"TODAY'S game should be a great advert for football."
That was the message from Steve Massey, the Truro City manager, in his programme notes ahead of the meeting with Bideford.
In truth, the eagerly anticipated West Country derby turned out to be a dreadful spectacle.
Not that Sean Joyce and his Bideford players will care about the entertainment value after their excellent start to the Calor League season continued.
A 2-0 victory at the home of their nearest neighbours and the value of three points were what mattered most.
As the young Cornish club failed to rise above the spoiling tactics of the Robins, Joyce defended his team's uncompromising approach.
"It's a local derby," he said. "It's Devon versus Cornwall.
"They say they want to play attractive football. What do we do, stand off and let them play attractive football? We're not here to make friends.
"I'd kick my missus if I had to, to get three points.
"At ten to five you shake hands and forget about it."
For most of the 527 supporters inside Treyew Road, the game will be instantly forgettable.
Time-wasting, misplaced passes and players harassing the referee demanding yellow cards for opponents, ensured it was not an afternoon for the football purist.
But the fans from North Devon will savour the game's only two real moments of quality in the final third.
Craig Duff again showed what an astute summer signing he has been with a neat finish to open the scoring on 39 minutes.
And substitute Richard Groves settled the match with a trademark free kick three minutes from time.
A red card for Dan Evans, the Truro defender, for bringing down Owen Howe with 12 minutes to go summed up the frustrations of the home side.
If Bideford could be accused of being a soft touch on the road during last season's woeful away run, they appear to be made of sterner stuff now.
Playing with togetherness and resilience, they are four games unbeaten and sixth in the Premier Division.
Owen Howe and Duff both played with injuries and the set back of losing two key attacking players did not deter them. Saul Halpin was only fit enough for a place on the bench after picking up a groin injury in the draw with Biggleswade Town and Sean Downing was ruled out with a knee injury.
"Do you risk Sean when he's 60 per cent fit?" said Joyce. "No because you don't want to lose him for three of four games.
"The way they were set up in the first half, I think we would have murdered them if Saul Halpin and Sean Downing had got at them in the wide areas."
Instead, Biddy went with a more defensive line-up with first starts of the season for Matt Hockley, the captain, in midfield and Rob Farkins, playing in a back-three with Jack Furzer and Ben Gerring.
Kevin Squire had an early opportunity for the visitors, linking with Howe only to lift his shot over from close range.
Truro went close when a cross-shot from Cody Cooke had to be pushed away by goalkeeper Steve Oliver.
With the hosts playing a narrow four-man midfield and Bideford using five across the park, at times the centre of the pitch was more congested than the bank holiday traffic.
It was hard not to have sympathy for referee Steve Annis as the game slipped into a tedious pattern – player commits foul; referee gives free kick; other team moans at referee.
Finally, a rare pocket of space opened up as Farkins made a dash out of defence for the opening goal. Hockley clipped the ball in behind Raiff Gwinnett, the former Bideford full-back, and Duff calmly buried his second goal since signing from Weymouth.
Truro attempted to raise the tempo in the second half but the strength of Farkins, Furzer and Gerring, who was relishing the battle against his former club, kept them out.
When a counter-attack from Howe was ended with a foul from Evans, the defender was dismissed and with him went Truro's hopes of salvaging a point.
Howe almost snatched the second goal, firing a speculative effort against the underside of the bar while Squire's follow-up was smothered by goalkeeper Luke Payne.
Then Groves swept a free kick past the wall and low into the corner to seal the win.
Joyce praised his players for grinding out the win.
"We have come down and proved what we are about," he said.
"It's just a professional game plan. Going away, being hard to beat. Slowing things down when you need to. Speeding things up when you need to.
"It's a scrappy game and they are moaning about this and that. I'm not here to entertain their fans.
"At my own ground I want to entertain. Away from home you grind it out and do what you can."