TUFC 3 v 3 Forest Green Rovers
Torquay United surrendered a two goal lead twice in this entertaining fixture against Forest Green Rovers, at the Launa Windows Stadium, with both sides taking a point in a 3 – 3 result.
Chris Hargreaves stuck with the starting eleven that brought an end to a bad run of results for the Gulls for Saturday’s fixture against Rovers, after their 3-2 victory away at Barnet on Tuesday night but his side could not take all 3 points this time out.
United took the lead as early as the 3rd minute when Ryan Bowman reacted first to Courtney Cameroon’s left foot strike from the edge of the area that was blocked but the ball spooned up and Bowman managed to head the ball over the keeper while facing the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Louis Briscoe then tried his luck from fully 30 yards after 9 minutes but his right footed strike went narrowly wide of Rovers goal.
On 15 minutes United had another great chance to extend their lead when Biscoe showed great strength to hold off his marker on the right flank and then have the awareness to pick out Ajala on the edge of the box but the young Gull decided to try and take on one man to many when a first time effort on goal could have given Torquay that second goal, leaving Hargreaves frustrated on the dugout.
However Ajala made amends 3 minutes later when he robed the full back on the edge of the area and powered into the box before cooly sliding the ball past Russell in the visitors goal.
Forest Green then came back into the half in the final quarter with a good free kick from Marcus Kelly before Lee Hughes had two half chances on Martin Rice’s goal. Rovers deserved their goal in the 38th minute when Elliott Frear produced a great in-swinging diagonal cross that was met by Kurtis Guthrie who was able to steer the ball into United’s net, as the heavy rain began to fall at the Launa Windows Stadium.
United started the second half in the same manner as the first with chances falling the way of the Gulls front men before just after the hour Ajala doubled his tally for the day and gave United their third. The goal came from a corner from the left by Young, who’s 25 yard effort had been tipped over by Russell in the Rovers goal, leading up to the in-swininging corner. Bowman right footed side foot shot into the keeper (52). Bowman then taken off injured??? and replaced by Ofori-Acheampong. Young 30 yards good right footed strike just wide of Rovers left hand post with the keeper beaten 57 mins. Young just outside the box good save from Russell 60 mins tipped over for a United corner. Briscoe 62 mins right footed strike blocked out for a corner young corner Downes header saved by Russell before Ajala followed up to score his second and Torquay’s third.
Forest Green then got themselves back into the game with a fearce 25 yard direct free kick that was driven hard and straight into the United goal, giving the United keeper no chance. Two minutes later Forest Green where back on level terms when Hughes, from the right, whipped in a cross that found Guthrie in the middle, who let the pass of the ball flick off his boot and send the ball spinning over rice and into the far side of United’s goal.
Downes header unmarked 85 mins. 40 yuard run Guthrie 87. Right at the end with ijury time nearly up United’s Captain Young almost pulled another winner out of the bag but his driven shot was saved well and Ajala could not convert the rebound with his chance going wide of the goal.
TUFC: Rice, Berry, Cruise, Downes, MacDonald, Ajala, Young (Capt), Richards, Cameron (Thompson 77), Briscoe (Yeoman 86), Bowman (Ofori-Acheampong 53)
Subs Not Used: Seabright, Odofin
Forest Green: Russell, Bennett, Kelly, Coles (Capt), Oshodi, Frear (Jolley 65), Kamdjo, Sinclair, Norwood, Hughes, Guthrie
Subs Not Used: White, Pipe, Oliver, Parkin
Bookings: Oshodi, Bennett
Attendance: 2,117 (168 Away)
Referee: Nicholas Kinseley