3 – 3
Thomas Kelly – @ThomasKellytufc
Torquay United and Bromley played out an entertaining, if not frustrating, 3-3 draw in a game dominated by strong wind. United, playing with the wind in the first half, looked to make amends after the 3-0 defeat to Solihull on Tuesday night.
However, United started in the worst possible way. An early Bromley free kick was held up in the wind. The Torquay defence didn’t know how to react and Bromley skipper Holland scored whilst falling over from 6 yards out.
Not the start that Gary Johnson and the “160” (more like 300) members Yellow Army in attendance had hoped for. Even with the wind, United did have a lot of the possession but couldn’t break down a stubborn Bromley defence.
While 5-1 up in corners, United finally made their possession count on 35 minutes. Armani Little won a penalty after a daft aerial challenge from Cousins. Reidy stepped up and just about squeezed the ball past Coulson to equalise. Game on!!
With their tails up, United kept pressing and won an indirect free kick in the opposition penalty area after the referee deemed Bromley had played a deliberate pass back to their keeper. Bromley vented their frustration and we’re extremely lucky to see Porter only booked for a clear shove on Andrews inside the box, while the men in yellow were setting up to take it. Sadly, the indirect free kick lead to nothing but United were looking good heading into half time.
The Gulls were looking good, but United gave away a silly free kick on the brink of half time. Once again wind assisted, the ball floated into the box, Cheek’s header was tipped onto the bar by McDonald but Kizzi reacted quickest to give Bromley a 2-1 lead.
United struggled to deal with playing into the wind so Bromley were on top. However all that was to change on 63 minutes. United keeping the ball on the deck resulted in Evans being able to put his chance in the net at the back post, from Vincent’s dangerous cross. Game on again!
On 69 minutes United were ahead with their best play of the game. Kalala on the right beat his man and played the perfect cross to Andrews, who from a tight angle steered the ball home.
Torquay were in front…..but for only 2 minutes. Bromley won a corner and just like Andrews did against Oxford City, they scored direct from it, assisted by the prevailing wind. Gutting. It was anyone’s game now.
Despite the setback, United finished stronger but were unable to muster any real chances. A point it was. Both sides will feel slightly frustrated not to have won the game. 4 points out of 9 isn’t a bad return to start the season but plenty of work still to do for GJ.
McDonald – 6: Not the best afternoon for Shaun, although he was very rarely tested in honesty. Struggled with the wind for the opener but did well to tip the ball onto the bar and stopped the odd shot on target.
Wynter – 6.5: Made some good tackles when Bromley were attacking 2nd half.
Cameron – 6: Poor defending for their opener. Just seemed a bit off the pace today. Did better 2nd half.
Niate – 7.5: After last week Niate was much improved and speaking to some supporters after full time, many felt he was one of the best players today.
Vincent – 7: Solid. Got the cross in for our second goal and showed glimpses of his talent.
Hall – 6: Didn’t notice a lot of Asa today as he struggled to impose himself in the middle of the park. Misjudged the wind assisted ball while jumping for their first goal.
Little – 7: Another player who put a shift in.
Evans – 7.5: CLE impresses me every time I watch him. He proved last weekend against Boreham Wood how important he is to our midfield and did so today again. Good goal and my MOTM.
Andrews – 7: Did very well for his goal. Work rate was very good. Subbed towards the end but overall decent game.
Kalala – 7: When he got the ball out wide he looked dangerous. Just wish we utilised him more. Cracking work for the build up to the third goal and an excellent delivery.
Reid – 6: Reidy just about scored the penalty to get us level but he was isolated a lot up front and had to try and do what he could. Formation not really suited to his strengths but on the scoresheet and off the mark from the spot.
The subs were on for all about 5 minutes, so decided it was unfair to review them. Opi Edwards probably offered the most out of the 3.
Keating – N/A
Lewis – N/A
Opi-Edwards – N/A
Man of the Match: Connor Lemonhaigh-Evans
I rate Connor Lemonheigh Evans a lot so I was delighted when the club announced he would return. Last week him and Opi Edwards changed the game in our favour. He reads the game really well and I really hope Bristol City don’t recall him in the near future. He took his goal brilliantly today and commanded the midfield very well. I’m certain that he will do very well for himself in seasons to come.
In a game which wasn’t pretty for defenders, Niate was our standout. Last week he had a really rough time of it but today he was solid. Can’t fault him for any of the goals we conceded and did well to win the ball back when Bromley were on the attack.
We appeared to line up in a 4-5-1/4-4-1-1. Either way Reid was isolated a lot up front but once we got the wingers in play we were able to create some problems. On the deck we are a good passing side but Bromley played the conditions better than we did.
As mentioned above, Bromley dealt with the conditions better than we did. That said I, thought we were much the better footballing side and they struggled to deal with us passing it when we kept the ball on the ground. They are club with big ambitions but honestly I think they’ll be in that mid-table bracket. Hayes Lane was classic non-league but with a nice new seated stand behind one of the goals. Atmosphere wasn’t brilliant from either set of fans although being in the open terrace it’s difficult to create a decent atmosphere. Friendly staff, fans and a decent away day. (Just pray for nice weather!)
Key Moment: The Bromley First Half Goals
To concede so early and late on in the first half meant we had to chase the game for a lot of today. Going 1-0 down after a minute must have thrown the GJ game plan out of the window. To concede so late on as well was incredibly frustrating, just as we were ending the half so well. You’re left to dwell on how we should have done better instead of focusing on how well we were doing up to that point. There’s a talented team here and with the youngest squad in the league. You get the feeling there is going to be a lot of inconsistency and learning to come up in the next few weeks.
Overall it’s a point that I think most fans would have taken before kick off. It’s disappointing how we started and ended the first half but the resilience we showed to get ourselves back in the game gives me some confidence heading into Tuesday night. The weather played a big role today but we showed glimpses of what we could do in the National League with a bit of time and consistency. Either way it’s definitely not going to be dull watching Torquay United this season!!