Torquay United 1 v 3 Bristol City U’23
Torquay United 1
Bristol City U’23 3
Andrews 9, Edwards 37, 72
After strong performances against Plymouth Argyle and Cardiff City, Torquay United entertained Bristol City’s Under 23’s on Tuesday night, in their final pre-season fixture at Plainmoor.
Goals from Jake Andrews and Opi Edwards gave the visitors a two-goal cushion at the break before United substitute Brett Williams gave the Gulls some hope, however Edwards grabbed his second and City’s third with 18 minutes remaining to kill off United’s comeback.
United Head Coach Gary Owers made seven changes to the side that started on Friday night against Cardiff City, with Shaun MacDonald getting his first start in goal while Bobson Bawling and Ryan Dickson also moved into full back roles as the Torquay boss reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.
With City moving the ball around with some fine two touch football their first strike on goal came early on with Jake Andrews trying his luck from 25 yards. Freddie Hinds then had a goal disallowed as the forward had strayed offside.
The visitors didn’t have too wait to long before their opening goal came. Hinds was caught on the edge of the area by Kyle Cameron and Andrews stepped up with a direct free kick that was curled over the wall and in off the bar on 9 minutes.
The home sides first attempt at goal came via James Roberts in the 22nd minute, however he could only fire straight at Alhaji Sesay in the visitor’s goal. Roberts was again on the end of a move which involved some strong hold up play by Ruairi Keating on the edge of the area five minutes later, before sliding the ball to the right for Roberts to strike, this time the trialist found the side netting.
Bristol where soon back in their groove and a second goal came along in the 37th minute. A good ball from Opi Edwards into the path of Hinds saw the forward dink the ball over MacDonald before his effort hit the post and rebounded into the path of Edwards who was following up for an easy tap in to the empty net.
With a disappointing first half display from United, Owers made five changes at half time with Liam Davis, George Essuman, Brett Williams, Jean-Yves Koune Niate and Jamie Reid coming on, there was also a change in formation, with the Gulls going back to their 3-5-2 shape that had served them well in earlier game.
The changes had the desired effect immediately with Torquay getting back into the game with a goal in the 48th minute as Williams got onto some indecisive defending to shoot low across goal and find the far corner.
Bristol almost restored their two-goal advantage but MacDonald saved well from a Joe Morrell shot. Down the other end a mix up between Sesay in the City goal and center back Aden Baldwin, almost let Williams in for his second in the 56th minute but the defender managed to get a foot to the ball as Williams was about to strike.
With both benches making several changes throughout the half, the game became a stop start affair in periods, however there were chances for both sides with Reid almost getting a strike at goal however the forward took one touch to many inside the area and the chance had past.
City finally killed the game off with a third goal on 72nd minutes. Again it was Edwards who created some space on the right and managed to chip the ball over the diving MacDonald, to round off a fine performance from the youngster.
United continued right to the end to mark an improved second half performance. Williams had two further chances in the final 10 minutes, first Tom Harrison blocked the forwards shot after some good work by Reid inside the area, then minutes later Nabi played Williams in but his strike went wide of the far post.
Torquay United finish their Pre-Season fixtures against Dorchester Town on Saturday afternoon before a week later the league campaign kicks off with United travelling to Chelmsford.
TUFC Starting XI (4-4-2): MacDonald (Burton 78), Bawling (Wynter 62), Gowling (Essuman 45), Cameron (Koszela 77), Dickson, Roberts (Niate 45), Nabi, Hall (Capt), Banton (Davis 45), Keating (Williams 45), Pittman (Ried 45)
Attendance: 975 (23 away)