Bath Super-Subs Earn Visitors Share of the Spoils
Torquay United 4 – 4 Bath City
Torquay United continued their pre-season campaign with a home fixture against Conference South side Bath City and the 599 supporters inside the stadium where entertained with a 4 – 4 draw. writes SSD’s Matt Green.
United manager Kevin Nicholson was without skipper Angus MacDonald as speculation circled that the player is about to move on from Plainmoor; Nicholson selected Courtney Richards as his captain in MacDonald’s absence.
It was the visitors who dominated the majority of the first half, having the greater position and goal-scoring opportunities. Marvin Morgan and Andy Watkins had the best chances for City in the early stages, both making Brendan Moore work in the united goal. The Gulls then saw Dan Sparkes place a free-kick from just outside the area over the bar before Lathrope tried his luck from 25 yards, with Steven Phillips saving well from the United midfielder. Watkins again came close in the 16th minute when his left footed strike saw Moore make a low save from a tight angle, pushing the ball out for a corner. A minute later the first of the eight goals came from Bath’s George Rigg. The player finished well after a deep cross from Stuart Fleetwood found Watkins at the far post, the winger guided his header back across the box and into the path of Rigg who finished the move off, scoring in the bottom right hand corner. Watkins then had a header on the half hour go close before the visitors had a golden opportunity to go into the break two goals up in the 40th minute; however, Fleetwood could not find the finish that Morgan’s through-ball had deserved and Moore again made the save. Then, with the half nearing its end, Torquay somehow managed to turn their goal deficit into a 2-1 lead! First, Nicholson shot left-footed from 25 yards with Richards’ follow-up pushed away for a corner. Luke Young delivered the corner well, finding the head of Ben Gerring at the near post – 1-1! A minute later, Moore sent a route one ball over the Bath defence for Sparkes to run on to and finish coolly past the onrushing Phillips – 2-1 to United at the break!
After the break, Bath again started brightly, creating another chance for Fleetwood but, as in the first half, Moore was equal to the challenge. Torquay then started to turn the screw and a Sparkes corner in the 51st minute found Sean McGinty whose header clipped the upright before going to safety. Two minutes later United got their third: this time a Young corner found Aman Verna and his clever header beat the man on the post to find the roof of the net. The changes on the hour then came thick and fast from both dugouts and it was two of United’s that combined well, three minutes after coming on, to give the Gulls a 4-1 lead. Sam Chaney and WBA trialist Chay Scrivens produced a neat one-two just outside the area before the United number 7 (Chaney) finished the move well, firing across the goal from inside the box and into the far corner. With more changes and a three goal cushion you would have expected the game to slowly come to an end with United celebrating a win – but no. Instead, the visitors got back to level things up with three goals in a six minute spell. Again it was the subs that got in on the act, Josh Hutchinson scoring twice (66, 70) and then Nick McCootie (73) finishing off the flurry of goals. It has to be said that United’s defending helped the visitors out but it was nothing more than their overall play had deserved during the 90 minutes.
Torquay will now prepare for the visit of Premiership side West Brom on Monday night, at Plainmoor, and it will be interesting to see if MacDoanald is still part of the Gulls set up for that fixture.
TUFC: Moore, Verma (Hancox 72), McGinty, Gerring, Nicholson (Chaney 60), Lathrop (Duke 72), Young (Mitchell 72), Richards (Capt) (Scrivens 60), Sparkes, Blissett (Chamberlain 72), Williams (Reid 60).
TUFC Bookings: None.