Odubade Double Extends Gulls Gloom
Torquay United’s poor run of results continued on their return to Plainmoor, with a 2 – 3 defeat at the hands of Maidstone United. Two goals from Yemi Odubade, one either side of the break, and one from Liam Enver-Marum in the first half gave the visitors all three points, writes SSD’s Matt Green.
Manager Kevin Nicholson made one change from the last fixture with Damon Lathrope replacing Joe Ward in the heart of United’s midfield.
Early pressure from Maidstone saw Enver-Marum and then Kevin Lokko having chances within the opening six minutes before Torquay had their first opportunity, through Lathrope from 12 yards. The visiting supporters didn’t have to wait long for the breakthrough when Aman Verma failed to clear a deep cross, the United man only able to steer the ball into the path of Odubade who finished easily past Brendan Moore from eight yards on 15 minutes. Four minutes later and Maidstone doubled their lead when a flicked header by Alex Flisher, following a free kick by Bobby-Joe Taylor, found its way to Enver-Marum who was unmarked inside the United area. The forward finished low past Moore from close range. Having gifted the visitors a two goal lead, United centre-back Giancarlo Gallifuoco almost got one back, following a Luke Young corner, with a left-foot volley that hit the outside of the post. Maidstone should have had a third on 34 minutes when Dan Sweeney and Taylor combined well and a low cross found Lokko whose effort was saved low down to Moore’s right. Torquay continued to rally and had long-range efforts through Dan Sparkes (35) and Young (37) but neither really tested Lee Worgan in the Maidstone goal. But the home faithful soon did have something to cheer when United found their way back into the game on 38 minutes. A slide rule pass through the middle by Young found Nathan Blissett who finished well with his right foot from 12 yards. Just before the break, Young tried his luck again, this time via a direct free kick that sailed just over the bar from a tight angle following a foul on Sparkes.
Nicholson’s half time team talk must have seemed pointless as the Gulls conceded a third just two minutes into the second period. A poor header by Lathaniel Rowe-Turner fell short of Moore and Odubade had an easy tap in for his second of the game, restoring Maidstone’s two-goal cushion once more. Odubade almost got his third a minute later from the edge of the area but Moore saved well, low to his left. The home side continued to push forward and got their rewards in the 54th minute when Young and Rowe-Turner combined well on the left before the final cross found Blissett. The big centre forward could only scuff his shot but it fell to Sparkes who fired in from just outside the six-yard box. After a strong run from just inside United’s half, just after the hour, Taylor tried to curl a fourth for Maidstone but his effort went just wide. With both managers making changes after the hour mark, the game become fragmented and produced little quality in the final 30 minutes. The home side continued to pressure their opponents for that all-important equaliser but too often the final ball could not be converted. Substitutes Jack Paxman and then Tom Murphy could have sealed victory inside the final ten minutes for the travelling 280 supporters but both finishes lacked the composure required. And they nearly paid for those missed opportunities when Torquay sub Sam Chaney managed to control and then lay the ball off to Sparkes on the edge of the area; but the United man of the match could only steer his effort just wide of the visitors’ goal before the referee blew the final whistle.
This defeat leaves Nicholson’s men with no points from the last nine and 16th in the National League table. United’s next league fixture sees them take the long journey to Gateshead on Saturday 1st October before returning to Plainmoor for the visit of high flying Dagenham and Redbridge on Tuesday 4th October at 7.45pm.
TUFC: Moore, Verma, Gallifuoco, McGinty, Lathrope (Chaney 60), Richards (capt) (Ward 73), Young, Sparkes, Reid (Scrivens 82), Blissett. Subs Not Used: Robba, Gerring.
TUFC Bookings: Richards (62).
Maidstone: Wogan, Mills, Coyle, Lokko, Rogers, Sweeney, Flisher (Paxman 64), Evans, Taylor, Odubade (Greenhalgh 78), Enver-Marum (Murphy 71). Subs Not Used: Acheampong, Mavila.
Maidstone Bookings: Coyle (43), Rogers (62), Paxman (65).
Attendance: 2,026 (280 away).
Referee: Mr S. Allison
MOTM: Sparkes (TUFC)