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So much has changed since FA Vase glory

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

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WAS it really just over five years ago that Truro City skipper Tom Smith lifted the FA Vase at Wembley after that never to be forgotten 3-1 win over AFC Totton before a record crowd of more than 36,000?

Who would have thought then on May 13 2007 – the greatest day in the club's history – that they would now be fighting a battle for survival after going into administration.

And in a remarkable twist of fate, the two teams meet again at Treyew Road this Saturday in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Back then, City enjoyed the best of everything, but now the players are not being paid and every penny counts with time rapidly running for the Blue Square Bet South outfit.

Saturday's tie even hung in the balance until Tuesday, when the FA gave permission for the match to be played.

Worries

There had been worries that they would expel City from the competition following the alleged financial involvement of Salisbury City chairman William Harrison-Allan with Truro earlier in the season, raising the question of dual ownership.

But much to relief of Truro and its long suffering supporters, the game will go ahead, a decision which Gareth Howarth of administrators Walsh Taylor said was a "massive boost" for the club as it desperately tries to stay afloat as a buyer is sought.

He added: "The major source of income is gate money and since we have been appointed we have had only one home match."

A win over the Southern League premier division side would alsdo earn City £4,500 in prize money, though whether the FA would release that money is unclear in view of the club's debts.

But with last Saturday's match against Bromley producing the club's biggest gate of the season – 538 – and fans working tirelessly to raise extra funds, with a bucket collection raising more than £1,200, another game at Treyew Road can only boost the club's hopes of a long term future.

While most of the players have agreed to have their wages deferred until the end of October, skipper Jake Ash believes that the players may not wait until then before quitting.

Mr Howarth said: "For any interested parties having big crowds can only make the club more attractive."

He said that while a number of parties had expressed an interest, none had followed that up, but he was still hopeful a sale could be achieved.

And he was full of praise for the efforts the club's supporters and players had made to try and keep the club afloat. "We have just got to keep the momentum going," he said. "I am hopeful of a positive outcome."

Both skipper Jake Ash and manager Lee Hodges have paid tribute to the effort of the club's fans who plan a race night and auction after Saturday's match as well as other fund raising.

Against Bromley a bucket collection realised more than £1,200.

Hodges said: "They have been unbelievable and I would like to thank them on behalf of the staff and players for all they are doing.

"Their commitment and that of the players has been marvellous. They could not have done any more."

City have five survivors from the final, in Jake Ash, Marcus Martin, Joe Broad, Andy Watkins and Stewart Yetton, while only Mike Gosney and Ross Bottomley still play for Totton.

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  • Sarah_Jones11  |  September 20 2012, 7:22PM

    As its an FA Cup tie they have to share the gate with Totton anyway !

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