TORQUAY United returned to League action with a Halloween trip to Altrincham as we looked to lay the ghosts of our FA Cup exit in the last game.
It was United who started on the front-foot in the opening exchanges, seeing plenty of the ball and going close when Alex Fisher’s header from a Dan Butler cross landed wide.
Shortly afterwards a dipping effort from Fisher was deflected wide as the resulting corner came to nothing.
It was developing into an end-to-end encounter but with quarter-of-an-hour on the clock neither ‘keeper was seriously tested.
Some positive play from Tyrone Marsh saw him make progress before getting in a strike that was blocked by the ‘keeper who then did well to keep out Butler’s follow-up effort.
There was some brave defending from Kevin Nicholson to deny the home side as Bowerman and Reeves looked to profit on a cross.
It wasn’t long before United broke the deadlock when Hurst did well in the build-up to feed the lively Marsh who cut inside before getting in a strike that found its way beyond the ‘keeper and into the back of the net with 24 minutes on the clock.
It was a deserved lead for United and soon afterwards, Marsh caused more problems for the home side as he went close to doubling our advantage.
With United well on top, a loose ball from the home side was picked up by Fisher whose shot was pushed around the post by the ‘keeper with just over ten minutes to go until the interval.
A free-kick in a promising position for the home side was delivered high into the area where Dan Lavercombe, recalled to the side to replace Fabian Spiess, punched clear and as the second ball came back in, Havern headed over.
It was to be the last real action of what was an extremely positive half for a United side full of energy, commitment and determination.
There was a change at the break as Shepherd Murombedzi replaced Simon Heslop.
United’s first chance of the second half came when Marsh glided past a couple of challenges before getting in a strike that was well saved by the ‘keeper.
A free-kick for the home side was delivered invitingly into the area but the ball evaded everyone before Angus MacDonald launched a counter-attack for United which saw Hurst’s ball in search of Marsh scrambled behind for a corner.
At the other end, a corner for the home side picked out Leather whose header was well saved by Lavercombe and from the resulting corner, the ball was only half-cleared but the offside flag eased the pressure as Havern put the ball in the net to no avail.
The equaliser was soon to arrive, though, as another corner was only half-cleared into the path of Moult whose powerful drive from distance found the back of the net to make it 1-1.
In the wake of the goal, loan signing, Achille Campion, was introduced for his United debut as he replaced Fisher.
After Berry fired over from distance, a foul on Marsh gave United a free-kick in a promising position. Player-manager, Kevin Nicholson, stepped up and saw his effort well saved by Deasy in the home goal.
Angus MacDonald became the first player of the afternoon to be booked following a foul.
An effort from O’Keefe was well saved by Lavercombe as Nicholson cleared the loose ball.
A foul by Berry saw him receive a yellow card as the home side started to up the pressure.
There was a bizarre red card for Marsh with around ten minutes to go after he and team-mate Butler had a disagreement. The referee deemed it violent conduct and sent the goalscorer off.
As the clock ticked down, Hurst became the latest player to be booked for a foul. It was to be his last involvement in the action as he was replaced by Louis Briscoe.
The closing stages petered out with the ten men of United playing out the game to take home a point as the 101 travelling supporters showed their appreciation for the effort displayed by their side.