December 29, 2014
Torquay United Last Time Out
WELLING UNITED 0. v. 0. TORQUAY UNITED
(This article is adapted from the Torquay Herald Express with thanks.)
TORQUAY United manager Chris Hargreaves said his team was lacking confidence in front of goal after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Welling United this afternoon.
Bolstered by the return of Aaron Downes in the heart of their defence, Torquay United earned what might turn out to be a decent point – thanks to a rare clean-sheet – but the manager reflected on the chances his team had – and missed.
“It was a tough game, no doubt about it,” he said. “They (Welling) were very resilient after a loss to Dover Athletic and they had worked on a few things – you could tell that. They were quite stubborn to break down.
“We had some good chances in the game and a good spell in the second half where we were totally dominant but we don’t have that confidence now to put the ball in the back of the net.
“We fight on. A clean sheet is a positive, there were some good performances out there, but we obviously wanted a victory.”
The Wings may be in the bottom half of the table, but they have lost only once in 14 home games this season, and they gave the Gulls some real scares in the first half.
In the second half United went close several times and even had a Ryan Bowman ‘goal’ disallowed for offside in the 73rd minute – but there will now be worries over the fitness of Luke Young – ahead of the New Year’s Day trip to Bristol Rovers – after the young captain left the field with a thigh problem.
Hargreaves made six changes to the side that lost to Rovers on Boxing Day, recalling Downes, Tom Cruise, Ben Harding, Louis Briscoe, Jordan Chapell and Ashley Yeoman, while goalie Martin Rice failed to make the squad because of illness and young left-back Levi Ives because of a back problem.
If Bowman had managed to score on a Young pass after only 35 seconds – Welling goalie Jon Henly saved well – it might have settled United down and led to a more confident performance.
But even playing down the slope at Park View Road they found themselves penned back for most of the first half.
Diminutive but feisty striker Charlie Penny was a clear threat for the Wings and, although Bowman and Chapell went close, it wasn’t long before Hargreaves abandoned a 4-1-4-1 formation and reverted to 4-4-2.
Joe Healy and Penny were both unlucky not to break through before the interval, but it was a different story after it.
During a spell of constant United pressure, chances fell for Yeoman, Briscoe, Bowman twice and Downes.
Downes had a goal bound header blocked, and in the 65th minute only a goal-line clearance by Healy stopped Chapell scoring in front of the travelling Torquay fans.
But Welling, keen to impress new manager Jody Brown in his first home game and to bounce back from the 4-0 defeat at Dover on Boxing Day, weathered that storm.
And they might have snatched victory too, with Jordan Seabright diving low to keep out a drive by on-loan Bournemouth starlet Aristide Basselle and Penny firing just wide with Seabright to beat on a Zach Fagan through-ball.