TT MATCH VERDICT
Joseph discusses the 2nd pre-season win for the Gulls at Plainmoor
Joseph Pope – @OffTheLineBlog
Torquay United continued their pre-season preparations with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Bournemouth’s Under-23s.
Gary Johnson made a couple of changes from the narrow 3-2 win against Hemel Hempstead, with Josh Umerah being rewarded for his goal against Hemel Hempstead with a start in place of fellow new signing Andrew Nelson, and Shaun MacDonald starting in goal. Johnson decided to go for a rather makeshift eleven from the outset, with Dean Moxey – who started at left wing-back against Hemel Hempstead – moving inside to the left of a three, with Matt Buse taking up an unfamiliar left wing-back role in his first run-out of the pre-season campaign. Similarly on the right, Ben Wynter moved into the centre of defence as oppose to his usual right wing-back berth, with Olaf Koszela showing his versatility by slotting into the wing-back role, as United lined up in the same 3-5-2 formation that was used on the weekend. The midfield three in front of the back four was once again Aaron Nemane, Ben Whitfield and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, with Danny Wright partnering Umerah up top.
It was the former Cheltenham Town man who carved out the first opportunity of the game, doing well to win the ball in the Bournemouth penalty area and winning a corner. From the resulting corner, captain Kyle Cameron rose highest at the far post, but could only divert his header against the upright. It did, however, mark a promising start for the home side. Matt Buse started well, providing a real threat from left wing-back – the ex-Taunton man following in the footsteps of fellow central midfielders Jake Andrews and Frankie Vincent in taking up the unfamiliar role. However, Buse looked adept in the position, picking up some promising early positions on the left, and striking up a good partnership with summer recruit Dean Moxey.
Bournemouth had their first opportunity of the game through the impressive Saydee, picking up the ball unmarked just outside the area, but his shot did little to trouble MacDonald. It was an early reminder to the United midfield trio of the threat that the youthful Cherries possessed on the counter, with the away side evading the high Torquay United press on a number of occasions, leaving Nemane somewhat isolated at times in the middle of the park.
With ten minutes gone, a delightful long angled ball out from the back by Dean Moxey found the feet of Ben Whitfield on the right hand side, and his run towards the box forced yet another corner, the fifth of the game. It was another long ball by Moxey that nearly created the first goal of the afternoon, with Danny Wright adjudged to have been offside when having looked to have beaten the offside trap in behind the opposition defence. Wright and his strike partner Umerah were a constant threat to the Cherries back-line, and it was the good link-up play between the two that almost broke the deadlock after half an hour. A quick one-two saw Wright play the ball into the powerful Umerah, and his turn and strike was dealt with by opposition keeper Plain. Shortly before that, wide man Glover went close for the away side, with United’s high defensive line being found out by a lovely clipped ball by the impressive number eight Kyle Taylor, and the ball was touched down by the lively Glover, but he dragged his shot well wide of the target under pressure from the retreating Matt Buse.
United nearly went ahead a minute before the interval, as Umerah’s delicate back-heeled pass found the feet of Danny Wright, but the towering forward couldn’t sort out his feet as the ball was hacked away by a Bournemouth defender. The loose ball was picked up by Umerah, and he was tripped just inside the area, but the referee waved away claims as the first half ended goalless.
After a first half in which both keepers were rarely tested, United started the second with a real intensity, and had the ball in the back of the net through the lively Umerah – who was superb on the afternoon – with Koszela heading the ball back into the area after a corner, and the ex-Ebbsfleet United man rose highest at the far post to power a header past Plain. Unfortunately the linesman had his flag up for offside. However, United didn’t have to wait too long for the opener. Another corner routine presenting a chance to Kyle Cameron, whose strong header towards the far post was diverted home on the line by Moxey. United went from strength to strength soon after, doubling their lead after smart work from Lemonheigh-Evans. The midfielder picked the ball up in the middle of the park, driving forward before shooting towards goal. Plain parried his effort away, but Umerah’s acrobatic volley rifled into the roof of the net for the goal his performance deserved.
The hour mark brought the first change, with Danny Wright departing for the energetic Andrew Nelson. A minute later and United presented the away side with a route back into the game, with Ben Wynter bringing down Jake Scrimshaw on the edge of the area in his only blot on what was a hugely impressive afternoon for the right-back-turned-centre-back. Thankfully Kyle Taylor curled a strike over. With fifteen minutes left, Buse, Moxey, Evans, Nemane and Whitfield made way for the five Torquay Academy scholars to enter the fray, and it was a shot by Bamforth that was again parried away by Plain, the ball falling to the feet of Olaf Koszela, and the forward was also rewarded with a goal – firing low into the far corner. The youngster had an impressive game in the unfamiliar right wing-back role, underlining his importance to remain with United as opposed to leaving on loan.
The remaining ten minutes yielded little of note, but it was a hugely impressive run-out from Johnson’s men against what are a good Bournemouth Under-23s side. Given our previous for signing Cherries loanees, particular mention should go to forward Saydee, wide player Glover and in particular central midfielder Kyle Taylor, who all impressed despite the score-line. United face Chippenham Town on the weekend, a match in which hopefully Hall, Little, Andrews and Warren can get some much-needed minutes.
COYY – Joseph
Man of the Match:
So many! Koszela and Buse deserve huge praise for performing so well in unfamiliar wing-back roles, with Umerah also looking a real handful upfront, but Wynter gets the nod. He has always looked a suitable deputy for the centre-back role, and proved it with a dominant display at the back, providing some much-needed leadership and organisation to what ended up being a very youthful United side. An afternoon of many positives for the Gulls as they continue to build for the new season.
59 minutes – Moxey
61 minutes – Umerah
75 minutes – Koszela