Blissett Spot Kick Pegs Back Classy Pilgrims
Torquay United 1 – 1 Plymouth Argyle
Torquay United continued their pre-season campaign back at Plainmoor on Saturday afternoon with a fixture against last season’s league two play-off finalists Plymouth Argyle writes SSD’s Matt Green.
It was a clear step up in class for Kevin Nicholson’s team following wins against Stoke Gabriel and Saltash United. United’s manager named what could be most of his starting eleven for the Gulls’ first league fixture which kicks of on the 6th August.
The home side started brightly with Nathan Blissett having an early opportunity after only a couple of minutes but the Gulls’ forward couldn’t make a clean contact with the ball and Argyle cleared upfield. The visitors’ first opportunity came in the 10th minute when Jimmy Spencer turned well on the edge of the area but fired weakly and Brendan Moore in the United goal saved easily. Two minutes later, Plymouth’s David Goodwillie created an opening for himself with a good turn into the area and struck the ball well with his left foot but Moore was again able to save well. Luke Young then brought a low save from Luke McCormick, in the 13th minute, the midfielder shooting from outside the area with the keeper diving to his left. Argyle then showed their class and started to take control of the game, almost taking the lead with a couple of decent chances. First, Graham Carey fired over from outside the box, on 22 minutes, before Spencer saw his right-footed effort well saved by Moore, just three minutes later. Nicholson’s men then regrouped and had a couple of half chances themselves: Young swung in a corner that fell to Blissett whose effort was blocked before the ball then fell to Courtney Richards; but he shot over from 12 yards. Blissett then found himself wide but, with some fine skill, cut in from the left and tried his luck on the edge of the box with his right foot; again the experienced McCormick was equal to the effort. Carey and Spencer linked up well on the edge of the area on 36 minutes for Plymouth before the Argyle number ten dragged his shot wide of the target. The visitors did manage to take a 1 -0 advantage into the break though when, in the 43rd minute, a Carey corner from the right managed to find Goodwillie and his fortunate touch guided the ball into the Gulls’ net. How much the Argyle man was aware of his effort only he will know.
Argyle started quickly in the second half and, with only two minutes gone, almost got their second when Spencer’s shot came off Angus MacDonald’s foot and struck the post before going out for an Argyle corner. Then Torquay were presented with a way back when half time substitute Sam Chaney latched on to a poor backpass in the 53rd minute before being brought down by McCormick as he nipped the ball past the visitors’ ‘keeper. Blissett stepped up and made it all square from the spot with a low right-footed shot into the left corner. Argyle nearly retook the lead a minute later though when Spencer tried his luck from the edge of the area but his shot loped over the bar off Sean McGintey and out for a corner. The resultant corner then gave Carey the opportunity to curl the ball left footed from the edge of the area but his effort went just over. At the other end, United’s Blissett controlled well on the edge of the area before turning and firing towards goal only for McCormick to tip the ball over his bar in the 63rd minute. Minutes later, Young saw his right-footed curling effort narrowly miss the target after some clever play on the edge of the area by the former Argyle man. A flurry of substitutions from both sides, just after the 70th minute, disrupted the game for a while but chances fell to both sides to win the game before the end. Argyle sub Jordan Slew almost got the second for Plymouth in the 77th minute but his attempt from the left proved to be from too tight an angle. Chaney and fellow sub Jamie Chamberlain, who scored both goals against Stoke, linked well with three minutes to go but a low cross into the six-yard box could not be turned in from Charlie Duke at the far post. Finally, in added time, Slew cut in from the right and hit a powerful shot towards goal but the United substitute keeper Cory Harvey got down well too to make the save.
United now move on to an away fixture tomorrow night, against Tiverton Town, while their next home fixture is against Bath City on 29th July .
TUFC: Moore (Harvey 72), Verma (Dollery 69), MacDonald, McGinty, Rowe-Turner (Nicholson 76), Lathrope (Mitchell 72), Young (Duke 72), Richards, Sparkes, Blissett (Chamberlain 72), Mohammed (Chaney 45).
TUFC Bookings: None.
Attendance: 2,474 (1,220 Away).