United Move Seven Points Clear
Torquay United 3
Lemonheigh-Evans (25), Reid (64), Andrews (78)
A fifth straight win for Gary Johnson’s Torquay United side on Tuesday night at Plainmoor, saw the Gulls move seven points clear of Woking at the top of the National League South.
A 25th minute goal from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans was cancelled out by Lamar Reynolds, before second half goals from Jamie Reid and substitute Jake Andrews claimed the points for the Gulls in front of another fantastic 2’852 supporters.
“The lads did us proud again”, Johnson said following the game, “We are closing in on the finish line, but there are no champagne corks popping in our dressing room yet” Johnson added.
The Gulls boss was forced into a couple of changes from the side that won on Saturday, with Saikou Janneh and Jamie Sendles-White missing out with slight injuries. Ryan Dickson and Jean-Yves Koue Niate came into the side, with Johnson naming only three outfield players on the bench.
United started the game strongly and had the better of the opening ten minutes.
The first opportunity of the game fell to the home side in the 6th minute when Lemonheigh-Evans clipped a fine direct free kick from the edge of the area that had the Harry Wright in the visitor’s goal beaten but unfortunately for United the ball came back of the angle of the goal before the visitors finally cleared for a corner.
Ruairi Keating was next to test Wright, when the Gulls forward shot low to the keeper’s right after being put through by Lemonheigh-Evans, but this time the keeper saved low to his left.
A fine Liam Davis cross with the outside of his foot found the run of Asa Hall, whose header went just wide of the visitor’s goal in the 21st minute.
Indecision within the United defence almost gifted Scott Fenwick a goal, but his header went onto the bar before Kyle Cameron cleared the danger.
Torquay’s first goal came via Lemonheigh-Evans left foot from 15 yards, following a fine one two with Keating before the midfielder skipped past two defenders and firing low into the City goal.
On the half hour Niate should have put Torquay two goals to the good, but his unmarked header from inside the box was directed wide of Wright’s goal. Two minutes later and that miss was compounded further as Chelmsford equalised through a Lamar Reynolds lob that beat the advancing MacDonald.
The visitors where now in the ascendancy as Tom Wraight fired a left footed strike just wide from the angle of the area in the 35th minute.
With five minutes of the half remaining, another dead ball situation for United saw another header from Hall go narrowly wide, as both sides went into the break on level terms.
With the second half only three minutes old, United had a second penalty in as many games, following a foul on Kalala. As on Saturday however, Reid saw his spot kick saved by Wright, as the City keeper pushed Reid’s effort onto the post.
Chelmsford then gave United a scare, as direct from a corner Billy Knott hit the foot of the post before the ball went out for a goal kick. Knott again went close just before the hour mark but his strike was high and wide of the target.
United’s second of the game came in the 64th minute with another assist by Keating. This time the Irishman delivered a fine low cross to Reid, who dispatched his finish into the back of the net to put the disappointment of his missed penalty behind him.
With United firmly on top, the final knockout blow to the visitors came with 12 minutes remaining and once again it was a Keating cross that was met by a diving header from substitute Jack Andrews.
Next for United, is the long-awaited top of the table clash against Woking on Saturday.
TUFC Starting XI (4-4-2): Shaun MacDonald, Ben Wynter, Jean-Yves Koue Niate, Kyle Cameron, Liam Davis, Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala (Olaf Koszela 90), Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, Ryan Dickson (Jake Andrews 65), Asa Hall (Capt) (Frank Vincent 75), Ruairi Keating, Jamie Reid