Gray 9, 12
UNITED turned on the style in their final pre-season friendly before the real stuff begins next week and the finishing on display was exemplary.
A scintillating start saw Luke
Young, James Gray twice and Ryan Higgins provide a 4-0 lead inside 15 minutes. A brief calm arrived before Jon-Paul Pittman and a Damon Lathrope stunner completed the rout after the break.
Manager Kevin Nicholson started without defensive trio Josh Gowling, Myles Anderson and Liam Davis, with forwards Jon-Paul Pittman and Jake Gosling named on the bench. Jordan Lee made his first home start since rejoining on loan from Bournemouth.
The Truro side contained a number of familiar faces, starting former United full-back and assistant manager Lee Hodges in the dugout for the White Tigers. Ben Gerring moved to Treyew Road in the summer and flying winger Niall Thompson made a return after coming through the old Plainmoor Academy a few years ago.
The perfect start for United, as Young took advantage of the wall positioning to curl a clever free-kick inside the near corner with such precision that visiting ‘keeper Tom McHale had little chance of covering the ground.
He did his job superbly from the next attack, however, diving full length to deny Ruairi Keating’s low drive but the Yellow siege continued in relentless fashion and Truro were struggling to hold back the tide.
An inevitable second arrived on nine minutes and poor marking from a corner allowed Sean McGinty to head at goal, forcing McHale into an incredible double save but the second rebound proved easy pickings for Gray with another predatory finish in a fruitful pre-season for the new recruit.
United hit number three in the 12th minute. Gray took full advantage of some sleepy defending to lash a low drive past the stranded McHale.
No respite in sight, with Jamie Reid’s dipping volley forcing McHale into another low block and it was very clear from the Hodges demeanour that the former Gull was deeply unimpressed with his players.
In Truro’s defence, there was no stopping a brilliant fourth, as a powerful run across the field from right-back Higgins culminated in a stunning left-foot drive into the top corner. It was a cracking goal and United were having fun in the summer rain.
The game finally calmed down long enough for Truro to regroup and United could now enjoy their evening with some lovely passing patterns on the slick surface. A clever exchange from the visitors did open room for Cody Cooke on the half-hour but he dragged his shot wide.
Half-time was an opportunity to refresh the ranks with Gosling and Pittman replacing Gray and Reid. Pittman soon had the ball in the net with a neat finish before then having another ruled out for offside.
Sam Chaney then waltzed forward from left-back and a super strike was expertly turned over by McHale at full stretch, but no stopping Lathrope from the next attack.
It all stemmed from a surge by Gosling and when the ball was passed back across for Lathrope, his sizzling left-foot drive from 25 yards arrowed superbly into the top corner. It was another great goal on a morale-boosting evening.
The Gulls strolled through the final stages and an excellent way to prepare for the season-opener against Tranmere at Plainmoor next Saturday.
United (4-4-2): 1 Ryan Clarke (20 Neal Osborn 74); 23 Ryan Higgins, 18 Yan Klukowski, 5 Sean McGinty, 7 Sam Chaney; 15 Jordan Lee, 8 Luke Young (25 Tallan Mitchell 74), 4 Damon Lathrope, 19 Jamie Reid (11 Jake Gosling H-T); 10 Ruairi Keating (16 Rory Fallon 65), 17 James Gray (9 Jon-Paul Pittman H-T).
Truro: 1Tom McHale, 2 Billy Palfrey, 3 Alex Hartridge, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Aaron Lamont, 7 Noah Keates, 8 River Allen, 9 Stewart Yetton, 10 Cody Cooke, 11 Owen Jones, 14 Jamie Richards. Substitutes: 4 Ed Palmer, 12 Austen Booth, 15 Niall Thompson, 16 Andrew Neal, 17 Jordan Copp.
Referee: Adam Bromley
Attendance: 712 (Away 36)
Attendance: 712 (Away 36)