Touray Volley Earns Point For Terras

A spectacular half-volley from Ezio Touray gave us a deserved point in a 1-1 draw on Good Friday at Twerton Park.

The forward, introduced in the second half, sweetly struck the ball from an exceptionally tight angle with just over 10 minutes left of regular time.

It was a goal that had been coming, as our influence in the game grew throughout the second half.

Before Touray’s equaliser, we had found ourselves a goal down, courtesy of Joe Raynes’ scrappy close-range opener in the first half.

The result came after a turbulent week for the club, with the sudden departure of former-boss Bobby Wilkinson being a key talking point.

Taking charge on Friday was interim-gaffer Jason Matthews, who said after the final whistle that he “couldn’t fault the [players]” for their performance.

Our display now leaves us with 51 points, 11 above the relegation zone, with just six games remaining this season.

Matthews made two changes to the starting line-up which saw us put four past Havant & Waterlooville the previous weekend.

In came Keelan O’Connell and Harry Parsons, replacing Harry Jones and Joel Rollinson respectively.

Friday’s date, 29 March, marked exactly 10 years since our temporary gaffer took charge of the club, the first of 206 games.

His expertise appeared to rub off onto the players, who enjoyed much of the ball in the match’s opening minutes.

Dan Roberts could have capitalised on our dominance in possession after just nine minutes, had he not been flagged for offside.

The forward appeared to run too early after some mesmerising one-touch play with his teammates.

Parsons was our standout player during this period, as he was for much of the game, producing some magical footwork two minutes on, before attempting to find Brandon Goodship with a cross.

But, despite our early promise, the first clear-cut chance headed the hosts’ way.

Just after the quarter-hour point, Cody Cooke laid the ball off to Ewan Clarke, who sent in an inviting cross down the right-hand side.

Cooke, finding space inside the box, beat Harvey Wiles-Richards to a header, nodding just over the bar.

It wouldn’t take long for The Romans to come knocking once more, this time in the 22nd minute.

Tom Smith, under pressure from our defence, poked the ball across goal to Raynes, who scrappily slid the ball into an open net to give his side a 1-0 lead.

Now a goal down with three quarters of the game left to play, it would take something special to draw us level against a team who had already beaten us twice this season.

Our first chance since Raynes’ opener came almost 10 minutes on, with an audacious long-range effort from Parsons.

he forward, from approx. 35 yards, spotted Will Buse off his line.

Goodship was able to get a shot underway just under five minutes before halftime, only to see it blocked by Duncan Idehen.

We failed to test Buse’s goal any more in the first half, as we headed down the tunnel a goal down, despite enjoying much of the ball.

In similar fashion to the opening half, Bath would have the first major sight at goal three minutes after the break, as Scott Wilson carried the ball down the left-hand side.

The forward then curled the ball past Wiles-Richards, but also just past the post.

If Wilson’s missed chance was a let-off for us, we would be handed an even larger lifeline three minutes later, courtesy of a magnificent one-on-one save from our shot-stopper.

Raynes fired in a low through-ball into the box down the left, in towards Smith, whose run had yet to be spotted by our defence.

Thankfully, Wiles-Richards held firm, preventing Smith from doubling his side’s lead.

Shortly afterwards, we would have a chance of our own, when O’Connell’s long delivery found Roberts at the far post.

Roberts attempted to flick towards goal with a delicate volley, and may have scored had Buse not managed to safely collect the ball.

The hosts then responded with chances once more, with two in as many minutes.

The first of the two opportunities came for Danny Greenslade, whose powerful long-range strike was bravely blocked by Charlie Rowan.

The next chance, once more, was struck towards goal by Smith, whose venomous volley was fired just over the bar.

Rowan, however, would again be involved five minutes after the hour-mark, this time down the other end.

The midfielder blasted the ball at Buse from approx. 25 yards, who made a spectacular save by tipping the ball over the bar.

Parsons, continuing to look dangerous, then played Roberts through four minutes later, only for Roberts to fire above the net.

But, despite our opportunity being missed, signs that our dominance was growing continued.

Rewards would reap for us after 79 minutes.

Leo Hamblin’s low pass was controlled by Touray, who took the ball towards the by-line.

Unexpectedly, Touray struck the ball on the half-volley, as it flew above and beyond Buse into the top-right corner.

Level with just over 10 minutes to go, three points were now there for the taking.

As the game was nearing its close, substitute Rollinson had a golden chance to put us in front.

Parsons’ strike towards Buse’s net was deflected into Rollinson’s path, who only had the Bath shot-stopper in his way.

However, the winger was unable to give us the lead, firing right of goal.

The game then petered out, as both sides settled for a point apiece.

Matthews, who applauded our travelling supporters after the game, said he saw “plenty of positives” ahead of Monday’s clash against arch-rivals Yeovil Town.

Our opportunity to grab an even more impressive result takes place tomorrow afternoon [13.00 GMT].

Match report
By Jack Webb

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