Report - Wealdstone 0 - 3 Torquay United
Updated: Oct 30, 2018
Torquay United scored either side of half time to take all three points at The Vale. They cruised to a win that takes them into 5th places in the Conference South.
Freddie Grant's injury last week versus Sutton Untied has ruled him out of action for 3-4 months, giving Rhys Tyler a way in to the starting eleven at left back. Matthew Lench started for Wadah Ahmidi in the Stones midfield. Just the one change for Torquay United with Ryan Dickson coming in for Asa Hall who picked up a knock in training yesterday.
Torquay began the game showing the most initiative. They pushed Wealdstone into tight areas but Stones dealt with the pressure well, and were guided for the most part by Godfrey Poku’s instructions. The centre midfielder was encouraging and leading by example for the most part of the first 15 minutes.
It was tight and inconsistent in the opening stages, with nothing clear cut for either side. A brief spell quick pace to Torquay’s football was tough to contain early on, but Stones calmed the game down. There were a few too many long balls down the right side for Wealdstone, with Torquay captain Kyle Cameron a reliable asset at the back, spotting and stopping the danger. Jake Sheppard was required to create in an advanced right back role, perhaps with the absence of Freddie Grant.
The first sight of goal in the match came for Torquay United. Ryan Dickson collided heavily with Matthew Lench on the edge on the box, before Opanin Edwards shot was deflected into the hands of North off Rhys Tyler. The Stones left back then had a chance going forward but his poor cross prevented any goal-bound chance.
In a couple of intense minutes, it was Jonathan North’s brilliance that kept the game level. Torquay’s Jamie Reid turned onto his favourable right side to get a shot away, but ran into Jerome Okimo. The resulting corner fell to Kalvin Kalala who smashed a volley at Poku, whose raised arm handed Reid a chance to score from the spot. But North got down expertly to his left and made a terrific second save from Edwards to keep it 0-0.
Stones struggled to create anything substantial in the first half and after a last-ditch tackle from Connor Stevens that kept Torquay out once more, the away side went ahead. It was a rapid counter attack, a quick throw out from a Wealdstone corner found Edwards on the right. He skipped past Tyler, and played a one-two with Janneh before slotting the ball into the far corner. Torquay deserved their half time lead.
Stones started the second half without even knowing it. A simple floated ball into the penalty area from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans was met by a rising George Essuman who nodded the ball into the far corner to give Torquay a two-goal lead. The second goal shook Stones into action, and they instantly had a great chance. Sheppard’s long throw into the box was headed narrowly wide by Connor Stevens. Stones had to start pushing forward.
The Wealdstone fans showed great encouragement behind the goal, despite the score-line. Transitional play from defence to attack looked a difficulty for Stones, with Fumnatya Shomotun unable to find his natural runs on the ball.
With Stones searching for inspiration, they adopted a new identity. Bradley Hudson
Odoi came on for Matthew Lench. He instantly made an impact, volleying Sheppard’s throw in at Torquay goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald. Daniel Green also made way for the debut of Simon Mensah.
Hudson Odoi caused Torquay United problems in the initial stages of his arrival into the game. But upon entering the last 20 minutes, manager Bobby Wilkinson opted for a three at the back, with Rhys Tyler slotting into an unfamiliar position, enabling Elliott Charles to enter the fray up front.
Torquay United were close to sealing the game but Saikou Janneh’s tap in was ruled out for offside after a great run from Lemonheigh-Evans. Bradley Bubb then had a shot straight at the goalkeeper, as the game opened up completely.
Stones committed men forward to find a way back, but Torquay were dangerous on the counter. A flock of seagulls descended onto Grosvenor Vale, and moments later, the gulls returned. Lemonheight Evans sprung onto a loose ball and drove at the remaining Stones defenders, feeding Jamie Reid who cut inside and slammed the ball past North on his left foot.
Torquay should have made it four when Edwards brilliantly back-heeled the ball into Reid’s path, but North stayed strong and substitute Brett Williams should have scrambled the ball in. The last moments of the game were agony for Stones who were dead and buried, yet still Torquay pushed for more.
Having started the second half so poorly, Wealdstone left themselves a mountain to climb. Torquay United were solid and organised from the very start.
Stones Assistant Manager, Jamie Leacock, said “They were better than us physically. They out-muscled us all over the park, had more pace, more energy. That’s where the game was lost.
“To come out and after 30 seconds, concede from a soft free kick is a sucker blow, when your 2-0 down you give yourself too much to do.”
He also added “Rhys Tyler’s versatility allowed us to move it around when we were chasing the game. We were also disappointed after Jonathan’s [North] fantastic save on the rebound, that should give us a little lift. To go and concede just before half time as well, but we got outplayed and Torquay were well worth their win today.”
BY SAM WATTS
Geoff Smith pics HERE