A goal from Maidenhead substitute Anthony Thomas sent Truro City crashing to their fourth straight defeat in the Conference South on Saturday.

The result has dropped Truro City to 13th in the table and the early season optimism, that had greeted Truro’s first three victories in the league, has been replaced by a fear that the White Tigers could struggle this season.

And while there was an improved performance from the home side, when compared to recent defeats to Havant and Waterlooville and Dorchester, a lapse in concentration at the start of the second half coupled with an inability to finish off a number of chances cost Truro City dear.

In the Zameretto Southern League premier division last season a performance like this would have no doubt seen Truro take all three points, but as Lee Hodges' men have found so far, in this league the opposition are more clinical up front and less charitable at the back.

City made a couple of changes to the starting line-up dropping the out-of-form Ed Palmer to the bench, to be replaced by Scott Walker, and recalling fit again Andy Watkins to partner Barry Hayles up front. Les Afful, who was making his 100th appearance for the club, started wide on the left.

And it was Afful who provided the first opportunity of he match as he fed a ball into Marcus Martin who, from a tight angle, curled a right-foot shot inches wide of the post.

Daniel Brown went just a close at the other end, with 12 minutes played, as he hit a half volley from the edge of the box, which had Tim Sandercombe grasping at thin air.

However, it was Truro City who had the majority of the first half possession and territory, with their opponents only threatening, through the lively Manny Williams, on the counter-attack on a couple of occasions.

Having said that Truro didn’t trouble Billy Lumley in the visitors' goal either. When they did look like they were about to open up the Maidenhead defence they were either impeded by their opponents or delivered a poor final pass.

Again it was Afful who went the closest, but his speculative 25-yard volley whistled past the post.

Disaster then struck City five minutes into the second half as Williams shimmied his was past a static Arran Pugh on the edge of the box before sliding a ball to Martel Powell. The former MK Dons player, having managed to find space in the box as full back Scott Walker was dragged in to cover Pugh, then placed a shot inside Sandercombe’s near post from eight yards out.

Truro’s response was positive though as they sent men forward in search of an equaliser. It was a gung-ho approach, which almost back fired as Alex Wall first tested Sandercombe with a shot from the edge of the box and then was inches away from getting on the end of a Williams ball across the six-yard box.

However, Lee Hodges’ gamble paid off as Jake Ash was tripped as he attempted to bustle his way into the opposition box. Walker stepped up to take the free-kick and smacked a shot against the inside of the post. Thankfully for the home side the ball fell kindly to Hayles six-yards out and he was left with a simple tap-in.

The goal transformed City, who from then on looked the more likely team to grab a winner.

Pugh and Ash both sent headers narrowly off-target for Truro as the home side continued to send numbers forward for every set piece. Maidenhead on the other hand seemed in no rush to take an 81st minute corner - an indication that perhaps the Berkshire side had already settled for a point.

But Truro found out just how cruel this new league can be when following a corner, from a deflected Walker shot, Maidenhead broke quickly to grab an 86th-minute winner.

City had left just three defender back on the half way line and when the ball broke to Brown on the edge of the Maidenhead box the opposition worked the ball quickly to Thomas on the right wing and he squared up to a back-pedalling Barry McConnell before curling an effort round him and into the bottom right and corner of Sandercombe’s goal.

Truro City: Tim Sandercombe, Barry McConnell, Scott Walker, Arran Pugh, Steve Adams, Jake Ash (c), Andrew Taylor, Marcus Martin, Andrew Watkins, Barry Hayles, Les Afful. Substitutes: Ed Palmer, Danny Clay, Joe Broad, Dan Smith, Stewart Yetton.