Truro City recently made it to the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history – drawing League One team Charlton Athletic away. In doing so they became the first Cornish side to make it to that stage of the competition since 1969. We sent our own Londoner James Haddow on the bus from Treyew Road to The Valley.
Not quite sure if I feel alive but the alarm’s just gone off and I’m up to get ready, excited about the game, not so much about the travelling, an 8 hour journey awaits. First of all though, just get to Treyew Road, coach leaves in an hour and a half.
On the road headed to Truro’s ground, still don’t feel alive, however I have packed 5 Frosties breakfast bars so there’s that to look forward to I guess?
Looks like I’m one of the first ones here, only a few other creatures stroll around in the gloomy, dark horizon, surely there must be more of us than this?
Never mind… the sensible ones were outside the clubhouse under a roof.
Borderline chaos trying to sort out who’s meant to be on what coach, thankfully I spotted myself on the list, apparently I’m on the pink coach.
None of the coaches are pink, I’m panicking.
I’ve grouped myself with a mighty unit of 7 men who are all on the ‘pink’ coach.
We’ve decided to just storm onto a coach in hope that it’s the right coach. If it’s the correct one, I’ll be tickled ‘pink’. I’m hysterical.
Not only was it the right coach, I’ve managed to secure myself a window seat fairly near the toilet, I’m chuffed, looks like we’re about to leave too, just as dawn is breaking, I’m excited but also too tired to think about anything apart from sleep so that’s what I’ll do.
Just before I go, I’ve just realised that a group of young lads are sitting at the back of the coach, I was never cool enough to sit at the back of the coach in school and I’m still not cool enough. How sad.
Had a dream that Truro lost 8-1 after going a goal up, at least they scored I guess?
I don’t think I’ve ever been so ecstatic to see Bristol services in my life. I’m going to demolish a bacon roll in about 10 seconds.
We’ve just been clapped into the services by a load of QPR fans, a nice touch, I feel famous
Chatting to a few of the Truro die-hards who tell me that apparently ‘at least’ 750 Truro fans are making the trek up, absolutely love the commitment.
10 seconds may have been an exaggeration but the bacon roll certainly didn’t last longer than 2 minutes, the coach pulls away from the services and our journey is underway again.
I have become acutely aware that some of the coach’s passengers have decided to crack open a few beers, the noise is rising and the coach is almost like a Cornish choir behind me.
The woman In front of me has made a rookie error of waiting until later to sleep and now the rowdy lads behind me and her are keeping her up. Disaster.
Ah, London, what a city… or village as the guy next to me describes it as, not sure I’ve heard it be called that before.
My neighbour is now absolutely astonished by how big the B&Q is in South London, he’s in for a shock when he sees the Kwik-Fit in Croydon. The place is enormous.
I pray we score, that’s all I want, just to experience the jubilation, it’ll make the journey worth it.
Teams are out and it’s not looking good, Charlton are essentially playing their full strength first team, my hopes of Truro scoring have diminished. Meanwhile some of the guys are wowed by the O2 Arena, not got anything on The Eden Project has it though?
I have stepped foot on land, we have arrived at The Valley, except we haven’t, the coach parked a mile away so now me and a few Cornish lads are trying to lead an expeditionary force through London to the ground.
I turned down the classic half and half scarf for a tenner, I’ll get a programme instead. Oh, also, I’ve had my deodorant nicked by security. Bastards.
I’m in. I tell you what, The Valley is properly nice, definitely wouldn’t look out of place in the Premier League, I can see our boys warming up on the half way line, come on boys, you can do it!
Some people find films or novels romantic but for me this is the pinnacle, the tiny non-league team hoping to pull off a giant killing. The Truro players jog over to applaud the travelling fans and the supporters give a tremendous roar and ovation in return. I’m on the brink of shedding a tear here and the game hasn’t even begun yet.
Kick off, 100% effort boys that’s all the fans want, don’t go home wishing you’d put in a bit more, leave everything out there.
Charlton smack the bar right in front of us. Lucky escape.
Some Charlton fan with young kids has just been kicked out for persistent standing and swearing. Nice one dickhead.
1-0 Charlton, a quality finish from Ben Reeves who chests down and fires into the bottom corner.
