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The Loan Report: May 3

A look at how the young Grecians are getting on away from St James Park

3 May 2018

Exiled Grecian's report covers matches played from Saturday, April 28 to Tuesday, May 1.

Alex Hartridge - Truro City - Vanarama League South
Saturday, April 28 | Hampton & Richmond Borough 1-1 Truro City

Alex started for a White Tigers side that knew only a point would be enough to secure a place in the play offs.

Despite only needing a draw, Truro got off to a flyer when they took the lead on three minutes, courtesy of Tom Owen-Evans (who scored Newport's long range winner at SJP last season). Hartridge's long throw caused havoc in the hosts box with the ball eventually being headed towards Owen-Evans inside the six-yard box, who himself nodded beyond the keeper.

Not content with a one goal lead, the White Tigers continued to press for a second goal. The visitors created a number of chances throughout the first half but they were denied by an excellent Timothy Dieng between the sticks, who pulled off two fantastic saves to keep his side in the game.

Truro's profligacy proved to be costly in what turned out to be the proverbial game of two halves. The hosts rallied in the second half, going close twice before Jack Cook powerfully headed home his second goal of the season at the near post.

The home side continued to press in the remaining 25 minutes, but Truro keeper Jojo Wollacott, on just his second start of the season, produced an excellent save to stop their best chance.

St Albans' defeat at Bath City meant that Truro finished four points clear of them in seventh place. They now face another trip to Hampton & Richmond on Wednesday night in their first play off game.

Highlights available here.

Wednesday, May 2 | Hampton & Richmond Borough - Truro City

Truro travelled back to the Beveree Stadium last night for their one-legged elimination round in the play-offs.

If you're confused, much like I am, here's the breakdown quickly: six teams enter the play offs, 5th play 6th and 4th play 7th in an elimination round, the winner of which play 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in a one-legged semi final.

Further details can be found here

Alex Hartridge started for Truro.


Stats:

  • League: 23 appearances, 18 starts, 1,718 minutes, 1 goal.
  • FA Cup: 3 appearances, 3 starts, 270 minutes*.
  • FA Trophy: 2 appearances, 2 starts, 180 minutes.

Last game:
28/4/2018, Hampton & Richmond Borough 1-1 Truro, played the full 90 minutes.

*Assumption made that he played the full 90 minutes vs AFC Sudbury in 3rd Qualifying Round.

Max Smallcombe, Ben Seymour & Josh Key - Bideford - Evo-Stick South West
Thursday, April 26 | Cinderford Town 3-4 Bideford

    

Bideford went into Thursday night's game knowing that only a win would keep them in with a chance of reaching the play offs. They faced a Cinderford side who had won their previous five games, keeping clean sheets in the last four and featuring former Grecian Nick Grimes. Seymour started up front for the Robins, while Smallcombe and Key were both absent.

And it was Seymour who opened the scoring on 18 minutes with his 24th goal of the season. A lovely flick from Ryan Turner had set the City loanee up, who applied a smart finish to beat Cameron Clarke. 12 minutes later Bideford were two up, Stewart Downing's clever backheel setting up Ben Wood to double the visitor's lead.

A defensive mistake just two minutes into the second half allowed Cinderford back into the game, with Lewis Bamford capitalising on the mistake. Seymour was replaced shortly afterwards for Supporters' Player of the Year, and former Grecian, Matt Bye.

Shortly after the hour mark another mistake at the back, this time from keeper Steve Oliver, allowed Matt McDonald to chip him from outside the area to level the scores. And Cinderford completed their emphatic turnaround with 15 minutes to go as Craig Norman headed in at the back post from a corner.

Bideford's play off hopes looked to be over, until the 91st minute that is, when Bye's free kick looped off Richard Greaves' head into his own net. And as they have done a number of times this season, the Robins earned themselves a late winner when Dan Western's dipping strike flew into the top corner on 94 minutes.

Saturday, April 28 | Bideford 2-0 Winchester City

Bideford went into their final game of the season knowing that a win may not have been enough to guarantee them a play off spot. Seymour started again, Key returned to the bench, while Smallcombe was still absent.

The Robins started off brightly, with Will Hancox and Wood narrowly missing efforts; while at the other end Steve Oliver comfortably saved Dan Williamson's effort.

Seymour's powerful strike forced a good save from Ryan Price on the half hour mark, but seven minutes later Bideford took the lead. Craig Allan's header from a Bye corner looped over Price, with two defenders unable to stop the ball from crossing the line.

The Robins' lead was kept intact on the stroke of half time, when Oliver pulled off a point blank save to deny Oli Bailey.

