Last Gasp Lincoln Snatch Point from Gulls
Having produced a fine defensive display in the final quarter of this entertaining fixture, Torquay United finally succumbed to a stoppage time winner from Matt Rhead. writes SSD’s Matt Green.
United had their moments to continue a fine run of results over the Bank Holiday period, even though they got off to the worst possible start when, after only three minutes, Gaincarlo Gallifuoco mis-timed a tackle inside the area and the referee pointed to the spot. It was Rhead who stepped up and slotted the ball past Brendan Moore.
Kevin Nicholson had made one change from the Braintree victory, bringing back Courtney Richards for Sam Chaney who started on the bench. Richards was in the thick of the action and produced a fine block to deny Lincoln going two up early on. The home side had their own chances early on with Nathan Blissett pulling a shot just wide after Jamie Reid had flicked a fine ball on. Moore then released Reid on 12 minutes with a long throw which the United forward ran half the length of the pitch for before cutting inside and seeing his strike blocked by the visitors ‘keeper and going out for a corner. Reid again had a half chance a minute later after some good work on the left flank by Joe Ward and Dan Sparkes. The home side were now clearly on top and deserved their equaliser in the 21st minute. Gallifuoco, making amends for his earlier mistake, glanced a deep Sparkes corner from the right in at the far post. Luke Young and Reid combined well just before the half hour before Young dug out an effort that just went over the bar. Blissett and then Young both had further efforts before a Sean McGinty free kick picked out Gallifuoco again but the centre-back’s effort was just over the bar. Lincoln finished the half as they had started the game with pressure on the Gulls’ goal, Adam Marriott going closest after full-back Sam Habergham produced a fine cross from the left, the forward stabbing his effort just wide.
The second half, in the most part, mirrored the first. Lincoln started well and dominated the early stages with Sean Raggett and Marriott having efforts on the United goal. Torquay then controlled the game and had their own chances with Ward going close from distance on a couple of occasions before Reid beat Paul Farman in the visitors’ goal, his effort clipping the bar on its way over. Blissett then tried his luck from just inside the area but his left-footed strike went wide on 69 minutes. With the wind blowing towards the Babbacombe end, Lincoln came back into the game and had a sustained amount of pressure in the last ten minutes which pinned Torquay back in their own half. However, United dealt with everything City could throw at them – that was, until the 93rd minute!
With Torquay on a rare attack in the closing moments, the ball fell kindly for Lincoln and they broke down the left and managed to get a cross in from the by-line that found Rhead at the far post. The City man rose higher than Lathaniel Rowe-Turner to find the back of the net from close range and send the 173 Lincoln fans away very happy.
The Gulls’ next fixture sees them with another home game against York on Saturday 10th September, KO 3pm.
TUFC: Moore, Verma, Gallifuoco, McGinty, Rowe-Turner, Ward (Scrivens 94), Richards (capt), Young, Sparkes (Chaney 86), Reid, Blissett (Williams 94). Subs Not Used: Chamberlain, Gerring.
TUFC Bookings: Young (68), Gallifuoco (79).
Lincoln: Farman, Beevers, Waterfall (capt), Wood, Raggett, Habergham, Anderson (Hawkridge 56), Woodyard, Arnold (Power 94), Marriott (Bonne 75), Rhead. Subs Not Used: McCombe, Walker.
Lincoln Bookings: Wood (76).
Attendance: 2,061 (173 away).
Referee: Mr C. Hicks
MOTM: Ward (TUFC)