TUFC 1 V 1 Aldershot Twn
Torquay United ended the August bank holiday period with a second draw in three days, this time to Aldershot Town.
United manager Chris Hargreaves made 2 changes from the side that drew 0-0 on Saturday against Dartford for the August bank holiday fixture at home to Aldershot Town. Levi Ives was brought in for his league debut in place of Tom Cruise at left back and Jordan Chapell on the right of midfield replacing Louis Briscoe.
The first half was only 3 minutes old when a foul on Toby Ajala saw Courntey Cameron wiped in a left footed freekick from the right hand side. His in swinging kick deceived everyone and floated into the bottom left hand corner of the Shots goal, giving the Gulls the early lead Hargreaves was hoping for before the game.
The remaining 42 minute of the half saw chances come and go for both sides. Aldershot had the better possession and looked very dangerous from set plays. Brett Williams in particular had a great chance to level proceedings on 14 minutes when a free kick from the left saw Williams flicked effort narrowly going wide of the Gulls near post, then right on the stroke of half time another dead ball chance went flashing across the United six yard box with no Aldershot player able to get onto the end of a great cross.
United’s chance all fell the way of Ofori-Acheampong, the best of which saw his right footed effort from the edge of the six yard box blocked on the line by Sam Hatton, after good work on the right from Chapell. The striker then saw a rasping 25 yard strike sting the hands of the Shots keeper Phil Smith before the ball was cleared.
United’s defence remained strong in the half with fantastic challenges from the central paring of Downes and MacDonald during the half, the duo impression with the experienced Krystian Pearce waiting in the wings for his opportunity this season after recovering from his ankle injury during pre-season.
Neither manager made changes at half time but it was the 60th minute sub from Aldershot Joseph N’Guessan who got the visitors back on level terms on 71st minute. The Shots front man driving into the Gulls box from the right hand side and firing a low strike across the six yard box and into the back of the net at the far post.
A minute earlier United could have increased their lead when United sub Louis Briscoe managed to get the ball over to the onrushing Ofori-Acheampong but the forwards outstretched left leg couldn’t make contact with the ball and the chance had gone.
The second half followed a similar patten to the first, with Aldershot having a greater share of the ball but creating little in the way of clear cut chances, while the Gulls pushed for that all important winner to kick start their season.
Young and Chapell both had half chances to get that all important goal for United, while Scott went very close for Aldershot with a powerful 20 yard strike that had Rice punching away clear of his goal with three Aldershot players coming in, just in case of any errors from the United kepper.
With 2 minutes to go of the 90, united should have taken all 3 points. Great work from Chapell on the right saw his low cross find Cameron but his left footed effort sliced off his boot and wide of the goal leaving United’s manager Hargreaves holding his head as another chance went begging from his young team.
After the final whistle both managers where happy to take a point but both felt that their teams had missed the opportunity to take all three.
Chris Hargreaves told the waiting media “The lads have put a great shift in today with only 24 hours rest from Saturday’s fixture away to Dover. I can’t fault their attitude or desire during the 90 minutes, it’s just a shame we where unable to get that vital second goal that would have given us a cushion for the remainder of the half”. United’s manager also praised the fantastic support “The fans really are getting behind this young side and thats great to see”.
Torquay now travel to Lincoln City on Saturday before their next home game in the league against Nuneaton Town on September 8th.
TUFC: Rice, Tonge, Ives, Downes, MacDonald, Chapell, Young (Capt), Richards (Wakefield 78), Cameron, Ofori-Acheampong (Sullivan 86), Ajala (Briscoe 64)
Subs Not Used: Seabright, Pearce
Aldershot: Smith, Gibbs, Tonkin (N’Guessan 60), Oastler, Wilson (Capt), Roberts, Lathrope, Forbes, Hatton, Williams (Fitchett 60), Scott (Molesley 80)
Subs Not Used: Thomas, Derry
Referee: Justin Amey
Attendance: 2,135 (293 Away)