CLEVEDON made the long trip to Cornwall for this New Year's Day derby and took a valuable point against big-spenders Truro City.

With Matthew Walsh unwell, new loan signing Ollie Barnes came into central defence and Lee Molyneaux moved to right back with Matt Townley taking Walsh's place at left back.

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On a bitterly cold, but sunny, winter's afternoon Clevedon took a surprise early lead on six minutes when an Ellis Wilmot cross was headed back across the goal and into the net by Tom Billing.

The lead was short-lived however when three minutes later Danny Greaves did well to block a powerful Truro shot, but could only push the ball out to Andy Watkins who hammered it back into the net. The home team continued to push the Seasiders back as Watkins again went close, left back Lee Hodges hit a long-range drive wide and Les Afful grazed the top of Clevedon's crossbar with a blistering drive from the edge of the box.

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Truro's pressure finally brought a second goal on 38 minutes when a shot from Afful came back to him off a defender and he crossed for an unmarked Marcus Martin to head City into a 2-1 lead.

Clevedon came back and went close with a Matt Townley shot from a narrow angle that Truro keeper Martin Rice blocked. From the resultant corner a fumble by Rice fell to Lee Molyneaux, but he missed his kick and the chance was gone. Deep into time added on the Seasiders found an equaliser as Billing headed down a Danny Wring cross and Pete Sheppard reacted quickest to flick the knock-down past Rice to level the score at the interval.

At the start of the second half Clevedon had a great chance to take the lead as Sheppard released Wring with a quickly-taken free kick and his cross found Gary Colborne who headed the ball straight at Rice when either side of him would have been a certain goal. Truro reacted by attacking Clevedon with venom for 10 minutes, but the defence held firm.

On 55 minutes a long clearance fell to Joey Evans whose attempted lob over the advancing keeper sailed just over the bar. Truro then had a stonewall penalty claim turned down by referee Mr Philpott from Falmouth as Colborne made a rash tackle from behind, and then had a header from a corner well saved by Greaves and a shot blasted over the bar as they again ramped up the pressure on the Seasiders.

A 70th minute double substitution by the hosts brought on star striker Stewart Yetton and he soon had a point-blank header superbly saved by Greavsie, who then denied ex-Mangotsfield striker Kyle Tooze. Clevedon substitute Chris Collins, making a welcome return to the team for his first appearance since April 2009, made a great run and cross from right back and Billing applied a glancing header that went agonisingly wide.

On 85 minutes Andy Watkins was played through and he beat Greavsie but also put his shot wide of the post. A few minutes later Yetton beat Clevedon debutante Ollie Barnes but shot wide when he should have scored, and deep into injury time Danny Greaves kept his best save for last as Watkins profited from a Ben Evans slip and shot for the top corner of the net but Greaves got a firm hand to the ball and pushed it wide to earn the Seasiders a deserved draw.

The next game at The Hand Stadium will be on Saturday, January 9 v Swindon Supermarine, kick-off 3pm.

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