TUFC 2 V 3 Grimsby Twn
Torquay United fell to their first home defeat of this campaign on saturday afternoon at the Launa Windows Stadium, losing a frantic game 3-2 against Grimsby Town.
United manager Chris Hargreaves made two changes to his starting eleven from the last game, bring back the defensive pairing of Aaron Downes and Angus MacDonald, after both players had finished recent suspensions. Courtney Richards also moved back into his more familiar role of centre midfield after a very brief stint as a centre back during the away trip to Alfreton.
The match started well for United with the Gulls creating a number of chances in the opening 10 minutes, in fact Downs could have headed United in front in the first minute when an in swinging corner from Luke Young was met well by the centre half but his effort was cleared off the line.
Young himself then had two direct free kick’s from the left that tested McKeown in visitors goal but on both accessions he did well to scramble to his left to push the ball away. Ryan Bowman then tried turn his luck in the 4th minute, with a great drive from the edge of the box, after some good build up through the midfield but as with the earlier efforts, Grimsby’s keeper made a strong save.
Bowman on 25 minutes had another chance to open the score and get the goal his performance was deserving but the point blank effort a few yards out was blocked on the line before being cleared by Scott Brown, how much the defender know about his saving block no one will know but it was another great chance that eventually would cost Torquay the victory.
Grimsby themselves had a couple of chance to take the lead during United’s dominance but efforts from Parslow and John-Lewis where saved by Martin Rice. However with 6 minutes remaining in the half it was John-Lewis opened the scoring for the visitors with a fine right footed shot that went into the bottom right corner of Rice’s net, after a cross from Scott Neilson.
If there’s one thing about the Gulls this season, they keep going and in Young they have a leader who can change a game in seconds. Good work from Ajala led to the player being fouled on the edge of the Grimsby’s box to the right of the goal and there was only one man who was going to have the strike from the direct free kick. Young decided to place his effort across the wall and into the left hand side of the visitors net, giving the keeper no chance.
United would have been pleased to have levelled the scores up at half time, after having the better of the possession, but defensive frailties showed up again right on the half time whistle when Rice and Downes did not take control of a situation that lead to Craig Disley nipping in between them both and sliding the ball into an empty net.
After the break United had an early chance from Briscoe, again after strong work from the skipper Young who won his challenge and cut the ball back to his teammate but Briscoe’s strike from the edge of the box only found the side netting.
The Gulls then managed to tie the game up once more, just after the hour mark, with Downs heading the equaliser down from just inside the box and the ball bounced over the man on the line and into the top left hand corner.
Hargreaves men again then let the lead slip 9 minutes later when John-Lewis got his second of the match with a header that was directed straight a Rice. The United keeper however let the ball go underneath him and his desperate attempt to pull the ball back was adjudged to have crossed the line by the referee’s assistant on the nearside.
This time there was no way back for Torquay as the visitors held on to claim the points, even with Courtny Richards last gasp attempt from 30 yards just going over the bar.
Following the final whistle United’s manager told the press “if you can’t get consistency from players, then you need to make changes”, so it will be interesting to see who starts the next game in the FA Cup away to Aldershot Town. One change that has been enforced on the manager is his captain Luke Young, who will serve a one match ban after picking up his 5th booking of the season.
TUFC: Rice, Tonge, Cruise, Downes, MacDonald, Ajala (Chapell 82), Young (Capt), Richards, Cameron (Ofori-Acheampong 56), Briscoe, Bowman
Subs Not Used: Seabright, Pearce, Wakefield
Bookings: Tonge, Young
Grimsby Town: McKeown, Magnay, Thomas, Nsiala, Doig, Brown (McLaughlin 79), Disley (Capt), Parslow, Neilson (Arnold 74), Mackreth, John-Lewis
Subs Not Used: Bignot, Hannah, Oates
Bookings: Doig, Disley
Attendance: 2,353 (257 Away)
Referee: Richard Martin