Truro City 0 - Dartford 0

Truro City picked up a valuable point against relegation threatened Dartford FC at a rain lashed Meadow Park, writes Gareth Davies

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Truro had the better goal scoring opportunities as time ticked down, but Dartford held on to secure a first clean sheet of the calendar year.

Inside the final 15 minutes, Tyler Harvey’s first-time left foot effort hit the side netting whilst substitute James Melhado’s teasing centre was turned towards goal and brilliantly saved by Dartford custodian Rhys Byrne.

At the other end, Tom Harrison’s last-ditch block deflected Ronny Nelson’s shot behind for a corner as Dartford threatened an unlikely winner, but the deadlock remained unbroken and the spoils shared.

City boss Paul Wotton made three changes from the side which lost late on at Tonbridge Angels in their previous encounter.

Ben Adelsbury and Dan Sullivan dropped out of the matchday squad altogether, while Ryan Kavanagh was named as a substitute. Will Dean moved from his customary midfield berth to a central defensive role in place of Adelsbury, while the former Exeter City man’s place in the engine room went to Ryan Brett.

Elsewhere in midfield, there were starts for Adam Porter and Dan Rooney.

Dartford, meanwhile, who have just one victory to their name so far this calendar year, and none for boss Adrian Pennock since appointment in early March, chose former City loan striker Ollie Bray to lead their line.

The Aldershot forward was recalled by the Hampshire side last Friday, only to join the Darts on loan until the end of the season.

With plenty at stake for both sides in their respective quests to retain status as a Step Two club, the opening exchanges were incredibly cagey.

City kept their powder dry until the 29th minute when the ball fell to Brett on the edge of the box, but he could only fire wide.

At the other end, Bray directed a shot just past James Hamon’s post while the Guernsey born gloveman also tipped a header over the bar from his former team mate.

After the turnaround, City had the first sight on goal when Harvey controlled the ball brilliantly on his chest, although his effort towards the goal lacked real power and Byrne held on.

The game then turned in Truro’s favour after 67 minutes when Melhado and Josh Hinds were thrust into the fray, with Porter and Rooney withdrawn.

These changes gave the hosts renewed attacking impetus and shortly after the substitutions, Ed Palmer’s long-range sighter went narrowly wide.

Hinds, who bagged his first City goal against Tonbridge last Saturday, was a real handful for the Dartford rearguard and 14 minutes from time, his persistence resulted in a goalmouth scramble which was hacked clear.

And as the second stanza entered its final stages, City really upped the ante in attack and came really close to the opener 10 minutes from time.

A Brett comer was only half cleared by Dartford and Palmer picked up the scraps. He fizzed the ball across goal to find Harvey, but his effort could only drift agonisingly wide of the target.

Four minutes later and home heads were in their collective hands again, whilst for Dartford, they breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Melhado worked himself into a good position down the right-hand side, with his cross into the corridor of uncertainty heading goalwards, only for Byrne to make a brilliant save.

That was City’s lot from an attacking point of view and despite Harrison’s late heroics, a winning goal from Dartford at that stage would have been a huge injustice.

Another clean sheet and a point closer to safety for Truro, with the only negative for Wotton’s charges being the late withdrawal of Harvey, who hobbled off in some discomfort in stoppage time, casting him as a major doubt for Easter fixtures against Slough and Chippenham.