Truro are better than this, maybe they’re intimidated but they’re panicking when they get the ball and hopelessly lumping the ball forward.
This Ricky Holmes fella on the left is a lot better than his man bun haircut, he’s causing the Truro defence all sorts of problems.
What a fabulous save from Tom McHale! Holmes’ free-kick looks destined to double The Addicks’ lead but McHale gets fingertips to the ball to tip it wide.
Half Time, Charlton 1-0 Truro. We’re still in it boys, get the ball on the deck and we can definitely get back into it
The queue for a pint is beyond long, but I fancy one so I’ll wait it out
Finally been served, £4.20 for a pint of Fosters, had prepared myself emotionally for the price to be a lot worse so I’m pleasantly surprised.
Second Half has just kicked off but I’m not allowed back In the ground with my beer so I’m attempting to neck it quickly whilst also chatting to two guys from Yeovil, shoutout Somerset, your cider makes the world go around.
Only missed 6 minutes of the second half, result.
Just settled back into my seat, COME ON THE WHITE TIGERS!
*APPROXIMATELY 14 SECONDS LATER*
2-0 Charlton, which could be the final nail in Truro’s FA Cup run, Mark Marshall’s shot hits Gerring and the ball deflects into the net past the helpless McHale. What a shame, it might be a flukey goal that knocks Truro out
Ben Amos is the Charlton goalkeeper, he couldn’t make it at Manchester United in his early days and I’m letting him know it.
Truro are finally getting the ball on the ground and passing it round nicely
Tyler Harvey is looking lively, his first touch is fantastic, it’s like he’s got pillows for feet, however his shot is straight at Amos in goal.
ABSOLUTE BEDLAM IN THE AWAY END, TRURO HAVE SCORED! 2-1! A cross from the right is headed expertly in by Harvey, who pumps his fist towards the Truro fans, we’re going bloody ballistic, and I think I’ve nearly broken my kneecap celebrating.
Truro are pressing well, genuine belief in the away end that we can equalise.
Jinxed it. 3-1 Charlton. Intricate play on the left leads to an arrow from Ben Reeves into the bottom right corner. Truro don’t deserve to be two down.
Agh! Rocky should’ve done a lot better, he has a clear shot at goal but his effort is scuffed straight to Amos
Another chance goes begging, Keats looks like he’s about to get one back but his shot is blocked fantastically by Sarr who appears from nowhere to throw himself at the ball.
How it isn’t 3-2 is beyond me, Truro skipper Ben Gerring heads agonisingly wide from a corner, this’ll cost us at the final whistle.
This should be 3-3, unbelievable, Keats kicks the air instead of the ball from 8 yards out, ARGH
Handbags! Konsa should be off, he grabs Harvey by the face and throws him backwards, not sure how the ref has missed that one, instead it’s yellow for both.
Fantastic save from McHake to prevent it from going to an undeserved 4-1, the ginger keeper has been splendid today.
FULL TIME: Charlton 3-1 Truro. The boys have done them and us proud, that second half was a joy to behold, they ran their socks off.
Tell you what, if we play like that for the rest of the season, promotion’s on the cards.
The Truro lads trot over to clap the fans and the roar they receive is electric, every fan here will be deeply proud of what they’ve achieved today.
I take in a deep breath and take a long last look at The Valley before heading back to the coach, until next time Charlton
Back on the coach now and the memory of that Harvey will stay with me forever, what a moment. But for now, it’s sleepy time, 8 hour journey ahead of us.
Oh by the way, officially 996 brave Truro fans made the journey to South East London.
I take a brief pause from my slumber to watch the sun go down over London, farewell the Village of London
Before I know it, we’re at Swindon services and that means one thing, Burger King, this Whopper is going to meet the same fate as my bacon roll from earlier.
Not joking, I reckon that was under 2 minutes, hunger gone, back to the coach.
A few weary warriors are dropping off, but I’m feeling okay after my earlier sleep, my neighbour kindly offers me a Jagerbomb. It’d be rude not to.
I’ve noticed that Tinder has gone down in quality since going from Bristol to Cornwall, devastating. On the plus side, back in Kernow and the end is near.
What a quality day, the coach pulls into Treyew Road and I’ve brought home some fantastic memories that will stay with me forever, up the White Tigers, you bloody beauties.
Home sweet Home…