Kevin Heaney, chairman of Blue Square Bet South club Truro City, has played fulsome tribute to the team and….
….manager Lee Hodges after Tuesday night’s superb 2-2 draw at Sutton United which he described as “amazing”.
City, who are under a transfer embargo because of their financial problems, travelled to Surrey with just twelve players because of injury, suspension and illness, but gained one of the results of the season, twice taking the lead through Cody Cooke before Sutton snatched a stoppage time equaliser.
He said: “We had an incredibly depleted squad, so much so that we had to get special permission from the league to sign two reserve players, and unfortunately even then one of them could not travel with us because of work commitments.
“Our squad for this game was down to just a dozen players. Young Tim Nixon, from the reserves, cut a lonely figure on the substitutes’ bench.
“I asked Lee if, in all his twenty-odd years in the game, he had ever seen a team in action with just one sub before and he agreed he hadn’t!
“I have seen some fantastic performances and results for Truro City in my seven years as chairman, but I have to say this was right up there with the very best of them.
“Lee got his tactics spot-on, and the spirit, work rate, application and energy levels that the players showed were just phenomenal. It made you feel that everything we all do on and off the pitch is so worthwhile.
“I was so proud of the players and the management team and the supporters who made the long journey.
“On the night, we could have ended up with three goals and all three points. Sutton equalised in the dying seconds with a goal from a somewhat controversial free-kick, but only a few minutes earlier Les Afful had hit the bar with an absolutely brilliant lob from 40 yards.
“If that had gone in, it would have been game over.
“All this was achieved against a very good Sutton team who I confidently expect to finish in the top five and who had the luxury of being able to put on three substitutes, all of them over six foot.
“I’m bound to say I feared the worst at the start, but it all turned out so very differently.
“Cody Cooke scored a terrific brace and really ‘arrived’ in this match. He’s a genuine local lad who’s come in via Truro College and our reserves, and he’s precisely the sort of local product from the community that we want to produce more of. We now start looking for the next Cody.
“There had been serious concerns that this match might not have gone ahead at all. We had eight out of our nineteen players unavailable.
“The outcome tells me a great deal about the group of players we’ve got now, along with the outstanding leadership qualities.
“I hope this is a clear message to everyone in Truro and Cornwall.
“This club is well worthy of support; it is a club the county can be proud of.
“We now turn our attention to the upcoming `local derby` matches over the festive period, with the visit to Weston-super-Mare on Boxing Day and especially the return fixture at Treyew Road on New Year’s Day, when we hope to welcome a big crowd for some first class entertainment.
“We also hope to have at least three of our absentee players back in action by Boxing Day, incidentally.
“It is worth noting that not so many years ago Weston were five levels above us, and now they are our local derby opposition. Seven years ago, we were lying eleventh in the South Western League – today we are eleventh in the Conference South. What an amazing achievement that is.
“I personally have in mind four matches as the all-time greatest achievements during my period as chairman.
“The FA Vase, obviously, has to be number one. I also recall our 2-1 win at Tavistock that secured promotion to the Western League, plus last season’s six goals at Salisbury City, which was just like a dream.
“And then, without hesitation, I choose last night. What an achievement, in the face of such adversity. Well done, lads, well done, everyone.”