Gulls and Terras battle out entertaining draw

Saturday’s match at home to Torquay United ended in a 1-1 draw which saw both sides have several chances during the game.

Ezio Touray was the man of the moment, heading in a Brandon Goodship cross moments before halftime, after we found ourselves a goal down, for his 11th of the season.

The visitors had initially taken the lead after 28 minutes against the run of play when Arkell Jude-Boyd bundled home following a Jack Stobbs delivery.

Though the second half appeared to have more booking than shots on target, neither side was without chances, most notably for us a Jude-Boyd block with just over 20 minutes to go when Goodship fired at goal.

Importantly, newcomer Harvey Wiles-Richards impressed on his debut, making a string of impressive saves, the most spectacular coming three minutes after the break when he tipped Aaron Jarvis’ header over the bar.

Whilst we have become accustomed to draws, our 13th in the league this season, Dartford’s match against Worthing being postponed ensures we have, for now, kept our position of 17th in the National League South table.

Crucially, unlike our three preceding contests, we conceded just the one.

Alongside Wiles-Richards, Wilkinson brought in Jordon Thompson and Ezio Touray following our outing against St Albans City last Tuesday.

With our last match against the Gulls resulting in a 3-1 loss, Wilkinson said in the build-up that he hoped to “play excellently…and take a point.”

However, it would only take the visitors 33 seconds to have their first sight at goal.

Ex-Terra Bradley Ash found himself in space down the right-hand side, only to fire well wide of goal.

Our first chance would come when Goodship was denied by Mark Halstead in the sixth minute.

Goodship would then see another strike blocked by a resolute Torquay defence, before Linton would have his effort met with the same fate.

Three minutes before the half-hour mark would then see an enjoyable passage of play being worked between Goodship and Teddy Howe, who combined a series of one-two touches, before feeding the ball to Corey Panter.

The centre-back then attempted to pick out Ezio Touray, who was just about unable to reach Panter’s pass.

All this early promise suggested that a goal would soon come.

It would, but not in our favour.

Stobbs’ delivery proved too dangerous for our defence, who were unable to clear lines as Jude-Boyd bundled home to give Torquay a 1-0 lead with 28 minutes gone.

It would take a while for us to respond, but we most certainly did when Charlie Rowan’s volley was fired just over the bar.

We wouldn’t have to wait long for another chance when Goodship stood over the ball, waiting to take a free-kick.

Usually the goalscorer, Goodship this time delivered a delicate pass to Touray, who headed in to draw us level right before halftime.

The second half began brightly for the visitors, when Jarvis’ header was met with a last-ditch clearance for a corner-kick a mere two minutes in.

The Torquay forward may well have run away celebrating had it not been for the heroics of Wiles-Richards, who pushed his header over the bar from close-range.

Goodship, unlike in the first half, would attempt a shot at goal with a free-kick this time, firing it just over the bar.

Malachi Linton would then go on a dazzling run just before the hour mark, just missing Tom Bearwish with a dangerous-looking cross.

After two bookings were handed out to Howe and Will Jenkins-Davies in as many minutes, Goodship found himself in space on the right-hand side of the box after being picked out by a Hamblin pass.

Unfortunately, though, the goal machine saw his effort bravely blocked by Jude-Boyd behind for a corner-kick.

But, despite our chance, Halstead collected the delivery, before starting a counter-attack.

In hardly any time at all, Ash was presented with a chance after his side broke down the pitch.

Thankfully, our new shot-stopper palmed his effort away, keeping the scoreline level with just over 20 minutes to go.

However, despite both sides being level, clear-cut chances began to dry up as the match drew to a close.

The next 10 minutes saw two more bookings, towards Ash and Jordon Thompson, alongside a strike by Howe from range, which ultimately went wide.

The final notable chance came from a free-kick, when Brett McGavin lined up for a free hit at goal.

However, unlike Tuesday evening, we did not have to see the opposition score from a set piece, as McGavin’s effort was caught by Wiles-Richards.

With the game then petering out during the final few minutes, both sides ultimately settled for a fair result in a 1-1 draw.

Match report by
Jack Webb

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