United Disappoint Against Beavers
Torquay United 0
Hampton & Richmond Borough 2
Nabi (OG) ’26, Dickson ’83
Torquay United’s return to Plainmoor following two away days only produced further frustration for the 1’519 Gulls supporters inside the stadium, as Gary Owers team went down 2-0 to Hampton & Richmond on Saturday afternoon.
An own goal from an unlucky Samir Nabi just before the half hour and a Chris Dickson header seven minutes from time, gave the visitors a deserved win and left United with no win in three games.
Owers had one enforced change to make from the side that drew with Slough, Jason Banton starting in place of the injured Jean-Yves Koue Niate. The change also saw a change in formation to a 4-1-4-1. Jakub Sokolik was also still absent with a knee ligament injury, however Ruairi Keating returned to the bench having missed last week’s fixture at Slough also through injury.
With an opening twenty minutes that lacked any real quality from either side, also only saw chances created from distance, with both keepers hardly troubled from the resulting efforts on their respective goal.
The Beavers however looked more like scoring and in the 26th minute that goal came with some confusion. Brett Williams sliced the ball out of play from a corner and then was unable to clear the resulting corner at the near post and the ball found its way into the back of the net via the unlucky Nabi from inside the six yard box.
Hampton & Richmond continued to press and looked like adding to their lead with some testing crosses for the United back four. Murrell-Williamson again tried his luck from distance but this time the wingers shot sailed over the bar.
As the boos rang around Plainmoor at the half time whistle, Owers decided to make a change at the break with Keating replacing Jason Banton. The change also brought about another formation switch, this time to 4-4-2.
With the home side starting the half in a much better frame of mind Nabi had a tame free kick saved easily by Tom Lovelock in the visitor’s goal.
Keating then produced a fine cross for Williams to head but his effort was blocked with the United skipper asking for a penalty as the ball looked to hit the arm of the defender, however the referee was unmoved. The increase in Torquay’s tempo did get the home faithful into song for the first time in the afternoon.
United continued to push and almost got their equaliser as Keating hit the upright in the 58th minute with a right foot shot from the right angle of the area that had the keeper beaten but unfortunately not the far post, it would however prove to be United’s only real effort on goal in the whole 90 minutes.
Owers decided to make another change with Andre Wright entering the game at the expense of Williams just after the hour in a bid to find that elusive goal.
However, the crowds early second half optimism changed to more frustration as time after time the quality of passing and movement from United resulted in them giving the ball away, and providing the Beavers with further opportunities.
Torquay’s fate was sealed when another missed placed pass led to a corner being won and Chris Dickson found the net in the 83rd minute with a fine header into the far corner from close range. More boos greeted the Torquay players on the refs final whistle after 7 minutes of additional time.
With only one point from a possible 9 in recent games and slipping to 15th in the table, the pressure will increase on Head Coach Owers. The United squad won’t have to wait long to try and put things right with a Bank Holiday Monday trip to Gloucester City, before heading back to Plainmoor for the visit of Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday 1st September.
TUFC Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Bass, Wynter, Essuman, Cameron, Davis, Hall, Banton (Keating 45), Dickson (Bawling 86), Nabi, Reid, Williams (Capt) (Wright 66)
Subs Not Used: MacDonald, Regis
Bookings: Hall (64)
MOTM: Liam Davis
Attendance: 1’571 (52 Away)