REPORT | Torquay United 3-1 Wrexham

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 05 Dec 2020

Conceding two goals to the league leaders in the first 17 minutes proved too much of an obstacle to over come for the Reds in Devon, as local fans were allowed back to watch the Gulls.

Theo Vassell did give us some hope with a goal back before the break, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to claim any points and Torquay added a third later in the game.

Jay Harris returned after suspension to captain the side, while Jake Bickerstaff partnered Kwame Thomas in attack.

The home side took the lead on six minutes, when a long cross field ball from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans found Ben Whitfield on their left, racing into the Wrexham half. He brushed passed a challenge, cut in on to his right foot and fired a low shot passed the diving Christian Dibble to hit the back of the net.

There was a booking for James Horsfield on 10 minutes, when he took down Lemonheigh-Evans 30-yards from goal, as the home side continued to fire long balls forward and pressurise the Reds’ defence at every opportunity.

On 15 minutes, a corner saw the ball drop on the edge of the Wrexham box and a fierce shot from xxx was adjudged to have been hand ball, bt from the press box at the opposite end of the pitch it was hard to tell how much intent there was on the part of xxx 

Up stepped Asa Hall to hammer the ball down the middle and into the roof of the Wrexham net – no stopping that effort for the United skipper.

Three minutes later and a dubious looking corner was awarded to Wrexham and from Elliott Durrell’s flag kick, Theo Vassell rose unopposed to head the ball firmly home from six-yards – despite the Plainmoor PA man suggesting to the crowd it was Jay Harris’ towering header!

Torquay’s early enthusiasm ebbed a little with that goal for the visitors and young Jake Bickerstaff watched on from the edge of the box as an effort of his travelled just the wrong side of keeper Shaun MacDonald’s right hand post on 25 minutes.

More Wrexham pressure saw the ball played through the middle and Vassell, who had remained forward at set piece, was able to get a touch on it, but from 16-yards it lacked the power to beat MacDonald, who was able to avert the danger.

On 36 minutes, Vassell came to Wrexham’s rescue as an effort from Whitfield carried over Dibble, but the centre-half produced a tremendous header to clear off the line – and a few minutes later the visitors’ goal survived another close call, as Whitfield again crossed and ex-Red Danny Wright went close with his header.

Five minutes before the break, there was a hold up in play as both Kwame Thomas and Aaron Nemane clashed heads right in front of the dug outs. It ended with Adi Yussuf replacing Thomas on 41 minutes.

As the fourth official indicated six added minutes, Torquay broke quickly up field and as Whitfield’s cross into the box was half cleared, it fell to Lemonheigh-Evans whose powerful shot from the edge of the area struck a post and rebounded back into the play.

Another break in the action saw extended treatment for Vassell, happily he was able to play on.

The half ended with the sun shining on Dibble’s goal, in contrast to the wind and rain that had endured earlier in the game. Things were also looking brighter for the Reds after they were hit with a whirlwind start and found themselves two goals behind in double quick time.

Ht 2-1

The Welshmen were on the front foot at the restart and after good work down the left, Durrell firing in an effort that was

Two quick efforts from the home side saw first Lemonheigh-Evans and then Whitfield fire shots over Dibble’s cross bar from distance.

Torquay were s reaming for a penalty on 53 minutes, but the referee said it was a well-timed tackle by Fiacre Kelleher to give them a corner and not a spot kick.

Another Wrexham change had Anthony Jeffrey on for Bickerstaff after 55 minutes. While moments later the ball was cleared off the home goal line and Durrell’s follow up was pulled wide.

With 20 minutes played in the second period, Paul Rutherford saw his curling effort headed behind for a corner as the Reds were making Torquay work hard in defence.

The home fans were sensing the danger Wrexham were posing and two minutes later they held their collective breath as Jamie Reckord fired a low shot across the face of the home goal, but just wide of the far post.

The presence of Jeffrey on the Wrexham left, certainly gave the Reds extra purpose as we pushed forward in search of the leveller. As was he combining with Reckord for a number of raids down the wing.

Then a sucker punch, as the home side enjoyed two slices of good fortune for their third goal on 73 minutes. A deflection saw the ball drop for Lemonheigh-Evans and then his angled shot looked to be covered by Dibble it came of Kelleher to nestle in the back of the net.

Keeper MacDonald was then booked for a foul on Yussuf on the edge of the box.

Dibble was called in action again as he denied Whitfield, who was clean through on goal, but the keeper stayed large to force down the effort.

A free kick to Wrexham on the edge of the home area was taken by Luke Young, well known in these parts for his long-range efforts and this was one flew only inches wide.

Moments later Yussuf appeared to have found room to run at MacDonald, but he was denied by timely challenge from Kyle Cameron to whip the ball away when shaping for a shot.

Kelleher saw a header saved on 88 minutes, as Wrexham refused to give the game up as a lost cause, even in the dying moments and two goals behind.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Durrell saw another fierce shot fly just over the home crossbar.

A spirted display against a team full of confidence, now we just need to tighten up again at the back and get more of our efforts on target.

Torquay United: MacDonald, Cameron, Kerr (Buse 90), Lemonheigh-Evans (Waters 78), Hall, Wright (Umerah 50), Andrews, Randell, Sherring, Nemane, Whitfield.
Subs: Covolan, Warren.

Wrexham: Dibble, Horsfield, Kelleher, Vassell, Reckord, Rutherford, Harris, Young, Durrell, Thomas (Yussuf 42), Bickerstaff (Jeffrey 55).
Subs: Hall-Johnson, Davies, Jarvis.

Referee: Scott Simpson (Staffs)
Attendance: 975

Bookings -
Torquay: MacDonald (75, foul)
Wrexham: Horsfield (10, foul)


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