Davis Strike Gives Gulls A Late Win
Torquay United 1
Bath City 0
Torquay United came through a tough encounter with Bath City at Plainmoor on Tuesday night with a 1-0 win, thanks to a first goal for the club by Liam Davis ten minutes from time.
Davis managed to fire his shot left footed low across the six yard box from 10 yards out and found the far corner of the visitors net, following an initial save by Ryan Clarke from a Ruairi Keating effort from close range in the 80th minute, after some good work on the right by Ben Wynter.
Head Coach Gary Owers said “I’m delighted to get three points, really happy that we’ve not conceded a goal yet this season but I’m still well aware that there is room for improvement”.
“Bath passed the ball well and created a couple of opportunities, they will feel that they were worth a point but I’m happy to get all three” Owers added.
Indeed, many of the 2’151 supporters on the night (125 Bath fans), might feel that United where fortunate to come away with maximum points after the visitors had two great opportunities to take the lead in the second half before the Gulls winner came along.
Following on from Saturday’s opening day draw away to Chelmsford City, Owers made one change to his starting eleven, with Jakub Sokolik coming in for the injured George Essuman.
With a good tempo throughout the game from both sides, the home side had their first opportunity when Jamie Reid intercepted the ball after a slip by Jack Batten let the United man through but his pass was slightly behind Brett Williams and the shot was fired over.
John Mills and Adam Mann both had efforts inside the first 20 minutes for the Romans, Mills shooting across the six yard box and then Mann with a deflected effort off Kyle Cameron that looped over the bar.
Williams then had shot blocked by Batten on 16-minutes after a cross from Davis picked out the United Skipper.
Again, another fine cross from the left by Davis, in the 22nd minute, found Asa Hall at the back post and his header back across the six-yard box was flicked onto the bar by Williams with Clarke beaten in the visitor’s goal.
Just before the half hour the visitors had a direct free kick from 30 yards that Ross Stearn put narrowly past the angle of Shaun MacDonald’s goal.
And MacDonald was back in action a few minutes later saving well from a fierce Stearn strike from 10 yards, that thwarted Bath City’s best opportunity of the first half following good work by captain Anthony Stracker as he picked up the ball from a United error in the middle of the pitch.
With Bath having a fine spell just before the break, Owers decided to bring on Ruairi Keating and Samir Nabi at half time for Reid and Chris Regis respectively, in an attempt to give the side some more impetus in the second half.
However, it was City who came out after the interval with more desire and they should have taken the lead 5 minute into the half when a corner from Mann had MacDonald in all sorts of problems, with the United keeper only able to palm the ball back towards Mills who fortunately for the keeper, couldn’t find the net from 2 yards.
A minute later and Morton had a shot from the edge of the box that clipped his own player on the way through and the ball went narrowly past the post.
With Bath in the ascendance only a good timed tackle from Kyle Cameron in the 56th minute denied Sean Rigg a shot on goal from the edge of the area. The Romans continued to push for their deserved opening goal and on 62-minutes Andy Watkins got in front of his man inside the box and crashed his header against the bar before United cleared to safety.
Having stood strong in defence the home side started to find their rhythm and a succession of four corners lifted the crowd and the chances came.
First Niate had a towering header blocked on the line from a Dickson corner in the 67th minute, before Sokolik side footed just wide at the far post, again from a Dickson dead ball moment.
Substitute Nabi then saw his curling effort saved well by Clarke, when many in main stand thought the attempt had beaten the Bath keeper.
The visitors still looked dangerous on the break and a good move in the 77th minute was ended by Wynter’s challenge on Stearn inside the box, as the City man was just about to pull the trigger.
With the game seemingly heading for a draw, the winning goal came from Davis just at the right time, with all inside Plainmoor (not including the 125 travelling fans) relived that United had found away through the Romans defence.
With their first win of the season on the board and having taken 4 points from the opening two games, United will feel happy with their work, however it’s clear that there is still room for improvement.
Next up for the Gulls is the visit of East Thurrock United to Plainmoor on Saturday at 3pm, before back to back away trips to Oxford City (Tue 14th) and Slough Town (Sat 18th).
TUFC Starting XI (3-5-2): MacDonald, Sokolik, Niate, Cameron, Wynter, Davis, Hall, Dickson, Regis (Nabi 45), Reid (Keating 45), Williams (Capt)
Subs Not Used: Burton, Banton, Wright
Bookings: Dickson (87)
MOTM: Ryan Dickson
Attendance: 2’151 (125 Away)