Craig blogs about Tuesday’s game at Plainmoor
TORQUAY UNITED 0-5 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE – MATCH SUMMARY
On another nice evening at Plainmoor the yellow army welcomed local neighbours Plymouth down to the English Riviera for a friendly game of footy! The Green Army, who had a good season last year, were going to prove a stern test for Gary Johnson and his new look side.
It was an unchanged line-up from the weekend’s 0-0 draw with Newport to get things underway, and it was Torquay who came out the traps sharply, with just 2 minutes on the clock when Aaron Jarvis had a sighter on goal with a scruffy snapshot.
That was followed by another passage of play from the Gulls, Aaron Jarvis again involved and this time bundled down on the edge of the box. Brett McGavin lined the free kick up which he hit well and looked destined for the net but for a brilliant save from Plymouth keeper Michael Cooper.
After a bright couple of moments the Gulls were made to pay and Plymouth new signing Finn Azaz had all the time in the world to pick his spot and place the ball beyond Halstead, 1-0 Plymouth. Ali Omar and Ross Marshall allowing the Plymouth forward the space and time of Plainmoor to put Argyle ahead.
Torquay struggled to cope with Plymouth’s quick tempo and movement time after time, and it was notably leaving full back Dylan Crowe exposed. Torquay then managed to fashion a half chance where Corie Andrews poked just agonisingly wide, whilst during the next passage of play Torquay managed to get a good cross into the box and I think we’d have scored but for the offside flag.
Literally straight from that free kick our midfield 3 in McGavin Hanson and Donnellan had all pushed forward and the Plymouth striker Danny Mayor cut through the heart of Torquay’s midfield to get himself a shot at goal to make it 2-0. Come on you Gulls “get at em” shouted fans in Bristows bench below me. It was needed, as we were allowing them far too much room to exploit.
Torquay needed to settle down again and Corie Andrews was sent through on goal but was wiped out by a Plymouth defender. He was surely the last man but the referee brandished a yellow card, maybe in the National League that was a red! Torquay were repeatedly giving the ball away and just before half time former loanee Adam Randell drew a good save from keeper Mark Halstead. But that wasn’t that. Poor marking in the box again, the ball bobbled about and fell kindly to Randell, who lashed a good effort past the hapless Halstead. 3-0 to Argyle just before the break.
For the 2nd half Gary Johnson decided to make a change and that saw striker Corie Andrews replaced by new signing Will Goodwin, our new signing on loan from Stoke City. Torquay started the 2nd half brightly and won a few corners of their own but all came to nothing, whilst Dean Moxey was putting some dangerous balls (yes crosses and long throws) into the box.
After a period of Torquay pressure Plymouth countered and a poor clearance by Halstead allowed Plymouth to sneak a frustrating 4th. The Football League quality at this point was apparent, and moments later another Plymouth shot was fumbled by Halstead and striker Danny Mayor was on hand for a tap-in to make it 5-0 to the green army (who were now making it clear there’s only one team in Devon.. ) – wrong there are loads!!
Ali Omar was having a difficult time against the Plymouth forwards and was turned inside out on numerous occasions. As the 70th minute or so approached Gary decided to make some more changes with Halstead and Marshall coming off for Tomlinson and Lovett. Marshall and Halstead had both endured a tough evening.
Not long after coming on, Rhys Lovett was called into action with a smart stop to deny a Plymouth attacker chipping him, Torquay then clear their lines momentarily before Lovett again pulled off a great save to prevent another goal. New signing Will Goodwin worked hard and showed some nice little flicks and touches. He seems a really direct player and plays on the shoulder of the last man, I was impressed by what I saw of him.
The game was over and the green army had won at a canter. On the whole, despite the disappointing score-line it was another good workout for the players and more minutes in the tank ready for the new season.
1. Mark Halstead – made a smart stop to deny Randell just before half time, could do nothing with 3 of Plymouths goals but for 2 of them questions have to be asked (a poor clearance and a fumbled shot).
2. Dylan Crowe – again showed promise with pace down this right hand side. Often exposed with a number of Plymouth players finding a lot of gaps down his side.
6. Ross Marshall – won some decent headers but also had a few lapses of concentration and too often out of position.
5. Ali Omar – again like Marshall, strong in the air but disappointing lapses allowed Plymouth players too much space.
21. Dean Moxey – worked hard all evening again, at times was even playing as a left wing back!
11. Kieron Evans – a quiet game really for Kieron, whipped a few decent set pieces in but that’s about it.
7. Ryan Hanson – doesn’t look match fit yet but this is what pre season is all about!
14. Brett McGavin – unlucky not to score a worldie of a free kick in the first half, worked hard for the side and I really like the look of this lad.
16. Shaun Donnellan – won a number of tackles in the middle of the park and tried to create some attacks, good experienced player to have around .
10. Corie Andrews – has good movement and again isn’t completely match fit. When he is I think we will start seeing the goals flow.
9. Aaron Jarvis – again a good target man, not match fit either but showed glimpses of what he’s all about. Promising.
13. Rhys Lovett – made some good saves when he came on for sure. Did his chances of that No.1 jersey no harm at all!
23. Ollie Tomlinson – won a few headers and a few clearances , positioning good.
A couple of youngsters also came on but nothing really of note on those. It’s good to see them getting on for these sort of games though.
It would obviously have been nice to get a better result against a very organised Plymouth side, but let’s not forget we have a lot of new players who need to gel as a team and the good thing is we won’t have to play teams of that quality week in week out. Fitness and building up player relationships is what we need to take away from these games, ready for the fast approaching Oldham opener on August 6th.
Let’s all get behind the lads on Saturday against Exeter.