Torquay United 0 v 1 Plymouth Argyle
Torquay United Hosted League One Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night, as Gary Owers continued his rebuilding work ahead of the start of the new season and the United manager was very pleased with the side’s performance in their 1-0 defeat.
Following Saturday’s 4-0 win at Poole Town, Owers made four changes to his starting eleven. Brett Williams and Jason Banton returned, while there was a first start for new signings Ryan Dickson and Kyle Cameron.
Meanwhile Argyle manager Derek Adams was only missing injured first team regulars Ryan Taylor and Antoni Sarcevic, as he brought his whole squad to this local fixture.
As expected Argyle dominated possession and created numerous chances with some excellent quick passing throughout the 90 minutes.
However, the home side where not without their own periods of good passing and movement, showing a marked improvement on their last outing at home against Forest Green Rovers a week earlier.
The first chance of the game fell Plymouth’s way with Freddie Ladapo pulling a shot wide in the opening 5 minutes before United themselves had Jamie Reid firing in a shot from outside the box.
There was more good work on the right for the Gulls with Reid and Ben Wynter combining well but the cross from the flying wing-back was too high for Brett Williams.
The League One side then really started to turn the screw. A Niall Canavan header on 15 minutes was off target before a minute later Ruben Lameiras pulled his left footed effort wide of the far post.
Again, it was only the final finish that stopped Plymouth taking the lead on 18 minutes when Ladapo shot straight at Alex Bass after a measured pass from Lameiras.
Torquay’s Williams then decided to try a cheeky effort from 20 yards, curling the ball towards the top corner from a central position with several Argyle players around him.
The rest bite was short lived for Owers men as the visitors made Bass work with a fine reaction save from a deflected shot after 35 minutes before Ladapo saw a free header go wide after a fine cross from the left 3 minutes later.
Plymouth’s playmaker Graham Carey had the final chance to break the deadlock before half time but the number 10’s curling effort to the far post, after cutting in from the right, was again saved well by Bass.
Both managers resisted the temptations to make changes during the break and it was a slow start to the second half from both sides. Argyles Jamie Ness was the only player on the pitch to find a shot in the opening 10 minutes of the half.
United’s defence was finally breeched with a bit of fortune in the 62nd minute when a Conor Grant shot was deflected up and over Bass but the ball hit the cross bar before Carey, with his back to goal, was on hand to hook the ball past the Gulls keeper from very close range.
Ladapo, Carey and Lamerias all had chances to put the game to bed in the last 20 minutes, substitute Peter Grant also hit the post with a header and the scramble that followed was eventually cleared by United.
With Argyle failing to take advantage of their chances there was always the possibility of an equaliser from Torquay and it nearly came in the last few minutes. A good cross from Wynter was met at the near post by United’s sub Ruairi Keating but Kyle Letheren made the save low to his left.
There’s a quick turnaround for the Gulls as Premier League Cardiff City will be next up for Torquay on Friday night at Plainmoor.
TUFC Starting XI: (3-5-2) 1. Bass – 2. Wynter 4. Essuman (Roberts 70) 15. Niate 17. Cameron 3. Bass – 19. Reid (Pittman 70) 16. Dickson (Koszele 87) 14. Nabi – 10. Banton (Gowling 59) 9. Williams (Keating 59)
Subs Not Used: MacDonald