Blissett Double Puts Torquay Back on Track
Torquay United got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory at home against York City on Saturday afternoon, Nathan Blissett getting both goals in the first half and leaving the visitors still looking for their first away victory in over a year. writes SSD’s Matt Green.
Gulls manager Kevin Nicholson kept the same starting eleven as in the previous game against Lincoln; the only change was on the bench where keeper Jamie Robba returned from international duty with Gibraltar.
United started brightly with Luke Young placing a direct free kick just over the bar in the opening couple of minutes after Dan Sparkes had been fouled by former United man Simon Heslop. However, the home supporters didn’t have to wait long for the opening goal. Sparkes and Jamie Ried combined well on the edge of the area before Reid saw his effort saved low to the keeper’s left. The resulting corner found its way back out to Sparkes who delivered a fine cross for Blissett to head in, unmarked, on six minutes. The visitors thought they’d found their equaliser on 15 minutes when Richard Brodie’s effort, from the edge of the area, hit the post but the follow-up from Aidan Connelly was disallowed for offside. Torquay continued to press and had half-chances through skipper Courtney Richards (24) and then Reid (26). York’s Connelly then saw his header saved by Brendan Moore on 28 minutes. A minute before the half hour, Blissett got his and Torquay’s second. Aman Verma produced a deep cross from the right which Sparkes headed back across the six-yard box for United’s number nine to volley in right-footed. York then had Heslop trying his luck from outside the area, following a corner by the visitors, but his effort sailed high over the bar. Blissett almost completed his hat-trick inside the opening 40 minutes but his close range effort was blocked from inside the six-yard box after a driving run and cross from Lathaniel Rowe-Turner.
Three minutes into the second half and Sparkes saw his effort from the edge of the area go through the hands of Kyle Letheren in the York goal but the ‘keeper recovered just before the ball crossed the goal-line, much to his relief. On the hour, Joe Ward went close from distance after cutting in from the left but Letheren was equal to the effort, tipping it over his bar. Just after the hour, Nicholson introduced Brett Williams for the impressive Reid and then Sam Chaney replaced Ward in the United midfield. Following the home side’s substitutions, York came back into the game with first Kaine Felix and then Matt Fry testing Moore, the United number one having to produce two fine saves to preserve the two goal cushion. The home side did almost wrap things up when Chaney broke down the left and found Sparkes who cut the ball back from the by-line but Williams could not find the finishing touch as the York defenders crowded him out. City continued to push for that all-important goal and it should have come from striker Scott Fenwick in the 83rd minute but a poor cross from Felix saw another chance go begging for City. A minute later, Richard Brodie had a chance blocked before Matty Dixon hit the bar from a tight angle with two minutes to play. Torquay’s third substitute Chay Scrivens then showed some skills to run clear of his marker on the right before producing a cross that just ran agonisingly past Luke Young who could not get that final touch.
United now go back on their travels for their next two fixtures. Tuesday night sees them visit Woking (7.45pm kick-off) and then on to Boreham Wood next Saturday.
TUFC: Moore, Verma, Gallifuoco, McGinty, Rowe-Turner, Ward (Chaney 63), Richards (capt), Young, Sparkes (Scrivens 78), Reid (Williams 62), Blissett. Subs Not Used: Robba, Gerring.
TUFC Bookings: Richards (90).
York: Letheren, Rooney, Higgins, Fry, Whittle, Connolly (Felix 46), Heslop (capt), Dixon, Klukowski (Walton 56), Fenwick (Johnson 84), Brodie. Subs Not Used: Clappison, Simpson.
Lincoln Bookings: Brodie (90).
Attendance: 1,989 (132 away).
Referee: Mr C. Hatzidakis
MOTM: Blissett (TUFC)