Bideford sealed the win shortly after the restart when Turner played Downing through the middle, the forward then doing well to hold off two defenders before poking past Price.
Oliver saved from Jamie Barron with his legs late on as the hosts finished off their season with a comfortable win. However, Didcot's victory over Paulton Rovers meant the Robins finished just a single point outside the play offs.

Tuesday, May 1 | Bideford 1-4 Plymouth Parkway (St Luke's Challenge Cup Final)

Bideford fell to a heavy defeat to tenth tier Plymouth Parkway in what was their seventh game in the space of two weeks. Key returned to the starting lineup, Smallcombe was on the bench, while Seymour was cup tied.

In a frantic opening half hour, both keepers were forced into good saves, Parkway had a goal disallowed for offside and their top scorer, Glynn Hobbs, rounded Steve Oliver only to miss an open goal.

The runaway South West Peninsula League champions finally took the lead on 31 minutes, Mike Smith heading home unmarked after a long ball had caused confusion in the Robins' defence. Shane Krac doubled Parkway's lead five minutes later with a curling effort, before doubling his own tally shortly before half time after a scramble in the box to put his side in a commanding position.

Max Smallcombe was introduced on 48 minutes to make just his 15th appearance in all competitions, but his side fell further behind just a few minutes later when Mikey Williams slotted low past Oliver.

The Robins continued to press the opposition in the second half, with Sean Downing twice heading wide, before getting a late consolation goal. An excellent curling effort by Smallcombe cannoned off the post and fell kindly for Will Hancox to tap in from close range on 81 minutes. Downing and James Mayne again went close for Bideford late on, but couldn't convert.

Stats*:

Max Smallcombe:

  • League: 11 appearances, 9 starts, 757 minutes.
  • FA Cup: 3 appearances, 3 starts, 243 minutes, 2 goals, 1 assist.
  • Devon Bowl: 1 appearance, 42 minutes.

Final game:
1/5/2018, Bideford 1-4 Plymouth Parkway, played the final 42 minutes.

Ben Seymour:

  • League: 33 appearances, 29 starts, 2,490 minutes, 22 goals, 2 assists, 1 red card.
  • League Cup: 1 appearance, 1 start, 90 minutes, 1 goal, 1 assist.
  • FA Trophy: 1 appearance, 1 start, 90 minutes, 1 goal.

Final game:
28/4/2018, Bideford 2-0 Winchester City, subbed off after 78 minutes.

Josh Key:

  • League: 15 appearances, 14 starts, 1,262 minutes, 3 goals.
  • Devon Bowl: 3 appearances, 3 starts, 246 minutes, 1 goal.

Final game:
1/5/2018, Bideford 1-4 Plymouth Parkway, subbed off after 66 minutes.

*These stats aren't recorded on any website, so the minutes played is an estimate based on time-stamps on social media or match reports. Does not include stoppage time.

Joel Randall - Taunton Town - Evo-Stick South West
Saturday, April 28 | Cinderford Town 2-3 Taunton Town

Joel Randall retained his place in the starting XI as Taunton completed a full season without losing away from home.

Randall repeatedly caused the opposition problems and was involved in all three of his sides goals.

The first came after 21 minutes, when the City loanee won his side a corner. From Ryan Brett's delivery Matt Wright rose highest to head home at the back post.

Shortly before half time, Randall nicked the ball off Craig Norman, drove forward down the left wing before playing Wright through, who squared it for Dan Sullivan to tap in the second goal of the game.

Despite the visitors' dominance, an error from Toby Down just before the hour mark gave Cinderford a way back into the game. The former Grecian failed to cut out a through ball allowing Blaine Williams through on goal, who was brought down by Taunton keeper Lloyd Irish. Irish was initially sent off by the referee but, after being reminded of the recent rule changes, changed his card to a yellow one. Matt McDonald managed to keep calm trough the drama to convert the penalty.

Taunton retook their two-goal lead 10 minutes later, Randall getting into the box from the left flank before selflessly cutting back and teeing up Wright for his second of the afternoon.
Cinderford pulled one back just a minute later thanks to Richard Greaves' excellent header, but the visitors held on to record their 31st win of the season.

Joel Randall was thankful to Taunton after his brief loan spell at the club, posting the following message on Twitter after Saturday's game:

Stats*:

  • League: 9 appearances, 6 starts, 514 minutes, 1 goal.

Last game:
28/4/2018, Cinderford Town 2-3 Taunton, played the full 90 minutes, set up the third goal.

*These stats aren't recorded on any website, so the minutes played is an estimate based on time-stamps on social media or match reports. Does not include stoppage time.

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