TUFC v Rochdale
Torquay United recorded a massive three points at Plainmoor on Tuesday night with a deserved 2-1 victory against promotion-chasing Rochdale.
United’s Joss Labadie struck the winning goal, on 81 minutes: after Jayden Stockley’s far post header had been well-saved by Dale’s keeper Josh Lillis, the ball dropped nicely for Labadie who fired a right-foot strike into the net from close range.
The winner, with nine minutes left on the clock, was nothing more than Chris Hargreaves’ side had deserved.
All night, United battled for each other. The fight and never-give-up attitude that Hargreaves had spoken about after the defeat to Fleetwood Town two days earlier was very evident.
Right from the first whistle, Torquay pressed and harried Rochdale and clearly had the better of the opening 15 minutes.
Elliot Benyon had the first chance inside five minutes. A cross from the left by the recalled Courtney Cameron, wasn’t cleared by the Rochdale defence but Benyon saw a weak effort deflected wide, with the Dale’s keeper wrong-footed.
Minutes later, Labadie tried his luck from the corner of the 18-yard box but his shot was saved in the centre of the goal by Lillis, United were pushing hard for the opener.
The determination and pace of Torquay’s play was finally rewarded after 17 minutes. The build up to the goal was also a major talking point. Benyon chased down a through-ball from the back just past the half way line. He managed to get his body the wrong side of the last man, when the defender clipped his legs and brought him down . The referee’s decision was to issue a yellow card to the Dale’s defender, when many in the ground thought a red should have been brandished.
However, from the resulting free-kick, United’s captain, Krystian Pearce, rose well to head home from six-yards out, directing his header into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Torquay continued to push for a second and should have taken advantage when United’s Cameron saw a close range effort blocked on the line from two yards out. Cameron was a threat all night on both flanks, running at the full-backs and getting decent crosses in for the forwards to run onto.
TUFC – Rice, Tonge, Downes, Pearce (Capt), Nicholson, Goodwin, Lathrope, Labadie, Cameron, Showunmi, Benyon
Subs Not Used: Poke, Mansell, Harding, Hawley, Stockley, Stevens, O’Connor
Rochdale – Lillis,
Subs Not Used:
Match Report By Matt Green (Sport South Devon)