Classic Game of Two Halves at Plainmoor
It was a game of two halves at Plainmoor on Saturday afternoon for Torquay United in the Emirates FA Cup Fourth qualifing round, as United drew 1 – 1 with league rivals Woking writes SSD’s Matt Green.
Torquay manager Kevin Nicholson was forced into changing his starting eleven following loan signing Jamie Reid being ineligible for the FA Cup, Brett Williams replacing him. In addition, Aman Verma replaced Jo Ward at right-back following his return from injury.
With the game only two minutes old, Sam Chaney had the first effort for United, a strike from 25 yards that just sailed over the bar. The home faithful however, only had to wait a couple more minutes before the opening goal, Luke Young striking right-footed from the right angle of the 18 yard box, following a poor clearance by Ismail Yakubu. With United clearly on top, Chaney again tried his luck from distance, this time with his left foot on ten minutes. Chike Kandi almost got the equaliser on 13 minutes from a Jake Caprice cross from the right but the effort went just wide of Brendan Moore’s left hand post. Moore then had a few moments that had the home fans worried before producing a fine one-handed save from the diving head of Charlie Carter in the 22nd minute after a great cross by Kandi, again from the Woking right. Moore was again in trouble in the 26th minute coming for a ball he did not make and Lathaniel Rowe-Turner was forced into clearing away the danger. A Young corner was met by the head of Giancarlo Gallifuoco in the 31st minute but the United center back’s attempt went narrowly wide. A minute later Young almost got his second from nearly 40 yards out. The home side then produced some fine play on 37 minutes, Williams holding the ball up well for Young to run on to and strike from the edge of the area, Brendon Hall parring the effort away for a corner with Chaney bearing down on him. Having survived a number of scares Torquay should have been two up at the break after a fine dead ball cross from the right touch-line by Young was somehow not converted by three onrushing United plays from just outside the six yard box.
Ten minutes into the second half and Woking manager Gary Hill decided to make a double substitution with Anthony Edgar and former QPR player Frankie Sutherland replacing Kandi and Fabio Saraiva respectively. Keiran Murtagh then tested Moore from the edge of the area with the home ‘keeper needing two attempts to gather the ball before, at the other end, Verma saw a header go just wide from a Young corner. On 59 minutes, Williams shot from distance and forced a low save from Hall, who pushed it around the post for a corner. Edgar’s low cross, just past the hour, should have resulted in an easy tap in for one of the visitors’ forwards but Courtney Richards managed to clear the ball at the far post for a corner as United lived dangerously once more. Gozie Ugwu was then through on goal in the 71st minute with only a last ditch tackle from Sean McGinty saving a probable equaliser when the Woking substitute only had Moore to beat. Woking’s deserved equaliser came with ten minutes to go in the game when Ugwu forced Gallifuoco into a mistake and the lively sub Edgar finished well from 16 yards with his right foot low into the left corner. The visitors were now clearly on top and that man Edgar had two golden chances to put them into the pot for the next round but firstly Moore saved well, diving low to his right in the 84th minute and then, two minutes later, Edgar produced a fine effort from the edge of the area that just went over United’s bar. Nicholson’s men had a rare second half effort on goal in the 90th minute through a Nathan Blissett header, following another Young corner, but the chance went high over the bar.
Both teams will go again on Tuesday night with the winners booking their place in the first round proper, before Torquay return to league action against Aldershot a Plainmoor on Saturday 22nd October.
TUFC: Moore, Verma (Ward 65), Gallifuoco, McGinty, Rowe-Turner, Lathrope, Richards (capt), Young, Chaney, Williams (Chamberlain 88), Blissett.
Subs Not Used: Robba, Stewart, Nicholson, Ambalu.
TUFC Bookings: Richards (77).
Woking: Hall, Caprice, Saah, Yakubu, Ralph, Saraiva (Sutherland 55), Murtagh, Carter, Lewis, Kandi (Edgar 55), Sam-Yorke (Ugwu 65) .
Subs Not Used: Terry, Jones, Kretzscmar.
Woking Bookings: None.
Attendance: 1,348 (48 away).
Referee: Mr D Treleaven
MOTM: Sean McGinty (TUFC).