When Truro City swept to the top of the National League (South) during a run of eight successive victories in September they became the highest ranked Cornish club ever. As one excited supporter noted at the time - being top of the league meant they were technically only one place behind Torquay.
October has not been so kind however. A disappointing home draw with Hampton & Richmond was followed by their first defeat in twelve games (1-2 at Wealdstone). Last Saturday they warmed up for their trip to The Valley with another disappointing stumble at home (1-1 with Bognor Regis Town). They are still in the play-off places but now trail league leaders Dartford by four points, albeit with a game in hand. They sit one place above Welling United.
They progressed through the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup by beating AFC Portchester 2-0 and AFC Sudbury 4-1. In the final qualifying round they travelled to Hampton & Richmond and beat them 2-0 with a brace from the superbly named Noah Keats. In reaching the first round proper they famously became the first Cornish club to do so since Falmouth Town forty eight years ago. This meant they had achieved what Penzance, Wadebridge Town, Bodmin Town, St Austell and St Blazey had never achieved. Captain Ben Gerring (a "no-nonsense defender") said on the club's website :"To get a trip to Charlton is brilliant for everyone involved with the club and Cornwall as a whole".
We trust that Charlton supporters will be generous in their welcome to the players and supporters making the long journey up from the south west for the 2pm kick off on Sunday. It will not be a surprise if the away supporters make up almost a quarter of the attendance and more than half the noise. The Charlton players will need to avoid complacency. For every Harlow and Tonbridge there is a Dagenham & Redbridge or, even worse, a Northwich Victoria.
I look forward to seeing Noah Keates and his midfield partner River Allen. We haven't seen a River on the Valley turf since the abandoned game against Doncaster in August 2013.